NILES - Changes in store in Niles city government were front and center Monday night at a meeting of the Niles City Council.
With Ric Huff, the current police chief who will take over for retiring Terry Eull as city administrator on Oct. 1, conducting his first meeting in place of an absent Eull, the panel appointed Jim Millin the new police chief and Joe Ray the new director of public works.
As with Millin’s appointment, Ray’s is effective Oct. 1, the day after current Public Works Director Neil Coulston is slated to retire.
Millin, 42, a 20-year veteran of the police department and its only captain, will receive a starting salary of $73,000. Ray, 35, who began working for the city 10 years ago as engineering technician, will make $70,000. He’s currently assistant public works director.
Also Monday, the council approved three-year subscription agreements for Crime Reports of Draper, Utah, to provide tip information and Internet statistical crime reporting services at a cost of $5,702. One of the capabilities of the services, already used by police in Berrien Springs and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, will be allowing residents to provide anonymous tips on crimes in their neighborhoods.
The council also heard from two women who had sewage backups in their basements the weekend of July 4 and, according to Mayor Mike McCauslin, received “inconsistent messages” when they called to complain regarding how much assistance they could expect. McCauslin said an insurance carrier for the Michigan Municipal League will reimburse the property owners for cleanup costs amounting to $5,500 for one and $4,700 for the other. Also, he said Huff will check further into the matter to determine if the city will offer additional help.
Staff writer Lou Mumford: