GILBERT — The Gilbert Town Council met Monday, Feb. 11, and discussed a number of topics.
The council first heard from its special guests present at the meeting, Mingo County Sheriff, Eugene Crum, and Commander of the Mingo County Task Force, C.D. Rockel.
Crum said that he was going to each council within the county to meet them and let them know he is there.
“My phone line is always open,” Crum said. “I’m always available.
Mayor Vivian Livingood said that Crum’s visit was the first time a sheriff had ever made an appearance at Gilbert’s council, and that she liked the open communication the visit allows for.
Rockel mentioned the recent success of “Operation Zero Tolerance,” which saw roughly 50 people be arrested on drug related charges from around the county, but noted that the drug problem was not “a quick fix.”
“There are years of damage done from others in office that we’re recovering from,” Rockel said.
Councilman Curtis Lester said, “I think the whole county appreciates you. You’ve got a lot of them (drug dealers and traffickers) running scared.”
“There’s more to come,” Crum said.
Afterwards, Rick Roberts, an engineer with E.L. Robinson, spoke to the council about the town’s ongoing water projects.
He said that portions of it were delayed due to weather recently and that one contractor had gotten off to a slow start, but was “hopeful that it will catch back up.”
Roberts also presented drawndowns that equalled up to $589,012. The council unanimously accepted them.
Lastly, Gilbert Fire Chief Mike Tolley spoke to the council about his dissatisfaction with U.S. 52 being shut down for around 20 hours as a result of severe weather that knocked trees down on Jan. 31.
He said that it was handled poorly and that things needed to change. Tolley noted that there seemed to be no order, that the Department of Highways left to get road closed signs, but never returned and that it wasn’t the fire department’s job to conduct road control. He encouraged Mayor Livingood to talk to political figures to ensure that it didn’t happen again.
The closure shut down much of Gilbert, even to the point of school being cancelled that day because of the buses being unable to operate with the road closed. The mayor said that it could have been handled differently if the wire had just been lifted up and only one road closed.
“I’m disgusted with quite a number of things and the way they were handled,” she said.
Councilman Randy Livingood agreed with Tolley, saying that it needed to be remedied since it was “apt to happen again at any time.”
The Gilbert Town Council meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Gilbert Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public.