WASHINGTON — The city has taken the initial step toward giving the chief of police additional duties and another title.
Under the terms of an ordinance that had a first reading Monday at a City Council meeting, the police chief can be appointed the city's director of public safety by the council.
The new duties for the police chief as public safety director relate to the city's ties with the Washington Fire Department, a not-for-profit corporation.
The public safety director would have oversight over contracts between the city and Fire Department and city buildings and equipment used by the Fire Department, and enforcement of city ordinances regarding fire protection and emergency medical services.
"Plus, the public safety director would be a liaison between the city and Fire Department," said Police Chief Mike McCoy.
The City Council will vote on the ordinance May 6.
Also Monday, the City Council approved purchasing a new police station interview room audio/video system from Peoria-based Oberlander Alarm Systems for $13,952. The new system will replace one installed in 2011, when the police station was remodeled.
The City Council also approved new video gambling license fees that have been discussed for two months by city staff and officials and business owners.
In Washington, a business must have a Class A or Class E liquor license to offer video gambling.
These businesses will continue to pay $500 annually for a video gambling license, as they have since the city approved video gambling in 2012, plus $50 annually for each machine, a $25 per machine increase.
Machine owners, who previously did not pay license fees, will pay $500 annually for each business served plus $500 annually for each machine.
A business can have a maximum of five machines.
The fees can be assessed annually by the City Council after at least 10 months of video gambling earnings reports.
The City Council also approved Monday a $27,081 expense to purchase 322 additional tons of road salt from Compass Minerals of Overland, Kan. The salt was needed because of the harsh winter.
All 1,150 tons the city originally purchased in November from Compass Minerals plus 150 tons left over from the previous winter were used, causing the additional purchase in early February.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.