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Police Chief Bruce Russell talks to members of the Ellisville Board of Aldermen during its meeting this week.

The Ellisville Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve some personnel matters for the city’s police department among other items including the use of the city’s community building during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

Ellisville Mayor Lynn Buckhaults and the Board of Aldermen handled several items during this week’s meeting revolving around the ongoing national health crisis.

After some discussion, the board agreed to follow the county’s recent decision to not rent out or allow usage of community centers during this COVID-19 crisis.

Ellisville City officials unanimously agreed to not rent the G.V.H. Multipurpose Center in Ellisville during this time.

The mayor told the board that there are some non-profits and organizations that normally use the building and city hall employees need to know if the board wants the building used.

Ellisville City Alderwoman Ola Mitchell said, “the county is not allowing the use of their community centers now.”

Ellisville Ward Four City Alderman Carson Graham agreed to add that, “I think we need to do like the county and not do that now.”

Others agreed.

The board voted unanimously not to rent the multipurpose center out for use until after the first of 2021.

With little discussion, the board also agreed Tuesday night to approve Ellisville Police Chief Bruce Russell’s recommendation to accept the resignation of recently-hired Officer Derek Fowler.

In October, the board agreed to hire two new officers, Officer Joseph Savage and Derek Fowler. The board agreed to hire the officers as uncertified officers on a six-month probation period at $28,533 annually.

Russell said Fowler worked with the department for a day and got a new job and began working at the junior college. Therefore, the board accepted Fowler’s resignation.

The police chief said this resignation would put his department back at having three slots open. In September, the board approved two resignations of officers in the department, which left the department with three personnel slots open, with one of them being a person on administrative leave.

Then at that time, the board approved the hiring of Jordan Reed as a full-time certified police officer to fill one of those positions.

This week, based on Russell’s recommendation, the board approved the hiring of Justin Magee to fill another one of those positions. The board agreed to hire the officer as an uncertified officer on a six-month probation period at $28,533 annually.

Russell said the new officer has some part-time experience and was currently in the part-time academy, which will be a plus to the department.

In a separate matter, the board tabled a decision on a victims’ rights resolution. City officials asked the city attorney to look into the matter and report back to the board.

Also, the board continued to handle a property matter during the public hearing portion of this week’s meeting.

In September, city officials conducted a hearing for Calvin Trudeau at 413 Camp Street.

During the board’s meeting on Sept. 1st, a resident complained about the conditions at the resident on Camp Street. City officials said they were investigating the matter.

On Tuesday, the board discussed the situation further.

The board also discussed some other areas of concern that the city might need to address.

They agreed to approve city employees’ handling of the risk and resilience assessment program required by June 30, 2021; accepted the lowest and best bid of Gaddy Tree Service to cut and remove a tree at 602 South Front Street for $850; and approved the sponsorship with Community Bank for a fireworks show to be conducted on Dec. 5th. The mayor said the fireworks show, which is supported by the city each year, is normally done in July but because of COVID-19 was not conducted. He said the fireworks will be done in December in conjunction with the city’s drive-through tree lighting event.

“There will be no public gathering,” he explained. “People will be in their cars.”

In another matter, with little discussion, the board approved an economic development matter, welcomed members of Boy Scouts Troop #10 who visited the meeting and agreed to approve using the county’s Republican and Democratic Committees to qualify candidates for the city’s 2021 elections.

The mayor said the city has used these committees before in the qualifying process. He said the committees’ work will not affect the job the city’s Election Commission does.

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