3/25/2014 12:50:00 PM West Concord City Council
City gets A+
rating from S&P Chief Boerner beefs up police staff
By Nan Babcock
The West Concord City Council approved hiring three part-time police officers at their March 20 meeting.
Police Chief Shannon Boerner introduced the new officers to city officials. Derek Ellis lives in Austin and works as an officer in Rushford. He attended Hayfield schools and St. Cloud State University. Jordan Anderson lives in Byron but is originally from Red Wing. He is an Iraq combat veteran and is currently attending Mankato State University. Chris Lee lives in Owatonna where he works as a chief security officer. He attended Rasmussen College for law enforcement and also has a 2-year degree in information technology.
Shannon updated council members about the Safe and Sober campaign his department will be participating in. He has set his patrol officers' boundaries from County Road 7 on the east to the Rice Lake Road on the south, the county line on the west and 520th Street on the north, so drivers will be encountering the West Concord officers on the rural roads.
At Shannon's request the council authorized the formation of a Police Reserve Unit for West Concord. It will involve recruiting and training one or two volunteers who will assist with police duties during busy times such as Survival Days and Christmas in West Concord.
City Engineer Joe Palen updated the council on the upcoming West Main Street improvement project. He said the costs they are working with are based on the feasibility study that was done, and some additional storm sewers have been added to the plan for an increased cost of about $50,000. He presented a tentative project schedule that calls for Joe and City Administrator Kay Hanson to meet with property owners and discuss easement acquisition between April 10 and May 1. The city council will then pass a resolution approving plans and put the bidding process in motion. The city is scheduled to award the bids June 4 with construction starting around June 18 and completed around August 18. The city council will then set an assessment hearing date and review assessment calculations. The final completion of the project won't be until June 2015 when the final layer of paving is put on the street.
A request from Triton Community Education to use the softball field was approved. The Cardinal Club also has an interest in the ball field according to Mayor Jeff McCool. They plan to do some training activities and want to start up a softball association again, he said. They hope to do some renovations to the field and asked for permission to display advertising banners to pay the costs. They would sell the advertising space to sponsors. Improvements will include removing the fences and putting up higher ones, and upgrading the dugout areas. The field will remain in use during the improvements, Jeff said. The council gave the go-ahead for the improvements with the understanding the city would retain control of the property, and they gave Kay oversight of the project.
Maintenance Supervisor Keith Clammer informed the council members the city has suffered heavy losses to equipment during the snow season, including the snow bucket and the broom attachment on the skid-loader, and the wing on the snowplow.
Council Member Greg Klevos requested a written policy on the city's facebook page with all council members having administrative status. Jeff, who is currently the only one with administrative status, and he said he didn't see any need for changes. After discussion, he said he will change the name of the page to the West Concord Mayor's page.
Greg brought a concern to the council that the city sidewalks along Highway 56 should be clear for people to walk on during the snow season. He has observed people walking along the edge of the highway due to snow piled on sidewalks. Other members agreed, and they plan to monitor the situation next year.
Mike Burkhardt of Burkhardt and Burkhardt gave a report on the city's annual financial audit. "The city is in decent shape," he said. "Kay and Kathy do a good job."
In other business:
Jeff signed a declaration stating that March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month;
council members listened to a presentation by Scott Rose, who is running for county sheriff;
Kay informed the council the city's Standard and Poors financial rating has been upgraded from A to A+; and
the council approved the by-laws of the Fire Relief Association and the hiring of Amanda Reynolds as a part-time bartender at the municipal liquor store.
The next regular city council meeting will be April 17.