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Branchville Town Council has approved the purchase of a new patrol car to replace one recently totaled in a collision with a deer.

Chief Randy Clark, who will be driving the new vehicle, was instructed to select a car and bring the information back to Police Commissioner Charles Dukes.

Mayor Frank Dickson reported that the town will have to purchase new decals, but all other equipment can be transferred from the old car to the new one. This will save a good bit of money, he said.

The vehicle Clark is using now will be used as the town’s third car.

Glen Miller, former councilman and mayor, told the council that the town needs and deserves a grocery store.

“Branchville is too large to be suffering like we are,” he said. “We need to offer some incentives.”

At last month’s meeting, council approved a motion to let the old rescue squad building be used as a delivery center for a new “click-n-shop” site sponsored by the St. Matthews Piggly Wiggly.

This allows customers to shop online, make their selections from any item in the store and place their order, which will be delivered to the site for a small fee, Councilman Gregory Oliver said.

Following the meeting, Miller said that the idea is a good one, but “it’s only a band aid. Now a band aid is better than bleeding to death.”

But one problem is that many older people are not too good at working online, he said. Another is that you often need a few little items that are not online or you might forget something.

Then there are the people who don’t drive, said Miller, who is almost 80.

“I’m still able to drive back to St. Matthews and other places, but some people can’t,” he said.

Branchville is too big not to have a grocery store. Other towns like St. Matthews offered incentives to bring grocery stores to their towns, and Branchville needs to do that, he said.

Oliver said that the new system is working well and the long-term plan is to get a grocery store to come to the area.

Most businesses are looking for a population from 20,000 to 50,000 and that’s not going to happen in Branchville for a while, he said earlier. He hopes to recruit some other local towns to join Branchville in shopping online, which will lower delivery costs.

Oliver said the long-term goal is still to get a grocery store to come to Branchville.

In other business, Councilman Donny Connelly reported that the town’s water operator, Alvin Jeffcoat, inspects the water monthly. In addition, he inserts a camera down into the tank and views it each summer.

He feels there is no need to do more extensive investigations which would require the town to empty thousands of gallons of water and would cost a great deal of money, Dickson said.

In other business, council approved hiring Andy’s Service to shampoo the back section of the town hall at a cost of $120.

Dukes reported that 359 cases were heard in the municipal court during January, bringing in more than $18,000.

Dec. 7 and 14 were selected as alternative days for the Christmas Parade. As soon as the town knows what days were selected by other towns, a final decision will be made about the exact date and time.

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Contact the writer: dlinderaltman@gmail.com.

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