New Richland City Council
By JESSICA LUTGENS
The 2018 general fund budget and tax levy, $973,671 and $423,312 respectively, were approved during the New Richland City Council’s last meeting of the year on Monday, Dec. 11. The meeting was opened in order to hear public input regarding the budget, of which there was none. The budget was passed with Resolution 17-17.
The council voted to appoint Mike Shurson to the vacant seat left by Sandy Neumann, whose resignation became effective after the meeting.
In response to a request made by the City of Hartland earlier this year for a contract with the New Richland Police Department in order to enforce city ordinances and address ordinance violations, the council voted to deny the request. This is after viewing the 38-point agreement that Chief of Police Tony Martens expressed concerns about, particularly substantial liabilities that would be taken on by the City of New Richland and the NRPD if the contract were signed.
Interviews for care center administrator, a position currently held by Don Alexander, who has given notice of his departure this summer, will begin in January. Four applications have already been submitted.
Ryan Gherke presented the police report. Purchase requests for the following were approved: $181 annual membership fee to MN Chiefs of Police Association; up to $400 for MSCIC Training Jan. 8-9 in Mankato ($100/officer, eligible for reimbursement from the state); uniforms (roughly $250/each) and bulletproof vests ($1,200/each, eligible for reimbursement via state and federal grants).
The council also approved the hiring of two new part-time officers pending background checks and physical and psychological examinations (the latter to be paid by the individuals). This is in anticipation of one current part-time officer leaving in January, and another expected to leave early next year.
NRPD officers participated in a Cold Weather/Night Shoot with the Waseca Co. Sheriff’s Office, a yearly requirement of the state P.O.S.T. board. In regards to emergency management, Chief Martens attended a Waseca Co. Hazard Mitigation planning meeting and presented information about the 2010 and 2016 floods in New Richland during the LeSueur River Watershed community meeting on Dec. 5.
Gherke and Martens also participated in the Waseca Police Dept.’s second annual “Shop with a Hero” on Dec. 9. The event, also sponsored by Walmart and MN Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #16, allows officers to shop with a local child for Christmas gifts.
Monica Schutrop presented the ambulance report.
Resolutions 17-18, transferring TIF funds, 17-19, transferring funds as part of inter-fund loan, 17-20, accepting abatement payment to be repaid to various funds, and 17-21, accepting donation from New Richland Firemen’s Relief Assn. and designating equally to rural fire fund and general fund, were approved, along with the consent agenda items.
The New Richland City Council for 2018 will consist of: Councilpersons Sarah Sundve, Chad Neitzel, Jessie Shaffer, Shurson, and Mayor Christine Gislason. Members of the council thanked Neumann for her years of service before the meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.