Monday, October 20, 2014
   
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Sheriff’s patrol to continue with no lapse in service

Board makes contract official again.

Law enforcement from the Lincoln County sheriff’s department is back online in the village of Brady as if nothing ever happened.

Much did happen, though, between the village board’s decision in January to terminate the contract and last week’s vote to reinstate it.

During the month of February, the sheriff’s department had 34 calls for service in Brady resulting in one written warning and one village code violation.

Deputies spent 57.5 hours patrolling in town last month.

Without the contract with Lincoln County, there is no guarantee for the amount of time deputies would spend in Brady.

When residents became vocal, the village board listened.

Trustees voted during their March 10 meeting to reinstate the village’s contract with Lincoln County for at least 50 hours of law enforcement services per month.

The contract is the same document approved by both the village and the county in September 2008 and it is valid through 2012.

Questions came up again during the public comment portion of last week’s meeting.

“I’m just wondering if this is truly a budget issue,” said resident Marla Fattig. “And if it is, can we get a copy of the budget so we can see what’s going on?”

Board vice chairman Troy Viter, who presided over the meeting for absent Bill Gengenbach, made it clear this was the fourth time the board had discussed the law enforcement contract.

“At the beginning of this discussion, the board was misinformed about the sewer lagoon issues,” Viter said. “We thought we were going to have to come up with a big chunk of money by June. In reality, we have about four years.”

The board’s initial decision on Jan. 13 to terminate the law enforcement contract, which costs approximately $14,000 annually, was to save money.

When the county agreed to end the contract, service was to end March 31.

“Money for the lagoon was not included in our budget this year because we didn’t know about it until the budget was already done,” said trustee Jeff Miller.

When the board learned of state-mandated repairs to the lagoon that could cost as much as $500,000, Viter said they scrambled.

“Now we know we’ve got a little time to figure out how to deal with it,” he said.

Sheriff patrol will continue with no lapse in service.

In other business, trustees told landowner Tommy Palmer they will get estimates on the cost of running water and sewer lines to his vacant property on the southwest side of the Highway 30 overpass.

Palmer said he intends to build a storage facility including a restroom and will need the services to do so.

“There’s no use in getting permits and things if there’s not going to be any water or sewer there,” Palmer said.

He’s hoping to begin construction around the first of May.

Viter told Palmer the village will work with him but such water and sewer projects are quite costly.

In other action, the board:

  • learned the village will begin looking for playground equipment for the park on the south side, using a $5,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation to pay for it.
  • heard from utilities supervisor Keith Wagnitz that testing has begun on the lagoon project. Initial 48-hour flow observations have been made but results have not been compiled yet.
  • agreed to set a special meeting to interview candidates for the assistant clerk and part-time maintenance positions. The date has not been set.
  • approved trustee assignments covering specific areas of the village. Viter heads the street department, Miller is the board treasurer, Justin Mann will take over the water and sewer departments and Joe May continues in charge of parks.
  • voted to approve the renewal of the Class C liquor license for the Brady Get-N-Go.
  • agreed to purchase a blue spruce tree to replace the damaged tree which was removed from in front of the Community Center. The three-foot tree will cost $179 with no charge for planting if done in conjunction with Arbor Day.

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