Winsted to lose another police officer

December 10, 2007

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

Police Chief Mike Henrich seemed a little discouraged at the Wednesday Winsted City Council meeting when he talked to the council about replacing another officer in his department.

Henrich stopped just short of telling the council who the officer was, because the officer’s resignation will not be official until Wednesday, Dec. 12, pending his being hired as an officer in another city.

With the help of council members Dave Mochinski and Bonnie Quast, the city will start interviewing applicants Thursday, Dec. 27.

Henrich is hoping to have hired another officer by Friday, Feb. 1. The new officer will have to go through two months of field training before being available to work full-time.

“There will be some cuts in service,” Henrich said. The city will be using part-time officers to fill in some of the gaps in service, but does not plan to use county deputies at this time.

It was just two months ago when Henrich submitted a report, requested by the council, reviewing the need for a fourth officer for the city.

Dan Pohl, who was hired as the fourth officer, has been in field training since his employment began Nov. 7. Henrich said Pohl’s training has been going well and he will be working for the department full-time after the first of the year.

Council reviews new city hall progress

The selection of the furnishings for the new city hall is on schedule.

There are even floor plans for the furniture’s placement. And a real positive aspect for the city is that the cost of the furnishings is coming in under budget.

However, the building construction is not going as well and is still a major concern.

“It seems like they are working with a skeleton crew,” Mochinski said. He compared the crew to one the size that would be constructing a single-family home.

Mochinski also told the council budgeted dollars needed to be watched.

“Wherever we can save, we have to watch it, with these costs going up,” Mochinski said

At a special meeting the end of October, the council looked at $259,500 remaining in its budgeted contingency plan for the new city hall. Now, a little over one month later, the contingency dollars have been depleted to $238,212.

With a little over half of the foundation done, the council is still looking at additional expenses for winter construction, a dumpster enclosure, expanding a retaining wall, and possibly more expense than originally estimated in mill work for the interior.

The city of Winsted will be accepting bids for mill work on the new city hall beginning Monday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council

• rescheduled the public hearing to consider an ordinance establishing an airport commission from Dec. 5 to Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 6 p.m.

• authorized the hiring and appointment of Rebecca Condon to part-time temporary administrative assistant at $10 per hour.

• authorized the hiring and appointment of Tricia Stender to part-time temporary administrative assistant at $10 per hour.

• authorized the purchase of 2007 budgeted supplies for the Winsted Public Library at a cost of $4,602.

• authorized additional wiring for the lakefront promenade project by CR Electric for $3,200.

• authorized additional service environmental and construction testing for the city hall from STS Consultants for $11,520.

• approved a pay request in the amount of $106,229 to Greystone Construction Company for work completed on the city hall and lakefront promenade project.

• reviewed a draft policy for annexation. The council asked City Administrator Brent Mareck to contact the township to possibly set up a meeting to discuss the annexation policy.

• reviewed a draft policy to raise expenditures by staff on budgetary items from $1,000 to $5,000 (with approval by the city administrator). All non-budgetary expenditures of over $1,000 and budgeted expenditures of over $5,000 would continue to be approved by the city council.

• approved a special closed meeting in the city council chambers at 5 p.m., to precede the regularly scheduled meeting of Tuesday, Dec. 18, to discuss litigation on the old city hall.

• received no comments during its public hearing of the 2008 truth-in-taxation for its proposed 2008 budget and levy.