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City to tow abandoned autos

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
The Brewton City Council last night voted to begin enforcing a state ordinance that allows police officers to place placards on abandoned vehicles which marks them for towing. The measure specifies that only motor vehicles be targeted for towing -- no boats or other non-motor vehicles would be subject to the new towing practices.
The measure, which passed the council unanimously, will take effect beginning May 17.
In other action, the council voted to purchase three new police cars from Jim Peach Motors who, along with Orville Beckford Ford, submitted a bid to provide the vehicles. Peach's bid came in at $20,933 per vehicle, while Orville Beckford's came in at $20,135.
The council also voted to finance the vehicles through the bank of Brewton, which submitted the best interest rate of the banks submitting proposals. Other banks making financing proposals were Colonial Bank and BankTrust.
Councilman Frank Cotten abstained from both votes relating to the cars.
The council also voted to accept a new proposal for employee healthcare, which carries with it an increase in cost for city employees seeking family coverage.
Currently, family coverage under the city's health plan costs $604.82, with the city picking up $404.82 and the employee paying $200. Under the new plan, family coverage will cost a total of $730.82. The city will pay $288.94 of this, and the employee will be responsible for $441.88 -- more than twice what they're currently paying.
Single coverage under the new plan will cost $288.94, all of which will be paid by the city. That's up from $238.94 under the current plan.
In short, the city will only be paying $288.94 worth of insurance costs per employee, whether they have family or single coverage.
The new coverage amounts will take full effect in June. During the month of May, the city will continue to cover $404.82 worth of family coverage plans, leaving $326 for the employees to pay. This is being done to phase the increases in more gradually.
Both new plans -- family and single -- will include vision coverage, which is a new addition.
Mayor Ted Jennings said that a number of factors had contributed to the city's insurance costs going up.
In other action last night, the council: