New Haven in need of updated equipment

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

NEW HAVEN — The need for updated equipment for both the town and police department was discussed at the most recent meeting of the New Haven town council.

Police Chief Dave Hardwick told council members that new radios are a priority need for his department.

The chief stated the department now has outdated radios that are not totally compatible with all other police agencies in the county. He said he is in need of two car radios and two portable handheld units. The total cost for the four radios is approximately $4,400.

Councilman Matt Shell made a motion to purchase one radio for a cruiser, one portable unit, plus a spare battery and a lapel microphone. The motion passed, with the $2,400 coming from the police budget.

It was also noted that the town needs both a new truck and a backhoe.

The cost for a used Ford diesel truck with a dump bed, snowplow, and spreader, as well as a smaller backhoe than presently owned, was presented at $71,000. A local bank has agreed to loan the town the money for the purchase.

No action was taken, however, with council members agreeing to look into the purchase of a new truck, and also the possibility of leasing a fleet of vehicles.

Councilman Shell said the council must do something soon, as some of the vehicles are literally falling apart. Mayor Jerry Spradling agreed, adding a piece of sheet metal had been purchased to repair a hole in the floor of one truck.

Also tabled was a request from Chief Hardwick for two tasers for the police department. The taser bundles include a taser, six cartridges, and a hardshell case. The total cost for two would be nearly $1,700. Council members agreed to search for possible grant funds to make the purchase.

In other action, the council:

Heard the need for a street light at the corner of Roush Street and Allendale Court;

Accepted the resignation of Dave Greene as wastewater operator-in-training;

Received a report from Shell that the employee handbook update is almost completed;

Heard a request from Hardwick for an updated police policy and procedures manual, including a drug policy;

Hired Matt Stewart as a part-time police officer;

Placed Jamie Greene in an authoritative position in the absence of Matt Shell;

Heard a request from Ronnie Zerkle that the town look into building the new water tank at the present site, as opposed to a new site, in order to save money;

Was questioned by Harry Roush as to who performs regular maintenance on town vehicles and buildings; and,

Approved minutes from the previous meeting, the financial report, and invoices to be paid.

Attending were Mayor Spradling, Recorder Roberta Hysell, and council members Shell, Jim Elias, George Gibbs, Grant Hysell, and Matt Gregg.

The next council meeting will be Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at