The Statesville City Council has signed off on acceptance of a grant for up to $200,000 that would help city staff work to prevent suicide among city residents.

“This grant, which is up to $200,000, is to be used for education but also to aid in the restriction of access to lethal means such as guns, ammunition and drugs,” explained City Manager Ron Smith. “This will include members of the police department and school district as well as the formation of a gun safety team. We are not for sure how much of the grant our city will get but will appreciate whatever amount we do receive.”

The funds will also provide training to Statesville Police Department officers to deal with mental health issues.

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will also provide training of our police officers to assist in dealing with people that they see in the course of their job that suffer from mental health issues,” Mayor Costi Kutteh explained. “We all face those issues at one time or another, and it will be a help to advance the training of our officers to deal with that.”

APWA Streets Manager of the Year 

The mayor also recognized Statesville’s Street Superintendent Rob Lyerly for his receipt of the APWA Streets Manager of the Year award for 2021. Lyerly, who was hired in 2005, left the city for a brief time but returned in 2008, shortly after the city adopted its No Unpaved Streets Initiative.

“He always has a positive approach and always encourages others to extend their abilities to perform their jobs well and that’s a trait the I find remarkable,” Kutteh said as he presented Lyerly with the award.

Lyerly was officially presented the award at the state AWPA meeting last month.

Veterans Day Proclamation

The mayor also read the City’s Veterans Day Proclamation and asked residents to honor veterans on November 11, 2021.

“And so we ask all residents to honor November 11, 2021, as a day to solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly to preserve our heritage of freedom,” Kutteh said.

At the completion of the reading of the proclamation, those city workers who were present who were also veterans were asked to come forward for recognition.

The council ended the meeting with a closed session to discuss economic development issues.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the City Council is scheduled for November 15.

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