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Armstrong Council discusses law enforcement contract cancellation

January 10, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

ARMSTRONG?- The Armstrong City Council Monday discussed a letter of termination the city received Dec. 30 from Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens giving notice of cancellation of law enforcement services to the City of Armstrong.

Since July 24, 2007, the city has had an agreement with the Emmet County Sheriff's Office which has provided law enforcement services to the city for three days a week for $1,000 a month. The contract requires 60 days notice before termination, which would end the contract March 1.

The notice came less than two weeks after the county ended providing dispatching service Dec. 19. The city had withheld paying for dispatching, saying it wanted to renegotiate that contract which is separate from the law enforcement contract.

Police chief Craig Merrill said the city was using Kossuth County for dispatching and that he would meet with Estherville police chief Eric Milburn regarding providing law enforcement services to Armstrong.

"I think this has gone far enough," said council member Jon Larsen. "I think we have to have a meeting."

Council member Adrian Hagebock said people didn't understanding why the city was paying for dispatch services. He added that the law enforcement had never come up before in previous discussions.

In other business, Travis Winter of Bolton & Menk presented a preliminary draft of the capital improvement plan for the city. Winter said the water plant and sewage lagoons were the main issues to be addressed soon.

When council member Don Leach asked Winter whether he was working on a proposal for the lagoon, Winter said the council needed to discuss the best treatment method. He added that right now the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was pressing no compliance deadline on the city.

The council also approved the contract the Community Center signs with parties who rent the facility. The fee is $150 per day or $25 per hour for the whole center; $200 for the wedding package, a two-day package which guarantees the day before decorating; and the small room which is $75 per day or $15 per hour.

The council is also looking for people to serve on the Community Center board. Anyone who is interested may contact Connie Thackery at 864-3535.

Maintenance director Tom Leach said the department had been moving snow, picking up garbage and trying to get the water plant fixed.

He said the company doing repairs at the plant did not have the forms to go around the filter yet.

The council also discussed recycling options for businesses.

The council approved 2014 council appointments and agreed to continue holding meetings 5 p.m. the first Monday of every Month.



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