Estherville Council nixes plan to help Armstrong PD
The Estherville City Council decided not to proceed with an agreement with the City of Armstrong to help provide law enforcement services.
At the request of Armstrong officials, Estherville officials last month began looking at a proposed agreement to help in emergency situations.
At Monday’s regular meeting, council members discussed the issue with Armstrong Police Chief Craig Merrill before making their decision.
Merrill described the situation with Emmet County that led Armstrong to seeking elsewhere for help with the sheriff giving notice the county was discontinuing service starting March 1.
Merrill said he is now the law enforcement for Armstrong.
The proposed agreement required Armstrong to pay Estherville $200 per month and the complete expenses for any service call.
Council members said feedback from the community about the issue indicated Estherville should be concerned with just Estherville.
“The Estherville police owe their first loyalty to Estherville residents,” said council member Roger Guge. “I’d like to see the Armstrong community look into this within themselves.”
Council member Dave Seylar said Armstrong council members should consider this a safety issue and find a solution themselves.
“I think there are other ways Armstrong could handle this,” he said.
Council member Gene Haukoos said he had concerns with the response time of 20 minutes as well as concerns for the Estherville officer and vehicle that had to rush across the county for an emergency.
Haukoos made the motion to move forward with an agreement with Armstrong for six months while Armstrong officials sought another solution. His motion died for lack of a second.
In other business, the council approved the 2014-15 fiscal year budget of approximately $19, 171, an increase of nearly $700,000 over the current fiscal year. The property tax levy will remain the same at 16.50 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.