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Jasper outlaws begging for money
JASPER - by Steve W Stewart/KJAS & Rayburn Broadcasting Company
The Jasper City Council has passed an ordinance that will outlaw panhandling, which is the practice of begging for money in public places. The issue passed with a unanimous vote and will go into effect immediately.
Watch KFDM News at 6 for more on the story.
Police Chief Robert MacDonald said that a policy for officers to follow will be written and implemented this week, and after that he is going to encourage the officers to only issue warnings for the first few weeks. After that, MacDonald said those who harass people for money will receive citations or possibly be arrested.
At the beginning of Tuesday evening's meeting, District 1 Councilman Alton Scott praised both the Jasper Police Department and the Jasper County Sheriff's Department for providing security during a weekend event related to Alfred Wright. Councilman Scott also expressed frustration over the negative effect that drugs have had in the Jasper area.
Scott said "Apparently, we have a meth problem in Jasper, and if a 28-year-old man, young black man, can OD on meth and cocaine, then we got a problem".
Councilman Scott went on to say that he would like every drug dealer in the city of Jasper and in Jasper County identified, and brought in front of the City Council and the Commissioners Court so that people can see what's going on. Scott also said he wants to see the drug problem in this area completely cleaned up.
In other business, Council heard from Debbie Kirkham of Herford, Lynch, Sellers, and Kirkham, regarding a recent audit of the City of Jasper. Kirkham gave council a rundown of finances, and she pronounced the city to be in good shape.
Council also voted to accept a 15 acre parcel of land on the south side of town, which is being given to the city free of charge. Interim City Manager Denise Kelley explained that the owner of the land has no use for it, and he would rather give it to the city rather than continuing to pay taxes on it.