Cumberland Times-News

February 12, 2013

Piedmont Council OKs new computer purchases

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— PIEDMONT, W.Va. — The Piedmont Council approved the purchase of two new computers for the police and water departments during its public meeting Monday.

“The situation now is the police department has no computer,” said Betsy Rice, town clerk.

The city is being considered for several community grants — $1,000 for the police department, $1,500 for the city’s computer program and $1,500 for the water plant. The grants will be used to purchase computers for the police and water departments. The city won’t be able to use the grants until the grant resolutions are approved at a later council meeting, according to Rice.

The city will receive a 5 percent discount if it buys both computers at the same time and will include a three- year, in-house service contract, according to Rice. In addition to the community grant, the police department still has a technology grant and money from a Walmart grant for gun safety, according to Rice.

Freda Fisher, finance commissioner, who was serving as acting mayor, addressed the hard drive that has been missing from the police computer.

The computer hard drive, which has at least seven years’ worth of arrest records, is in the hands of Councilman Ray Hall, who is incarcerated at Potomac Highlands Regional Jail for attempted extortion, not related to the city. During a January council meeting, Paul Karalewitz, chief of police, said the computer, minus the hard drive, was under lock and key with evidence.

Councilman Robert Patenaude was given the computer by John Francis, a friend of Hall’s. During the Monday council meeting, Patenaude said that he told Francis to speak with the council about the matter.

Also during the meeting the council:

• Agreed to come up with a proclamation for the Tri-Towns Volunteer Fire Department’s 100th anniversary.

• Announced the Tri-Towns VFD’s banquet will be held Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Victory Post 155 in Westernport.

• Announced the city office will be closed Feb. 28 for budget training.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.