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Sheriff Jensen visits Wykoff to propose new agreement

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in Wykoff Government

The Wykoff City Council heard from Sheriff Jensen at their August 12 meeting. The Sheriff addressed the council with a need for a new Law Enforcement Agreement that would be updated and contain the proper civil liability language. The current contract with the city was formed in 1992. Sheriff Jensen acknowledged that the new contract would also force back to table negotiations for cost and patrol hours.

Currently, the Law Enforcement Agreement costs the city of Wykoff $24,000 a year and states that the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department will provide 4.5 total hours of patrol daily. Sheriff Jensen noted the cost to the city is roughly a third of what the actual cost is currently to employ such services. A new contract would most likely cost actual expense for a deputy’s time which Jensen noted is roughly $39/hour.

The council had previously requested log books from the county as a proof of performance reference. Sheriff Jensen noted the actual logs could not be shown because of data privacy and confidentiality reasons. However, he did go through the logs from the past 210 days himself, so he could report to the council. Jensen informed the council that there had been a law enforcement presence in town 329 times in the past 210 days but did note it was probably not a total of 4.5 hours a day. Admittedly, Jensen acknowledged it was closer to 2.5-3 hours a day.

Sheriff Jensen had drawn up a new proposed contract that will be given to City Clerk Cheryl Davis, so she can pass it on to the city attorney for review. After it is reviewed, the council will decide budgeting for the new Law Enforcement Agreement or if they will look at other avenues for the presence of law enforcement.

Visitor Rod Thompson addressed the council with a concern about the Jerry Ferguson property. Thompson asked if the city was mowing the property, to which the answer was yes. Thompson questioned why the city is doing so for free. Mayor Hare explained that he had personally called Ferguson, who currently resides in New York, and asked him the very same thing. Ferguson explained to Hare that he made an agreement with the council “years ago.” Council members discussed the current ordinance for lawn mowing in which the city charges $75 to mow unkempt lawns. Mayor Hare suggested the City Clerk send a letter to Ferguson, citing the ordinance and suggest he hire a local youth to maintain the small strip of land.

In other business the council voted by ballot to appoint a new member to the Planning and Zoning Committee as well as a new member for the Board of Review. Jake Gilbert will be taking the open seat on the Planning and Zoning Committee and Mathew Kirkpatrick will fill the available seat on the Board of Review. It was decided that the City Clerk would send a letter to inform both of their new roles.

City Clerk Davis informed the council that the Waste Treatment Center plan had been approved by the MPCA and the city could move forward with the bidding process. Because of the number of large bids available in the area at this time, it was suggested the date for bid processing be moved. Contractors will now have until 3 p.m. on August 19 to submit a bid and a special meeting will occur on that same date at 7 p.m. for the city council to review and make a decision.

Mayor Hare also brought up the need and want for waste cans to be distributed within the city. He had approached some members of the Lion’s Club and felt they would be receptive in covering half the costs. Hare suggested a container he had priced to the council, and Councilwoman Megan Larson expressed her concern over them. Larson felt the suggested garbage cans were too light weight and was concerned with the ability to set them on fire. The council agreed and Larson volunteered to research concrete or cement container costs.

Councilman Comstock questioned the placement of the waste cans. Mayor Hare had suggested six total containers; one to be placed in the City Pavilion, four to be distributed throughout the downtown area and one to be placed at the ball field at St. John’s School per the request of Lion’s member, Brett Corson. Comstock felt the city should not put one at the ball field, as it is not city property and it belongs to the school; Councilman Mitch Grabau agreed.

It was decided the budget meeting will occur on August 27, 6:15 p.m. at City Hall. This meeting is open to the public and the council will discuss the city’s budget and allocate funds appropriately.

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