Town of Elon hears presentations, plans to change health care

Jack Dodson for the Rock Creek Record

The Board of Aldermen in the Town of Elon heard two presentations during its voting meeting Feb. 8 — one from Police Chief LaVell Lovette, talking about the state of the her department, and one from an accountant explaining the town’s audit report.

Lovette told the board the town’s police had been more active this year than they had in previous years, with more citations handed out and a stronger involvement in county-wide drug operations. In the last year, she said, her department had partnered with the Gibsonville Police Department, as well as helping out with Alamance County Sheriff’s Office and Burlington Police Department drug investiagtions. Currently, the department is in the midst of additional investigations into local drug use.

Another crime she said has been more popular recently is theft from vehicles in different areas of the town.

“I think the stats show you we’ve got some areas that are up,” Lovette told the board.

But she said there are times when crimes just aren’t called in to her department.

“If you’re not aware,” she said, “in Elon, we have this weird issue where people don’t report crimes.”

Lovette talked about officers having to track down owners of vehicles after their property had already been recovered — in one case, from students at Western Alamance High School. The officers had to knock on doors trying to find the property owners.

“I was really proud of our detectives for that,” she said.

She also said the town’s police department will be seeing staffing changes as one officer, Lt. Darryl Agnew, retired this year, and Lt. Cyndi Ring will be resigning after Feb. 9 to return to Kosovo as a part of the civilian police there. Lovette said she wants to fill the position by dividing Ring’s duties among other lieutenants, and fill the space by adding another patrol officer to “beef up patrol.”

The town’s audit report was also discussed during the meeting; Patricia Rhodes, of Stout, Stuart, McGowen and King, LLC, spoke about how, in general, “the books are in good shape.” The audit was performed by William Stout, a professional team member for the accounting firm who was present at the meeting, but didn’t speak about the report.

Rhodes said while the year saw a change in Elon’s finance officer — which can cause problems — the town had strong points in its report. One aspect of the report looked into money the town received as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act —money the town is still receiving.

The biggest concern, Rhodes said, is that in a small department it’s important to make sure all jobs get done.

“With a town the size of Elon, there’s not always a person allotted to every duty,” Rhodes said. “You have to made sure there’s a good segregation of duty.”

The town also passed two measures, though one was on a conditional level. An event planned by Clean Harbors, a company that specializes in environmental services, may be held jointly with Gibsonville to bring attention to the issue of disposing hazardous waste. The town voted to go ahead with the event on the condition that Gibsonville’s Board of Aldermen voted for the event as well. The cost of the event will be split between the two towns, and could be anywhere from the initial quote of more than $6,000 to $10,000, according to Town Manager Mike Dula.

Mayor Pro Tempore Ron Klepcyk also recommended to the board that the town switch its health insurance coverage from WellPath health care to United Healthcare because WellPath’s premium cost went up 26.2 percent. The town voted unanimously in favor of the idea. A committee made up of Klepcyk and board member Stephen Buff looked through various health care plans to decide a course of action, as a decision needs to be made by March 1. Included in the recommendation is the idea of moving the town’s dental plan to United Healthcare, as well.

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