NEW HOULKA --New Houlka’s mayor and board of aldermen hired a new police officer, and approved an animal control ordinance during their 6:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Attendees included Mayor David Huffman; Alder Lady Kimberly Murphree, Aldermen Dustin Eaton, K. C. Gates, Jerry Turner. Brad Vance, City Clerk Janie Tutor; and Attorney Kevin Howe.

Others attending board meeting were Butch Arledge from the Chickasaw Journal.

The board took the following actions. All votes were unanimous.

Aldermen:

--Hired Blake Westmoreland as a part-time police officer.

--Approved an animal control ordinance. This ordinance requires owners to keep their pets, especially dogs, at their own homes.

Any complaints on dogs that are a threat to the public will result in the dog being caught and taken to a private shelter. A fee will be charged to the owner to get his/her dog back.

If the dog is not claimed within a certain time the dog will be given a new home, aldermen said.

A copy of the ordinance ran in the Sept. 15 issue.

--Approved raising the rates on door hangers to $25, meter deposits to $65.00, Renters’ Security Deposits to $190.00 and reconnect fee to $65. This increase takes effect Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

--Approved the agenda as is.

--Approved the minutes of Aug. 3 2021.

--Approved paying all claims on the September, 2021 Docket.

--Heard reports from the police and water departments.

--Purchased purchase Crimestar software COST? for the Police Department. Crimestar is a law enforcement records management system.

--Purchased a half page ad at $550 to go in a magazine that the Chickasaw Journal prints annually.

--Went into executive session, came out of executive session, but took no action during the session.

--Approved the revised resolution donating the woodchipper to Chickasaw County.

--Tabled discussion of a proposed basketball court until more information is obtained.

--Approved closing Houlka City Hall to the public as part of the town’s Covid-19 policy. Water customers will have to use the night deposit box for water bills paid with cash, checks or money orders. Customers may pay by phone with a debit card. Appointments may be made for notary, fax, and other things. This policy will remain as numbers are high, aldermen said.

--Recessed until the regular board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

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