City council members approved the hire of a new police officer, changes to a number of stop signs in town, and had a quick overview of the budget workshop for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Police Chief Kristi Hallock told the council that she had done a careful review of the traffic control requirements in town and had a number of suggestions to increase the safety and flow. Hallock answered questions from the council and highlighted a few of the suggested changes, such as the stop signs near Mary’s cafe, where an angled street merges with roads that lead out of town as well as down Main Street.

Following questions, the council passed the resolution approving approximately 15 changes to traffic signs around town, which include both the addition of new signs and the removal of existing signs.

Stop signs that will be removed include:

West bound stop sign at Woodland and King, East bound stop sign at Woodland and King, West bound stop sign at King and Pilcher, North bound stop sign at West and Euclid, North bound stop sign at West and Lincoln, South bound stop sign at West and Lincoln, East bound stop sign at Woodland and Maple, West bound stop sign at Woodland and Pine, East bound stop sign at Woodland and Pine, South bound stop sign at West and Locust and Front, North bound stop sign at West and Locust and Front.

New locations: West bound yield sign on Locust at West and Front.

New parking requirements:

Parking only on West side of street on N. Elm Street from Woodland to Lincoln. Parking only on South side of street on Harper from West to Main.

Police Chief Hallock also recommended to council members that the city hire Andrew Funston for the open full time police officer position. Hallock stated that after reviewing the application and meeting with Funston that she felt that he’d be a good fit for the position. Funston was present and introduced himself to the council. Funston went on to tell the council a bit about his background saying that he was a combat veteran that had done two tours, had a Masters in Business and had moved to the community with his family from Seattle. The council passed a motion to approve the hiring of Funston for the police officer position.

Hallock also explained to the council that Funston would begin his academy training in January, and if he passed the tests should be certified by April of 2023. She also stated a number of Funston’s duties prior to certification would include shadowing, ride-alongs with county police, and working dispatch. Hallock also recommended a starting wage of $18.50/hr, and suggested $1 raise after graduation from academy. Council members moved to approve Hallock’s wage recommendation. Funston will start employment on October 3rd.

The council also tackled two budget related items, with the first being the approval of budgeted employee wages. No discussion was held between council members on the matter, with the motion to approve the budgeted employee wages passing on a vote of 2-1 with council member Yosten voting no. The approved wages are as follows: 

The final budgetary item was a quick presentation given by City Administrator Tarr, who handed out a three page sheet to council members outlining key accounting information for the city’s income and expenditures. Tarr also highlighted some key expenses for the upcoming year, and also stated that overall levy for the city would drop from 66 cents to about 61 cents and that the budget hearing would be held next Tuesday, September 20th at 7:30 p.m.

Other City Business

-Council members voted to change the date of the November regular monthly meeting from November 8th to November 7th at 6:30 p.m. The change being due to the general election that will be held held on November 8th.

-Police Chief Hallock said that she would be submitting her activity logs for council members review. She said she would do the best to redact names that may be sensitive to ongoing police investigations, but the logs would give a layer of transparency to the council and give them a better idea of how busy the police are from month to month.