City council hears concern over police dept.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Alta City Council was approached by a citizen who was concerned about the costs of having three police officers on the force and would like the council to consider having only two officers on the payroll. "We could cutback. There's a lot of waste going on here," he commented.

He also commented he thinks two squad cars is excessive for a community the size of Alta.

Police Chief Tom Messerole put in his two cents worth saying that two cars are necessary - in case one is in the shop or one is needed for a backup on a call. He added that he checked on the possibility of using his own car for work purposes and he was told by his insurance company that he would not be covered.

He also told the council, "There is too much that goes on here for two people to handle." Messerole explained also that since the community has had three officers working for the community that the number of reckless driving and speeding incidences have decreased. He also said it is important to have an officer on night patrol.

During his monthly police report, Messerole told the council that he will be holding a class for businesses that sell tobacco products and training them on how to check identification cards of those wishing to purchase the products. It is hoped that the number of products being sold to minors will be decreased.

He has been trained through the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division. The same information can be used to cut down on the selling of alcoholic beverages to minors as well. The training is available for all businesses, not only in Alta, to take part in. As many employees from each business may take part.

Such things as looking at the dates on the driver's licenses and identifying fake IDs will be discussed. The class is free. Contact Messerole for more information as to when the classes will be held.

Carol Keizer of the Northwest Iowa Planning and Development met with the council to discuss the rehabilitation grant that Alta has had the opportunity to be a part.

The grant provided $350,000 to the community to allow 12 homes to undergo changes to bring them up to government standards. The allotted time to use the funds is nearing but the funds are not yet depleted. She told the council that the community has been a model in the number of people that have been served through the grant and that the remaining $19,000 will not be sent back to the state, which was thought might be the case, but can be used to make repairs to another, maybe two more, homes. She told the council that the community will likely have a good shot at receiving the grant if applied for again, based on the performance they have shown. It will at least a year before they can apply again, she said.

The council approved:

* a request from Desi Sauter to shoot off fireworks following the July 7 Buena Vista Raceway race.

* a nomination of Tony Weber to serve a six-year term for utility trustee.

* three applications for sidewalk replacement.

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