By Aaron Eberle
The City Council met on Tuesday, September 20, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
Deputy Josh Buckwheat gave the law enforcement report. Buckwheat stated that this would be the last time he gave the report. Buckwheat has resigned and is moving to Indiana.
Kyle Macijewski has been hired to replace Josh. Majeski formerly was part of the Hot Springs Police Department and is certified.
Councilwoman Brenda Cullen is concerned about the damage at Cactus Hills, as well as it being a meth house or hangout for the kids. Cullen wondered what could be done about it. Buckwheat responded that it concerned him as well, but other than what they have been doing, he doesn’t know what else can be done. Buckwheat always drove by and/or asked kids to leave if he saw them there. Buckwheat also stated that he knew other deputies had done the same.
Councilwoman Sandra Woodward asked if the deputies could do a search of the vehicles. Buckwheat stated that nothing could be searched without probable cause. It would be one thing if he or another deputy smelled smoke or alcohol on them, but if the kids were just making out or visiting he could not search a vehicle.
Buckwheat also stated that it may be helpful to have cameras at Cactus Hills. Woodward was concerned that even if they did catch something on tape, nothing would be done. She reminded everyone of the vandalism at the park (which happened around Easter of this year) and nothing has been officially done yet.
Councilwoman Carla Schepler asked why the hit and run at Fresh Start was logged in the police report, but the same thing happened at the Victory on the same date, and it was not logged. Schepler believed they were both similar in nature and both drivers were drunk. She stated that she was curious because the Fresh Start man was not arrested, but the Victory man was. Buckwheat did not know for sure why that was, unless dispatch thought that it was related to the earlier incident at Fresh Start and logged them under the same call. He would ask before he left and let everyone know.
Woodward had nothing to report on the Public Works crew, but Mayor Carl Shaw stated that the have been busy replacing more 10 inch valves and patching streets. The valve installation went rather well and they are hoping for better water circulation. Woodward asked finance officer Karen Cain if the boys had came into her office with anything to report. Cain stated that there was nothing else to add.
Shaw stated that Well #4 was up and running again. It had been acidized and seemed to doing well. Shaw also reported that the insurance adjustor had not gotten back on the Cactus Hills estimate as of yet.
In other news:
Andrea Powers spoke to the board about a couple from California that was relocating to Fall River County. They were very interested in hydroplonic gardening and getting that process started. Powers was hopeful that she could bring them over and have Woodward’s input with them.
Betty Patrick wanted to get approval from the Council to close a portion of the highway and set up road blocks to divert traffic during the Fall Festival Car Show on September 24. Patrick stated that she had already gotten permission from the state, just going to the next step.
It was asked if they needed to approve Jerry and the quilt show, as well as vendors at that time. Patrick didn’t know what they did for sure, but if council wanted to include that in the motion, she was fine with it. She also assured them that the park would be cleaned up again after everyone was done.
Councilman George West made a motion to approve a 2 percent raise increase for all union and non-union employees. This would not include contract or seasonal summer help.