Grantville OKs drug testing for new hires

by Celia Shortt

Grantville City Council has approved mandatory drug testing for all new hires.

At the beginning of the Monday’s regular city council meeting, Councilmember Selma Coty asked the council to add the recommendation from the Police Committee to the meeting’s agenda.

“This came out of our police committee meeting today,” said Coty. “We learned that there is no mandatory drug testing for new hires or either for employees operating heavy equipment and so forth.”

Grantville City Clerk Tonya Wheelus said there is mandatory drug testing in other policies, just not the personnel policy. According to Grantville Mayor Jim Sells, random drug testing is in place.

The amendment was passed unanimously by the council and requires mandatory drug testing for all new hires, before promotions, for any employee operating heavy equipment and after any employee is involved in an accident involving city equipment.

Also at Monday’s meeting the city council approved financial assistance for Shelly Smith’s GED preparation classes.

In a September city council meeting, Smith had asked for the council’s help to find a career center in Grantville. Her initial proposal given to City Manager Johnny Williams was in the amount of $993 and included equipment and staffing costs.

Smith expressed the urgency to move forward in some capacity with this project due to the GED test changing Jan 1. If any students who have started the test but not finished it by Dec 31, will forfeit all their scores and have to start over. Currently, Smith is working with eight people who are trying to finish the test by that time.

“I’m willing to work with anybody,” she said. I just want to move forward. We need to move forward to help these people.”

“Don’t give up yet,” responded Mayor Sells. “If the council can provide her with a computer, I can provide her with office space with Wi-Fi for Tuesday and Thursday nights.”

Councilmember Johnny Cooks made a motion to award Smith $400, and Councilmember Barham Lundy seconded it.

In the discussion, Coty said she would vote in favor of it, but asked the Recreation Board to discuss raising the price of the summer classes at their next meeting to offset the cost of the computer.

Director of the Recreation Board Ruby Hines said they would need to discuss her request at the next meeting.

The project was not included in next year’s budget, but will be on the agenda for the Nov 11 city council meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

Smith’s classes meet Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 and Saturday mornings at 11. If anyone has any questions about the new location, the GED classes or the test, please email her at shellytsmith1954@yahoo.com.

In other business Monday:

• The council heard a second and final reading of an address ordinance, requiring by Jan. 1 “every resident has posted conspicuously their house number.” The reading passed unanimously.

• The council heard a second and final reading of the utility due date/ cut-off ordinance to make it match the standard procedures of the due date being the 15th, utilities being late on the 16th, and cutoffs will occur on the 25th. The reading passed unanimously.

• The council heard a second and final reading of an amendment to the motorized car ordinance. The amendment returns the ordinance to its original state, allowing skateboards, roller skates and roller blades to be ridden on sidewalks or asphalt recreation paths in Grantville. Roller skates, rollerblades and skateboards are not allowed on sidewalks and recreational paths in the Downtown Business District. Before voting, the council added traditional and electrical bicycles to what is not allowed. The reading passed by a vote of 3 to 1. Councilmember Cooks was opposed.

• Cooks maded a motion that the clerk’s position for public works go back to committee to go over the numbers and the finances for the position. A Public Works Committee meeting was set for Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m. The council approved his motion, but Mayor Sells expressed his concern at a decision about the position being pushed another two weeks away.

• It was agreed to waive the permit fee for Habitat for Humanity, as they wanted to repair the roof and gas lines at David Wilson’s historic home in Grantville. Habitat will also provide the labor. The council approved the waiver unanimously.

• The council heard estimates for a beach volleyball court at the site of the old pool at the Griffin Street Park. A beach volleyball court would cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to put in. A sod court could be done for about $5,000. Councilmember Barham Lundy made a motion to move it back to committee and put it on the agenda for their meeting on Nov 4. The motion passed unanimously.

• In his comments, Cooks asked City Attorney Mark Mitchell to look into the wording of city ordinances 29.1 and 29.4 to ensure they are written accurately and lawfully.




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