Warnings from Eldorado Police to be on the lookout for thievery have come regularly in the past several months, but the thieves appear to have become bolder in recent weeks.
Police Chief Shannon Deuel issued a new warning during Tuesday’s City Council meeting: Keep an eye on suspicious people around central air conditioning units.
With the price of metal being high thieves are cutting lines from central air conditioning units to homes and making off with entire units.
“Everybody needs to kind of watch what’s going on in the neighborhood. There are lots of sticky fingers already this summer,” Deuel said.
Those with trailers parked near their air conditioning units may find themselves in situations of insult added to injury.
“If you have a small trailer, keep it away from your air conditioning unit. They’ll steal your trailer and use it to haul off the air conditioning unit. We’ve had that happen,” Deuel said.
In many instances the thefts have occurred at occupied residences with residents inside oblivious to the thievery happening in the darkness of their yards.
While tight financial situations make for riskier thefts, the city is facing a looming expense of its own with the moving of water and sewer lines for the remaining expansion of U.S. Route 45 to four lanes. The city’s hands are tied: It must pay an estimated $1 million for moving the lines from about the Fourth Street area north to the city limit.
Mayor Rocky James said he has been in contact with State Representation Brandon Phelps and State Senator Gary Forby and will be meeting with U.S. Representative John Shimkus 10 a.m. July 2 to enlist their help in finding grant money to help with the expense of moving the lines.
Shimkus will hold office hours at Eldorado City Hall 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July 2 and James encouraged citizens with issues and city supervisors with projects in mind to take advantage of that time.
“It doesn’t hurt to come talk to him,” James said.
During the meeting:
Commissioner Jeff Minor introduced and council approved a bid of $950 from Accent Awning to install an awning over the back door of the Police Station to match the awning over the front door.
Fire Chief Mike McKinnies said firefighters are continuing to flush hydrants and then during the next two or three weeks they will be scraping and painting the hydrants.
Ordinance Officer Billy Bradley reported a meeting between City Attorney Marty Watson and David Edmister regarding the old Baker Building in scheduled with the intent of reaching an agreement on the building’s demolition. Bradley said the demolition will not only remove an eyesore from the city, but also provide downtown parking that would welcomed by those attending the downtown churches.
Page 2 of 2 - Bradley invited council members to observe the work of Man-Tra-Con temporary workers in clearing the area near the bike path behind Eldorado High School.
“If you are driving to Norris City you can see the football field from the highway,” Bradley said.
Council approved spending $2,068 on two new computers for the water department with the goal of replacing two more next year.
Finance Commissioner Jim Morris said council needs to look at the consumer index and determine if there is a need to raise the water and sewer rate. He recommends council look at a rate increase of $.38 cents for every 2,000 gallons of water usage. Council did not vote on the issue.
Street Commissioner Robby Price said the Street and Alley Department has been busy mowing grass and replacing street signs.
James reminded council of the July 6 Eldorado Men’s Club fireworks display at the Eldorado High School Sports Complex. There will be a band and food.
“A lot of people work hard on that. It’s good for our city and the kids really, really enjoy it. We need help again this year,” James said.
Those who would like to have a booth as part of the festivities or who would like to make a monetary donation may contact Robby Price at 841-3924.