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Armstrong accepts termination of county dispatching and law enforcement contract

February 4, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Armstrong City Council Monday accepted the termination notice of dispatching and law enforcement contracts with Emmet County.

Emmet County sheriff Mike Martens ended the county's dispatching agreement with the city last Dec. 19 and on Dec. 30 gave notice of cancellation of the county's law enforcement services agreement with Armstrong effective March 1.

The cancellation arose over disputed dispatching fees. Martens last summer gave notice to the city, asking that it pay $13,000 in back dispatching fees - about $1,000 a month - or services would end.

According to city clerk Connie Thackery, police chief Craig Merrill and former mayor Marv Dailey met with the supervisors May 29, 2012, asking that the 5 percent the city was paying of the county's over all dispatching costs be reviewed. Thackery said the supervisors advised that the city send a termination letter and the board would review the matter. After an agreement was unable to be reached, Thackery said on Sept. 4, 2012 the council terminated the dispatching agreement and stopped paying fees.

Merrill told the council Monday night he and mayor Greg Buum had recently met with City of Estherville administrator Penny Clayton and police chief Eric Milburn and asked if the city would be interested in working out a law enforcement agreement with the City of Armstrong.

"They didn't shut the door in our faces," said Merrill. "I think we can work something out."

"They're bending over backwards to help us," Buum said. "They're exceptional - the City of Estherville," said Merrill.

"It's going well. We're really close to getting it worked out," said Buum.



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