Burnside Police will have a better presence on the roads thanks to the purchase of a new cruiser being approved by the Burnside City Council Wednesday.

In a special-called meeting, the council — minus member Jimmy Gibson and city attorney Dan Thompson — decided to extend its loan with Citizens Bank at 4.6 percent interest to borrow an additional $16,000 for the cruiser, equipped with laptop computer technology for speedier processing of information.

The car itself was approximately $11,198 “out the door,” said Burnside Mayor Chuck Fourman, and with necessary add-ons, the initial plan was to borrow an extra $12,500 for the purchase. But councilor Brian Watson inquired about adding a computer, which all present seemed to feel would be a good idea. Burnside Police Chief Eddie Glover admitted they can be expensive —$3,000 to $3,500 by his calculations — but “it gives us a lot of information” and in a more efficient time frame.

Currently, Burnside has four cruisers, three equipped with computers. The new cruiser is a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria with approximately 6,000 miles on it.

Subsequently, the council decided to build the loan addition to $16,000 — the extra portion of which would only require the city to repay an extra $50 per month on the loan, Fourman estimated — to get the new cruiser up to technological standards.

“Based on extra restaurant revenue coming in (from the alcohol tax, which funds the Burnside Police Department), it’s not going to be any problem,” Fourman said.

The vote to approve the purchase was unanimous.

In other Burnside City Council business:

• Three accounts being set up with Citizens Bank relating to the city sewer project were approved.

• A resolution was adopted authorizing Fourman to execute the purchase of new body armor and equipment made possible by a grant from the Governor’s Office of Local Development.

• A proclamation was read regarding the 2007 PRIDE Spring Clean-up, to be held April 7-21.

• Fourman announced that Burnside would be receiving an Operation UNITE detective to its police force — Operation UNITE will reimburse Burnside for what the officer is paid, and the city gets a portion of whatever money is seized in drug busts — and the council voted to waive the initial 90-day probation period common for new city employees to be able to put the officer to work sooner and pay his or her insurance immediately.

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