Concerns about Grantsville's police chief Harry Teare wrecking the town's police cruiser in Lewis County and the mayor and council giving the officer permission to use the vehicle to drive back and forth to work, were raised at this week's council meeting.

The cruiser was totaled in a crash with a truck about 10 days ago.

Mayor Wilbert Kerby said, "I can see why it caused concerns, but it was a matter of economics," either paying Teare 45.5 cents for mileage or letting him use the cruiser."

"We made a decision based on the town's needs and the safety of the town," Kerby said, admitting that resources for police protection are limited, emphasizing that police protection and safety is a big concern.

Residents Don Harris and Jane Wease expressed their concerns about the council's decision, Kerby said, and former town recorder Phyllis Maze said she was concerned about the amount of money left for police coverage.

"We have some really important problems to try and solve for the town," Kerby said, naming water, sewage and drainage.

He indicated one of the big issues will be the necessity of raising water and sewage rates, "Something we really don't want to do."

"Our job is to give these problems our best attention." he said.

Kerby said the old town hall complex will be torn down this month. Local businessman Jim Morris is demolishing and removing the debris from the site, without cost to the town.

Asbestos abatement was recently completed in the old buildings.

"The lot will be cleaned and it will become a fenced-in green space," he said.

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