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Village wants to end law enforcement contract

Sheriff’s department still responsible for local calls.

Spending nearly $14,000 a year to have a sheriff’s deputy occasionally cruise through town may not be the best investment for the village of Brady.

Trustees decided at their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 13 that they want out of a three-year contract with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

“We’re spending an awful lot of money for not such good results,” said village chairman Bill Gengenbach.

The contract, which expires Oct. 1, 2012, requires that the sheriff’s department patrol within the village limits at least 50 hours per month.

No stipulation is made as to time of day or specific location.

“They cruise once through the streets and they’re gone,” Gengenbach said of the deputies, “and usually it’s at odd hours of the day.”

Trustees voted to notify the sheriff’s department in writing that the village wishes to terminate the law enforcement contract.

That does not leave the residents of Brady without law enforcement services.

“Every resident of Lincoln County pays taxes to support law enforcement,” said trustee Jeff Miller.

The sheriff’s department would still be responsible for answering any 911 calls for service in and around the village.

What the village would lose by terminating the contract is ordinance enforcement, said village attorney Steve Vinton.

That means local ordinances would be enforced through his office.

“Junk cars and loose dogs seem to be the biggest items,” Vinton said. “I’d imagine most of those we could likely avoid by alerting individuals to the concern.”

Miller said if the village is successful in terminating the contract, there could be an opportunity to reinstate it if trustees decide later they want to go back.

In other business, trustees heard a request during public comments to consider setting a limit on the number of dogs a resident can house.

Jeff Snyder said there are loose dogs in his neighborhood on North Harrison Street all the time and a neighbor who already has three dogs has mentioned adding four more.

“I think seven dogs is a little much,” Snyder said.

The village has discussed limiting the number of animals residents could own but clerk Pam Diehl said the issue was dropped without a proposal.

Trustees agreed the request is worth further investigation.

In other village action, trustees:

received annual reports from utilities superintendent Keith Wagnitz on the village water and sewer systems as well as fuel usage.

set the dates for the 2010 Brady Days celebration for Aug. 6-8.

made annual appointments and filled positions on all village subsidiary boards including fire chief Jeff Snyder, fire department president Bryan Franzen and rescue captain Pat Hoaglund.

authorized Diehl to attend the annual Nebraska Municipal Clerk Institute in Omaha March 15-19.

gave Diehl authority to redeem Citi Bank credit card reward points with an approximate value of $300.

agreed to make seven monthly payments of $1,000 to the Brady Volunteer Fire Department rather than one lump-sum payment of $7,000 to fulfill a commitment made in 2001.

At that time, the village board agreed to pay $3,500 per year for equipment with the money to be used to help pay off the most recently purchased ambulance.

Gengenbach said the wording in the 2001 resolution is vague with no specific end point for the payments and new board members were not aware of the agreement so the money was not included in the budget. The village is two payments behind but the fire department agreed to accept monthly installments.

received an annual report from the fire department. In 2009, BVFD had 31 rescue calls: 18 in the village, nine rural, two from the interstate and two mutual aid. There were nine total fire calls: none in the village with four rural calls, four on the interstate and one mutual aid.

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