|Council would like more options for P.D. vehicle|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Council members would like to see a couple more options before deciding upon purchasing a vehicle for Holyoke Police Department.
Police Chief Phil Biersdorfer presented council members at their Jan. 18 meeting with a used 2006 Ford Explorer with 28,000 miles that is partially outfitted with police equipment.
The price to purchase and pick it up would be $18,900. The only additional work would be to install the radios in the vehicle, according to Biersdorfer.
The proposed vehicle would replace the Ford Crown Victoria, which has over 100,000 miles, now used by the department. It was noted the steering column had to be rebuilt a month ago, and Biersdorfer said there has been a frequent odor of gasoline. He doesn’t feel it would make it another year without costing the city money for repairs.
It was suggested the car could be used to replace the courtesy vehicle at the airport.
The addition of the Ford SUV would mean all four Holyoke officers would have a four-wheel drive vehicle. Councilman Steve Moore questioned Biersdorfer on the necessity of four-wheel drive police vehicles in Holyoke. Biersdorfer said it comes in handy in rainy or snowy conditions. “We have the need for four-wheel drive in my opinion,” he added.
Mayor Orville Tonsing wondered why the department needs four vehicles and asked about rotations and shifts of officers. Biersdorfer said it’s nice for each officer to have their vehicle with equipment nearby at all times so when they do get called, they have everything right there at their disposal. He also said there are times when all four officers are called to a scene.
Biersdorfer said vehicles tend to last longer when only one officer is assigned to them.
“I’m not convinced it’s needed right now,” Moore said. He said since there are three already with four-wheel drive, a fourth probably isn’t needed. “I think you could get a car that is in good shape, and with the way the gas prices are going right now, you would get better fuel economy with a car.”
The council asked Biersdorfer to look into another car as opposed to a four-wheel drive SUV and bring some different options back to a future meeting.
The chief said the same place that is selling the Explorer also sells cars and he will look into it.
Animal control to be workshopped by council
An item on the agenda to grant code enforcement officer Dawn Worley permission to apply for a grant that would cover tuition to attend the National Animal Control Academy in June was tabled.
The academy would help certify someone to handle animal abuse situations and other animal control.
Councilman JC Peckham said if Holyoke doesn’t have someone within the next year or year and a half with the certification, Grant, Neb. and Sterling may not take animals from Holyoke any longer due to future rule changes. City Attorney Al Wall said he hasn’t seen anything about rule changes but that he would take a look into it.
Councilwoman Jessica Cumming said they are looking at two issues. The first is whether to get the certification, and the second is who should get certified. She is concerned about sending the code enforcement officer into situations where it would be better if an officer would go.
Biersdorfer said Holyoke hasn’t taken a large amount of animals to either Grant or Sterling. Worley has done a good job of finding homes for animals, according to City Supt. Mark Brown and Biersdorfer.
Wall suggested the city sit down and look into the issue again with a workshop. The possibility of looking into a pound for Holyoke is something that may be discussed.
Cumming suggested utilizing the schools to help with a possible pound. “I’d rather see a grant be applied for a permanent solution,” she added.
Reports of city officials
Council members heard reports from City Supt. Brown and Police Chief Biersdorfer.
Brown said installation of the new boiler at the pool was finished and was turned on Tuesday, Jan. 18. However, it wasn’t completely hooked up and finished. The computer system still needed to be connected. He noted it would take several days for everything to warm back up.
Brown also questioned the council about snow removal during the recent storms. Councilman Kevin Scott thought city crews did a good job of clearing snow downtown.
Cumming suggested the streets in front of the schools be cleared after a snowstorm. She also said she heard some complaints about snow near SunSet View Community Room where Meet and Eat is held.
Councilman David Churchwell asked about the clearing of Denver Street, Interocean Avenue and the airport runway. Brown said the priority are the downtown streets and then the airport.
Biersdorfer reported the department has been working on a sexual assault on a child involving a runaway from Iowa. He also updated the council on the department’s numbers from 2010.
In other business Jan. 18, council members:
—acknowledged Jerry Banaka will finish Ray Bailey’s term on the Holyoke Planning Commission through June 2016.
—approved 2011 wage proposal for city employees. Department head salaries include: City Supt. $72,199.05, City Clerk/Treasurer $48,454.47 and Police Chief $53,396.93.
—held a 14-minute executive session for the discussion of personnel matters.
—approved a resolution supporting the agreement between the City of Holyoke and the state board of the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund. The terms of the grant for the ball park bleachers required the city to pass the resolution. Once signed, the bleachers may be ordered. Brown said the bleachers would be in place by the time high school baseball begins.
—approved engagement letters from Lauer, Szabo and Associates, PC for the 2010 audit not to exceed $9,300 and the Local Highway Finance Report will be billed at the normal hourly rate.
—approved request from the water department to upgrade the equipment and software for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system that monitors all of the city’s wells, purchased from Timber Line Electric and Control Corporation, at a cost of $10,001.