The need for more police officers has been on the wish list of Village of Osceola officials for a long time.
On Oct. 13, they got one step closer as the Board unanimously approved the request to add one full-time officer.
To fill the need, the Village submitted for and received a 2020 COPS federal grant, which is for $125,000 to be spread for over three years, to allow for a gradual assumption of expenses by the municipality.
In outlining the request, Village Administrator Benjamin Krumenauer stated Village financing is in place to increase funding for the position as grant funding decreases. The proposed 2021 budget indicates funding and 2020 budget has adequate funding available to cover, he added.
With the approval, the hiring process can start immediately. Which is good news as during his monthly report, Chief Ron Pedrys noted a part-time officer, Cody Thompson, resigned to become a full-time officer with the New Richmond Police Department.
He was happy to announce Amanda Alberts and Brad Peters, the two newest part-time officers will wrap up their field training this month.
Other highlights during Pedrys’ report include 12 police arrests (three felonies and nine misdemeanors) for September along with 14 traffic citations being issued. Pedrys also concluded his report by stating Osceola Police will not host Community Coffee semimonthly this fall as originally planned because of COVID-19.
Three operator licenses were on the agenda for approval. Two – Ryan Steffen for Cascade BP and Melanie Beam for Tippy Canoe’s – were quickly approved.
The third – Crystal Cook for Mini Mart – wasn’t as documents provided to the Board showed she was convicted of OWI twice along with possession of amphetamines and disorderly conducts.
That information caused trustee Bradley Lutz to ask for Cook or a Mini Mart representative to appear at the next Board meeting to explain. The rest of his fellow board members agreed.
The Board approved the poll workers for the Nov. 3 election: Benjamin Krumenauer, Jennifer Roytek, Carie Krentz, Kyle Weaver, Anne Miller, Darlene Blair, Debra Rose, Brooke Kulzer, Roger Allrich, Linda Cox, Margaret McCurdy, Carol Otto and Cheryl Hustad-Anderson.
Todd Waters, Public Works Coordinator and Rick Caruso, Utilities Coordinator reports Fall HVAC maintenance has been performed including replacing filters and removing drain piping for the winter season. The downtown area and parks are still seeing increased pedestrian traffic. In addition, right of way clearing operations continue including Ridge Road, Cascade Street and 8th Avenue
The Osceola Fire Department made seven runs in September. Five were within the Village. Three of those seven were for alarm calls and two were for lift assist.
Wilberg Library Director Shelby Friendshuh stated they’ve seen a slight decline in appointments, likely due to schools starting up again. At the same, the curbside pickup window has increased.
Approval was granted to extend the contract with Appraisal Services and Data Processing Systems for the next three years. The contract will increase by $700 over those three years with the Village paying $11,900 in 2021 to $12, 600 in 2023.
The following were named to the Room Tax Commission: Andrew Carlson, Mike Malik, Jessica Robinson and Ben Brunner.