DANVILLE – With another shooting during the weekend that left a person injured, and more schools and day cares in the city altering the way they allow children to go outside to play, Ward 5 Alderman Mike Puhr said there’s continued concern among residents and more has to be done.
“There’s a lot of concern,” Puhr said at Tuesday night’s Danville City Council meeting. “They’re scared.”
He said he’s talked to Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. about revisiting the city’s rental registration program to have interior inspections of housing in neighborhoods where many of these shooting incidents are occurring.
Williams said thanks to a $75,000 violence prevention grant state Sen. Scott Bennett helped procure, the Danville Police Department is looking to install about 20 to 30 community video cameras in neighborhoods to help combat shooting incidents.
One of the most recent neighborhoods impacted was the 1100 block of Harmon Street. Williams said they could have a camera there and then move it later to another area, such as Home Street on the city’s east side.
The cameras will be placed on power poles and other locations Williams said he didn’t want to disclose.
The grant will pay for the approximately $200 per camera cost, $30-a-month maintenance fee per camera and also body cameras for police officers. The neighborhoods selected will be based on data and where incidents have been occurring.
But Danville Police Chief Chris Yates said it will be important to “keep it mobile; keep it going,” in moving the cameras. Yates said they won’t invade on people’s right to privacy, but they also hope to get people’s support where they can.
“That will be incredibly helpful,” Williams said about the cameras. He said witnesses and people don’t always talk, but cameras do.
Residents and neighborhood groups also could help sponsor video cameras, Williams said. He said they want to get the initial batch installed and see how it works.
In other business, council members unanimously approved the city’s 2019 tax levy, with no discussion or debate
The 2019 property tax levy is a 0.03 percent decrease from last year. It totals $6,820,628 compared to $6,822,342 last year.
The city’s property tax rate is estimated at $2.2641 per $100 of assessed valuation compared the current $2.2647 per $100 of assessed valuation. Equalized assessed valuation is expected to stay the same at $301 million.
Also, Ward 6 Alderman James Poshard was seated. He takes the place of Steve Nichols who moved out of the ward. Poshard worked for McLane Midwest, and he's newly elected president of the Holiday Hills Neighborhood Association. His first cousin is former state senator and U.S. Congressman Glenn Poshard.
James said he feels "privileged and honored" to serve on the Danville City Council.
The council also elected Ward 7 Alderman Bob Iverson as vice mayor. Vice mayor had been Nichols.