Police Department interviews 2 prospective candidates

    After recently re-elected council member Gene Bittner took his oath of office, Holyoke City Council went on with the May 1 meeting, which included a report from Police Chief Doug Bergstrom on the search for a fifth police officer.
    Prior to the meeting, Bergstrom interviewed two potential candidates for the position. Neither is POST certified (Peace Officers Standards and Training), but the better of the two has military experience and is bilingual. Though not currently enrolled in a police academy, the applicant may be sponsored by HPD to do so. Bergstrom will put together the cost of sponsorship for the council to review.

Donation made to S.A.R.A. Inc.
    The City received a letter last month from S.A.R.A. Inc. requesting a $500 hole sponsorship in the June 23 Prairie Challenge Fundraiser, a nontraditional golf tournament.
    Bergstrom spoke up, pointing out that S.A.R.A. Inc., which stands for Sexual Assault Response Advocates, has been used at no cost by HPD multiple times — even as recently as within the last few weeks. He said the organization’s expertise on sexual assault cases is a good asset to have.
    According to the letter, S.A.R.A., Inc. is the only child advocacy center in the 13th Judicial District, providing a warm, child-friendly setting for forensic interviews and forensic medical examinations. Council members agreed to the $500 sponsorship.
    
PC Telcom prepares to end cable TV service; request to be reviewed
    Last Tuesday, the council addressed a letter received from PC Telcom requesting that their cable franchise agreement be discontinued as cable TV service will end July 31. City Attorney Al Wall said it will need to be reviewed before a decision is made, and City Superintendent Mark Brown noted PC Telcom has equipment hanging on City poles that may need to be removed.
    Mayor Orville Tonsing and Bittner will serve on a committee to review the request, and it will be placed on the agenda for the May 15 meeting.

Work session scheduled with library board
    At the May 1 meeting, Brown reported that he’d received a request from the library board to hold a joint meeting May 21. The committee put together to address the libraray board concerns had already held one work session April 30 to review the agreements already in place with the Heginbotham Library.
    Following a second committee work session on May 7, a joint work session between the library board and the council was scheduled for Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m.
    
Officials, rec director report
    Brown reported that the new pool covers have arrived and will be installed soon. The City handled one power outage since the last meeting on the far east side of town April 30. He also noted that Nick Ferguson has finished hauling the seal-coat rock. Crews have been busy with sprinklers, mowing, fertilizing and filling pot holes.
    Bergstrom reported that the Police Department, including code enforcement, handled or generated 291 calls for service from April 12-25. They wrote four citations and 13 reports and gave out 27 warnings. Code enforcement handled four animal complaints, two dogs at large and 13 ordinance violations.
    City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson reported that the City will be renewing helicopter insurance soon and that they are currently in open enrollment for health and dental insurance. She also noted that the City’s audit is almost finished.
    Wall reported that the City has received money from Rupert O’Neal.
    Recreation director Victoria Timm gave an update on summer ball registration. At the time of the meeting, about  60 kids were signed up. She was also still working on finding another baseball coach to hire for the season. Preparation for the June 23 Dandelion Daze 5K race continues as well.
    
Other business
    In other business at the May 1 meeting, the council:
    — Approved a travel request for Bergstrom to attend the Colorado Chief of Police Conference in Colorado Springs.
    — Approved a travel request for Officer Joe Marcum to attend a tactical medicine class in Alamosa.
    — Received an invitation from Holyoke Lions Club for an appreciation lunch at the mini park May 18.
    — Approved the 2017 Annual Highway Finance Report as presented.

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