COLUMBUS - The votes are in and the people have spoken. The City of Columbus had two employees receive the most votes in the categories of Police Officer and Firefighter.

Columbus Police Officer Stephen Mattice and Firefighter Jaden Tedlock were each presented their 'Best of Cherokee County awards at Monday night's city council meeting.

Later in the meeting, the council deliberated at length a proposal put forward by the Police & Licensing committee. Councilman James Lucian, head of the committee, presented the recommendation to change the yield signs to stop sign. The signs affected would be at the intersections of South Pennsylvania and West Mulberry, South Pennsylvania and West Olive, South Minnesota and West Olive, and South Minnesota and West Mulberry. The reason for the suggested change is safety.

"There haven't been a lot of accidents, but over half in those locations are injury accidents," said Chief of Police Jason Daniels.

Chief Daniels cited some of the more severe accidents: One where a car was going so fast it broke a telephone pole upon impact; one where a car was completely flipped upside down, and another where the vehicle ended up in a resident's front yard.

It was noted, but not verified, that there have only been approximately 10 accidents in the area over the past seven years. After a lengthy debate the council voted 5-3 (council members Connie Bennett and Ron Johnson were not present), and the motion to replace the aforementioned yield signs with stop signs was approved.

City Superintendent Jim Burton asked the committee to consider upgrading the city's system to digital water meters at a recent Water & Sewer committee meeting. Head of the committee John Paradee called for a motion at Monday's city council meeting to phase in digital meters over the next five years. The council present voted unanimously to purchase and begin phasing in the digital meters.

The city also voted to go out for bids for a new garbage truck.