Greg Beck received unanimous approval from the Carrollton City Council on Monday to serve as the city's next fire chief and was sworn in by city attorney Nick Marsh.

Beck has been the city's fire engineer and dispatcher for the last year and a half.

Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurry told council members that Beck was already doing much of the work of the fire chief, and he felt it was time to appoint someone to the position. The position had been vacant for more than a year.

"I feel confident that he can do the job," McMurry said.

The city did not advertise the open position because the hire was from within the department, City Clerk-Treasurer Becky Pyles said.

"I really appreciate the honor," Beck said after the swearing-in ceremony.

The council heard the first reading of an ordinance amending the employment policies and procedures manual for the fire chief's job description. The council also heard the first reading of the fire chief's compensation plan because the position's pay had been taken out of the previous budgets.

A job advertisement for a new fire engineer and dispatcher has been posted, McMurry said after the meeting.

Also at the meeting, McMurry alerted the council to a sidewalk on Main Street that will need attention in the near future. The sidewalk in front of Pat's Video, 445 Main St., has begun to sink because of a lack of reinforcement underneath it.

Ronnie Knight with the public works department said the sidewalk was not installed correctly nearly 10 years ago.

"They just didn't shore it up the way it's supposed to be," Knight said.

Initial estimates for the cost of fixing the sidewalk are over $7,000. The council decided to wait to take action.

"I just wanted to make you all aware of it," McMurry said.

In other business:

• Misty Wheeler, coordinator of Champions for a Drug-free Carroll County, presented packets with "Hot Spot Cards" to council members. The cards allow people to anonymously report drug activity to law enforcement. Wheeler said the cards are mailed to a post office box and go to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

"(Sheriff Jamie Kinman) said they have made three arrests because of the Hot Spot cards already," Wheeler said.

The cards are available at several Carrollton businesses. Champions for a Drug-free Carroll County also distribute cards wherever it sets up a booth during community festivals.

• Assistant Police Chief Steve Abbott invited council members to participate in the police department's annual Shop with a Cop event Dec. 20.

• Abbott told council members that Bryant Hunger will be attending law enforcement training beginning in December to become a new officer for the department. Hunger currently works in the dispatch center. Abbott also told council members that Carrollton Police Officer Justin Doll will be leaving the department soon to take a position with law enforcement in Oldham County.

• Beck reported that last month was slow for the fire department, but this month has been busier.

"We're starting out busy this month," he said. The department received back-to-back calls throughout the day.

• Beck said that nearly 475 students would be graduating from fire prevention classes Nov. 20. A graduation ceremony will be held at Kathryn Winn Primary School from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

• Brown signs directing visitors to sites throughout the community were installed recently. Carrollton Main Street Program Manager Sam Burgess told council members the sign project had been in the works for more than 26 months.

"They look very nice," Burgess said. "I'm very pleased with them."

The signs show the way to several historic locations, parks and campgrounds throughout Carrollton and Carroll County.

"I think they were well worth waiting for," Burgess said.

Burgess said several signs in the city could use updating and painting. Other signs in the community should be taken down, he said.

The signs near the city limits need to be replaced or painted for a better impression on visitors, Burgess said. A state road sign in front the Arby's restaurant is redundant, ugly and not accurate, he said, and doesn't need to be there at all.

• Burgess told council members about upcoming downtown events. A "Shop Local" campaign will be held Nov. 24 with a Small Business Saturday. The day falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, he said.

Carrollton will host Light-up Downtown Carrollton on Nov. 30 around 6 p.m., and A Christmas Carroll will be held Saturday, Dec. 1. A parade will begin at 11 a.m. with Santa Claus in Santa's House near the Courthouse Square after the parade for pictures. The seventh annual "Visions of Sugarplums" cook-off contest will be held Dec. 1 as well.

"We've got a very, very busy next two, three weeks," Burgess said.

• McMurry announced a retirement reception for Pyles on Dec. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. Pyles will be retiring at the end of the year.

• McMurry told council members that shrubs and trees have been removed from around Carrollton City Hall because they had become too large. The council approved replacing the landscaping with new trees and shrubs from Enviroscape for $3,552.

• Council members approved new computers for the 911 Dispatch Center. Upgrades to the existing system could not be made because of the center's outdated computers. The city will pay half of the expenses totaling almost $2,800. The county will pay for the other half of the cost.

• New council members who won elections will be sworn in during the meeting Monday, Nov. 26, McMurry said. Incumbent members will also be sworn in.