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Shullsburg approves application for COPS Hiring Grant Application

POSTED July 13, 2017 10:53 a.m.

SHULLSBURG — The Shullsburg City Council meeting Wednesday, July 5, 2017, was called to order. The council heard from Chief Josh Jerry regarding submitting an application for COPS Hiring Grant Application. The program, if awarded, will pay 75% (approximately $47,000) of the costs (wages and fringes) of a new full-time police officer with the city picking up the other 25% (approximately $16,000). It is a four year commitment with the fourth year the city is required to pay the entire cost of the officers wages and fringes.
    The council asked if this were to happen – would this replace the part-time officers that are employed by the department? (the department has 20 hours per week budgeted or $16,640 per year for part-timers) Jerry answered, “There would still be some gaps that would need to be covered by part-timers.
    Alder Jim Paquette asked to speak. Paquette said, “This all sounds great to me. Ten years ago we had two officers and then we got rid of one, and I never saw any difference in the amount of crime or our safety in this town. I know if you put this to a vote, the residents wouldn’t vote for it.”
    Alder Cory Ritterbusch answered, “With the increased activity in town, with the economy being more robust, we’re going to need more services.” Paquette responded, “I think it’s a good idea, but I don’t know what will happen down the road, when we have this monster payroll.”
    Alder Duane Wedige asked how many hours of part-time officers is budgeted for in Shullsburg. Jerry answered 20 hours. Wedige said, “Well, if you’re adding a full time officer at 40 hours won’t that replace the need for part-timers.” Jerry said, “No, not completely, you can’t expect me to work every weekend. So there will be a need for a part-timer on weekends or go without coverage,”
    A motion was made by Alder Emmett Rielly and seconded by Ritterbusch to approve submitting the application for COPS Hiring Grant Application. Unanimously approved.
Union Street Storm Sewer
    The council revisited the Union Street storm drain situation. In March 2016 the council approved construction on the storm sewer at Union Street for $12,800. A recent rain in the area dropped four to six inches on Shullsburg and caused the storm sewer at Union Street to back up. A Delta 3 representative stated that five inches of rain is a 40 to 60 year storm event and the system is not designed to handle that. Several minutes and ideas ensued, including: three options – 1) bigger grate, 2) bigger grate and add another 30” pipe and 3) replace the culvert. Rielly introduced a fourth option - move the mobile home (that is in a flood pain) to high ground and put in a retention pond; televise the pipe.
    Wedige made the motion to televise the sewer pipe to see if there is something blocking the pipe and what kind of shape it’s in. Approved.
Public Hearing
    A public hearing regarding changing the survey map for property owned by Dawn Shawcross at 155 E. High Street and Kathleen Heim at 174 E. Truth Street was held with no outcome. Shawcross has yet to receive an easement to be able to use a driveway. At the hearing the parties involved agreed on an easement and will have an attorney draw up the paper work.
    Items on the agenda not acted on: Rip rapping project, wooden playground equipment, repair of North Iowa Street, Veterans Memorial donations, Veteran’s Memorial water line, vacating right-of-way High Street and certified map for property on E. Truth Street.
    In other business:
    •Approved a special event liquor license for The Burg, LLC and approved closing a portion on Water Street on Aug. 12, 2017. The motion made was to close Water Street from Mineral Street to Galena Street and from Galena Street to Judgement Street on Aug. 12, times varying.
    •Approved paying Maddrell Excavating, LLC $454,888 for completed parts of the Iowa, Estey and Oates Street project. The project is mostly finished, with minor landscaping duties needed to be done. Council members commented on the great success of the project.
    •Approved an operator license for Lisa Mullen, pending background check.
    •Approved renewing a six month contract with Teasdale Realty for the industrial park listing.

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