Jay Andrews

The Albia City Council on Monday faced a full agenda on the first meeting of the new year.

The council re-appointed Bob Breckenridge Albia City Attorney, Linda Heller, City Clerk, Jeff Stephens, Street Commissioner, Bill Murphy, Sanitation Commissioner and John Freshwater, Fire Chief.

Further down in the agenda, the council accepted the retirement of Police Chief Jay Andrews. The 61-year-old Andrews has been off duty the past couple of months recovering from knee replacement surgery. He has been with the department for 14 years, serving as chief of police for the past 10.

Mayor Richard Clark, who ultimately will appoint the new chief, said he will be advertising for resumes and then put together a committee for the interview process. In the meantime, Assistant Police Chief Brad Evinger will continue to serve as interim chief.

The council took care of some general house keeping, conducting a public hearing regarding an application to the USDA Rural Development for grant funds to equip a new street department truck (the chasis already purchased with rural development grant funds); telling Interim Chief Evinger to use the police budget to cover the $231 cost for the city’s share of paper towel dispensers and hand sanitizers in a jointly used area at the law center; approving tax exempt applications for a new house building project on Fourth Avenue East and for a remodel of the Brick Street restaurant and approving a request from the Monroe County News and Albia Union-Republican to serve as official newspapers for the publication of city public notices.

The council also changed its policy on the distance police officers can live from the law center. Past practice was that officers had to live within 10 minutes of the law center. Interim Chief Evinger said that in seeking applicants for a police officer’s job, he had only three applications and only two of the three complied with the 10-minute restriction.

After some discussion, the council voted to allow officers to live within the boundaries of Monroe County.

The council held lengthy discussions with Albia Day Care and Pre-School Director Klint Sinclair, and amongst the council over the possibility of licensing all dogs in the city, and the demolition of the old hotel.

Those stories will appear in Thursday’s Albia Union-Republican.

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