City sees recent rash of vandalism
Reporting to Holyoke City Council at its Oct. 1 meeting, City Superintendent Mark Brown noted that there have been several acts of vandalism across town lately. He is working with Holyoke Police Department to put a stop to it.
Property affected includes City Park, the skatepark and the ballpark. At the time of the meeting, drinking fountains at the park awnings had already been fixed three times over the course of a few days. At the ballpark, posts were pulled out from the softball fence. The top rail of the fence at the skatepark was also torn out and bent up.
Aside from that, it’s been business as usual for Brown’s various departments. Electric handled a few trouble calls. Water and sewer had been conducting the annual backflow testing for nonresidential customers and working on the alfalfa sprinklers. The street department, with the help of the other two, was finishing up the Southwest Interocean Drive project.
At the airport, the Automated Weather Observing System that reports to the National Weather Service is not working as it should. Brown is working with IWAPI to troubleshoot the problem.
Brown also reported that rates increased about 10% at the Phillips County Landfill, effective Oct. 1.
Prior to the meeting, Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency visited the City to conduct its annual walk-through loss control audit. There are some minor things that need to be fixed.
Having previously received quotes for workers’ compensation from CIRSA and HUB International at the City’s Sept. 17 meeting, council members voted to renew with CIRSA Oct. 1. The quote from CIRSA was $73,214.
City council members also approved the renewal of airport insurance from CIRSA. They opted to go without the terrorist coverage and to lock in the rate for three years. The cost to the City will be $7,795 annually.
SCADA system failing
As Brown explained to council members at the meeting, the SCADA system that the water department uses to control its wells is failing. At his suggestion, the council approved a $20,255 upgrade immediately. The new main controller will work with the old equipment, but Brown noted that $31,000 will need to be budgeted next year to finish the system upgrade.
Police chief, rec director report
Also at the Oct. 1 meeting, Chief Doug Bergstrom reported that HPD, including code enforcement, handled or generated 333 calls for service Sept. 12-26. The department made one arrest, wrote seven citations and three reports, and gave out 23 warnings. Code enforcement handled three animal complaints, two dogs at large and 11 ordinance violations.
Bergstrom reiterated that HPD is stepping up patrols in response to recent vandalism.
Recreation director Victoria Dunker reported that the flag football season was wrapping up and that women’s volleyball has a few more weeks left in its season.
In other business last Tuesday, Holyoke City Council:
— Renewed the liquor license for American Legion Post 90 and VFW Post 6482.
— Agreed to pay half the flu shot fee for City officials. Part-time employees, spouses and children will pay the full fee, and full-time employees will turn the bill in to insurance.
— Held a 44-minute executive session to meet with City Attorney Al Wall.