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Landis employees will have to pay mileage fee if they drive town vehicles home

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó The Board of Aldermen has decided to charge town employees a mileage fee if they drive a town vehicle home.
The charge was a topic of much debate at Tuesday’s meeting, and the issue centered on soaring gas prices.
“It’s not a pleasant thing. But we need to look at it now,” Alderman Tony Hilton said.
He said only department heads should be allowed to drive home in town vehicles such as fire trucks, police cruisers and public works vehicles.After much discussion, the board agreed to require employees to pay 40 cents per mile if they drive from the city limits to home. The town would deduct the money from the employee’s payroll check.
One idea was to park the vehicles either at the police department or at public works so they would be secured behind a fence.
“Someone could climb the fence. If one gets damaged, we’re out,” Alderman Roger Safrit said.
Mayor Dennis Brown mentioned another idea specific to the Police Department: Let officers who are not on duty park their vehicles and allow officers who work back-to-back days to take their vehicles home.Some of the officers who attended the meeting expressed concerns about the plan.
They said it would be difficult to respond to emergencies if they were not allowed to take the cruisers home. An officer would need to drive to the station, get a cruiser and then head to the emergency call, one of the officers said.
The issue of not allowing personnel to take vehicles home was first brought up at a previous meeting.
A special called meeting regarding the issue is scheduled Monday at 5 p.m. at 312 S. Main St. in the Town Hall council chambers.Noise ordinance
The board also called for a public hearing at its August meeting for a proposed noise ordinance.
The board has been struggling with the particulars to include in a noise ordinance. The Police Department took the town’s current policy and combined it with policies from surrounding towns.
One of the major changes would prohibit excessively loud radio or stereo equipment at any time. The current policy says after 11 p.m.
Another change would disallow squealing tires, loud exhaust and excessively loud vehicle operation.
The amended policy would allow police to enforce the ordinance through civil citation, as they do with the alarm ordinance.
The proposed ordinance says, “by issuing a civil citation in lieu of a criminal citation, the defendant has the ability to pay the citation at the Police Department without being assessed the $120 court cost.”
Proceeds from citation payments are kept by the town instead of the school district.
The next regular board meeting is Aug. 4.

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