Rincon City Council approved a new ordinance aimed at preventing public drunkenness.
The previous ordinance required that alcohol be in possession if a person is in a public place. The new ordinance prohibits people from being under the influence and intoxicated on the public ways, such as alleys and streets, and sitting in a car if the car’s not moving and sitting in a car intoxicated on public streets.
The new ordinance doesn’t require a suspected offender to be in possession of alcohol if they are inebriated to the point of public intoxication.
Council also approved an ordinance to amend Section 54-4 disorderly conduct. The new ordinance adds additional grounds to the existing ordinance for filing disorderly conduct charges.
Council also voted to pay $78,107.29 to developers Blanchard and Calhoun for the city’s share of a project to expand Fort Howard Road just off Highway 21. The project added an extra lane plus sidewalks and drainage.
City attorney Raymond Dickey said the area used to flood badly and was in need of improvements. The payment, which had been budgeted, is to be taken out of special purpose local option sales taxes street funds.
In previous action, city council approved the purchase of eight tasers, cameras and associated equipment for just over $10,000, even though it was discovered that a hoped-for grant would not pay for the tasers themselves. A grant would have defrayed the cost of four of the taser units but citing the needs of the police department, council members elected to cover the entire cost.
Police Chief Mike Bohannon also informed the Council that he was looking into the purchase of a storage building to be located behind the police department. He said the addition of such a building would serve several purposes and ultimately save the city money by replacing offsite rentals.
The building would be secure and would provide space for processing evidence in-house as opposed to sending out. He said his staff was well trained in evidence processing and just needed a facility to conduct it in. His plan would also include storing asset-forfeiture vehicles, as well as voting machines and records.
Councilman Scott Morgan said that in his time on council, he had written over $15,000 in checks for storage and was not a big fan of outsourcing when it could be done in-house. Council asked the Chief to “get the ball rolling.”