Centerville recognizes officer of the year

Telegraph correspondentApril 15, 2014 

Centerville Police Officer Paul Hollar

CENTERVILLE -- City Council used its Tuesday work session primarily to make proclamations, have discussions and honor a member of the police department.

The council recognized Centerville police officer Paul Hollar as officer of the year.

In presenting the award, Assistant Police Chief W.G. Cooley said Hollar joined the force in 2008, coming from the Marshallville Police Department. He said Hollar immediately distinguished himself as an “enthusiastic, dedicated and hardworking individual” who had since obtained high-level training and became one of the department’s certified field training officers.

Cooley noted Hollar had become well known for apprehending suspects in foot pursuits, saying it had become known that “if you run from Officer Hollar, he will catch you.”

The council had a lengthy debate Tuesday on whether and how to charge for use of the City Hall community room. Councilman Randall Wright previously brought the issue to the council’s attention. He said a fee structure for the room was not being followed and that constant exemptions were normal.

Before tabling the matter until next month’s work session when officials hope to have a skeleton of a new policy in place, the council considered several possible new fee structures and discussed whether some nonprofit, community and government groups that currently use the room for free should continue to get special treatment.

To make a point, Councilman Ed Tucker suggested the only way to be completely fair would be to stop allowing anyone to use the room.

Officials hope further discussion and researching other communities that have similar community rooms will help them create an acceptable policy.

In other business, the council found unanimous agreement. All approved the idea of joining with other Houston County towns during Independence Day week to conduct a series of events that will be collectively known as “America’s Hometown.”

Mayor John Harley said the idea was being promoted by the 21st Century Partnership, the Middle Georgia organization that works in the civilian arena to help keep Robins Air Force Base a crucial and successful military resource for the future.

Harley said Perry has a parade, Warner Robins has a concert, and Centerville would create an event likely to be held annually on July 1. The council unanimously endorsed doing something, and suggestions included having a no-cost or low-cost hot dog cookout and possible concert either on Church Street at City Hall or on the north side of Houston County Galleria mall.

The council also agreed to spend about $5,600 to install an automatic door for the handicapped at City Hall. Though council members agreed to the door, they decided to wait and set aside money for the project in the coming fiscal year’s budget rather than take money out of this year’s contingency fund.

Additionally, the council approved a bid of almost $6,300 to complete fencing around the city fire department training grounds on Dunbar Road. The money will come from money already raised through community fundraising efforts.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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