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Community News Jan 11th, 2022 - 22:23:32

News from Tuesday night's city council meeting.

By Dave Whitaker
Jan 11, 2022, 22:17

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Cochran City Council held their first meeting of 2022 Tuesday night The meeting can be watched by going to Here are some of the things voted on.

City Clerk Tracy Jones had to administer the oath of office to those who'd been recently elected or re-elected. She's seen here administering the oath for Mayor Billy Yeomans.

Approved was a pay increase for police officers. Starting officers went from $16 to $18. Pay for experienced officers went from $18 to $20 with a range of $21.75 depending upon merit and level of experience. The increases were done to help be competitive with other agencies.

The budget was amended by ordinance to reflect the changes. Chief Jeff Ttawick, who spoke in favor of the increase, thanked the council for their actions. Mayor Billy Yeomans said once they get salary analysis for all departments from the regional commission, they would look at salaries for city employees.

Approved also was a resolution calling for a referendum on distilled spirit sales. People will be able to vote on the referendum during the May 24 election.

Council approved the purchase of ground-penetrating radar equipment for the public works department. The $37,500 cost will come out of SPLOST funds. Public Works Director Willie Farrow said the equipment would be used to help find underground lines that leaked. He said they would be able to use it to locate end points, then use a recently purchased boring machine to drill down to it as opposed to having to boar into the road.

Howard Pridgen was approved as a member of the Housing Authority, replacing Charles King. They approved letting Cochran Fire Department apply for a grant that would pay for three new firefighters.

Council approved extending the terms of Downtown Development Authority board members Diane Lester, Carla Coley, and Jeff Regan. The term would be from March 4, 202 to March 4, 2026.

There was discussion over Coley’s reappointment as Gary Ates wondered about bias when it came to votes regarding the DDA. Yeomans said Coley had done a good job but raised concern about a possible conflict of interests. He also said it was time for “the DDA to be the business leaders of the community.”

DDA Executive Director David Canady (who was there to speak on behalf of the members since it was a closed meeting) said because the DDA board was new (as was he), they wanted to keep continuity with members until they got more programs developed. Coley’s term was extended with Ates abstaining from the vote.

In other news, Keith Anderson was elected by fellow members as may pro tem. Meetings will continue to be on the second Tuesday of the month unless otherwise advertised.

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