Only two members of Hanceville's City Council attended a brief work session at City Hall Tuesday, discussing several items proposed for the agenda to the council's next meeting Dec. 12

Council members Hubert Jones and JoAnn Walls were joined by Mayor Katie Whitley, City Clerk Tania Harris and several members of the public. Among the topics considered were a drug testing policy, a recommendation to increase revenue from the fire chief and Walls' request that the mayor provide monthly reports of city income and expenses.

Walls sparked controversy at the Nov. 28 council meeting when she opposed or abstained from almost every vote in protest of Whitley's contention that she is only required to provide financial reports twice a year.

Walls and Whitley briefly discussed the issue at Tuesday's work session.

"I want to request that the other members of the council consider that we get a monthly report of income and expenses and get it broken down into departments... so we have an idea of how we're working toward the budget," Walls said.

Whitley told a somewhat exasperated Walls that that would require too much of the city clerk's time, and Harris, hired in March, was still learning the city's system. Whitley said she could start providing quarterly comparisons of the city's finances to the budgeted amount.

"Maybe in six months we can start getting (a monthly report)," Whitley said.

New Fire Chief Michael Watson asked the council to grant him permission at its next meeting to contract with Covenant Billing Corporation to bill insurance companies for the cost of responding to wrecks and fires.

Watson said if the fire department answers a call to a car accident, he can simply submit a report to Covenant and they will bill the driver's insurance about $500 for a standard wreck. The driver will not have to pay; standard auto insurance already covers the costs, but many fire departments don't bother to bill.

"I would expect as a rough average per month, that this would bring in about $4,000 to $5,000," Watson said.

If approved, Watson said the money could be used to replace outdated hoses and extrication equipment.

"That's money we've just not been seeing here," he said.

Whitley also told those assembled about the proposed drug testing policy, which would allow the city to test new job applicants and current employees if there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol during work hours. Whitley said the policy was not prompted by any specific event, but could save the city money on worker's compensation.

After a confirmation test, employees testing positive could be subject to termination.

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