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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Police To Look At Investigator Position

Issue Date: June 13, 2019

A special City of Peshtigo Common Council meeting was held Monday, June 10 for a recommendation to council from the Plan Commission to approve the Petition to Vacate Unimproved Alley from K&K Warehouse LLC to vacate a portion of the alley lying south of McGraw Street between South Peck Ave and South Ellis Ave. between lots 8-9 and 28-29 in Block 43 of the Peshtigo Company's 1st addition as presented.

The Alley is in the middle of the parking lot and is not used. Closing the alley will make it a secured storage area for K&K.

Mayor Cathi Malke commented, "It is an alley to nowhere, neighbors would rather see it closed off". Alderman Mike Behnke added, "It is a good benefit for the neighborhood, there are no utilities in the alley and the streets on both sides have hydrant hookups. I am glad to see someone is utilizing those buildings".

Malke addressed Todd Christian of K&K saying, "I think it is excellent what you are doing, you are beautifying the city by doing this and all the other work you have already done to the building".

It was then approved to allow to vacate that portion of the alley so the property can be secured. Christian thanked the council for their consideration and action allowing K&K to vacate the alley.

After the special meeting, the License and Police Committee meeting was held with the main item of discussion to consider Malke's request to donate the 2012 Ford Taurus to Converge Great Lakes, a company that Alderperson Archer Leupp now works at.

Leupp will be working for Converge to continue and enhance his Chaplain duties in the City and throughout the State of Wisconsin. In a letter to the committee, Leupp stated, "If donated, it will either be used by me as my company car through Converge or it will be sold in order to help me purchase a more useable vehicle for my use as a Chaplain".

More specifically, the uses would be for his responsibilities and call-outs within the tri-county area of Marinette, Oconto and Florence counties to date. It would also be used for traveling throughout the State of Wisconsin and connecting states to assist Law Enforcement Agencies, to attend Law Enforcement and Chaplain Conferences, as well as, when called out to statewide emergency situations where a Chaplains help is needed.

The Sheriff's office offered to help with re-stickering of the car for "Law Enforcement Chaplain" purposes from their Chaplain Program budget line-item, which will make the car recognizable for emergency situations and by other Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the state.

Malke stressed that she is the one that recommended the vehicle be donated to Leupp / Converge and the request did not come from Leupp. Malke said, "I wanted to see the car go to better use and Leupp rides along with all entities, helping the fire department, police department and anywhere he is needed".

She added, "With Leupp utilizing this vehicle as a Chaplain car, he could help with transportation at accident scenes and to me, this is going back to the community with all the people he services and the bond he has made with the community".

Police Chief, Rick Badgley added, "Leupp helps with family emergencies, talks to anyone in need no matter what religious denomination, is supportive and keeps conversations private".

Alderperson Jillian Schutte, said, "The car is just sitting there, either sell or donate and put to good use". A recommendation was made to approve the donation of the vehicle and forward to council.

Malke then commented, she will talk to the attorney on how to legally go forward and again reiterated that Leupp had nothing to do with this and she, herself recommended the donation of the vehicle.

An alcohol beverage retail license application for Class A beer and Class A liquor was applied for by Christopher A. Schmidt of Peshtigo Stone and Garden LLC for their gift store.

Leupp asked what Class A includes and City Clerk/ Treasurer, Tammy Kasal replied, "It is for wine tasting and the ability to sell to customers for them to take off premise".

The main use would be for selling the beer/ alcohol to customers in gift baskets, to pair with flowers or as single purchase of the beer/ alcohol. It was then unanimously approved and recommended to council for approval.

Printers and computers for the squad cars and office were also on the agenda. Chief Badgley said the squad cars are due for an upgrade. The Marinette Sheriff Department is going to a different program and we would like to partner with them.

Two printers and two computers are needed for the both the squad cars as well as the office that are all similar to laptops. The office could possibly upgrade their towers.

The new systems will have better speeds and capacity and also be compatible with the Sheriffs Department and everyone else.

Kasal addressed Badgley saying, "The computers will cost about $10,000, is there some in your budget and then we can cover the rest? We only want to borrow enough that keeps the tax mill rate the same. The levy has to stay the same but we can borrow against the levy".

Badgley said "Some money is set aside for a new squad car, it is about half budgeted for so far. The 2017's have almost 70,000 miles on them already".

Kasal replied, "Everybody's budget is pretty tight. The levy stayed close to the same since 2010 with pretty much no increase. When we borrow for next year I'm hoping part of what we borrow till go towards this".

Leupp asked Badgley to get the costs of new laptops and computers for both the vehicles and the office and also an estimate for an upgrade for the office computers versus new, but make sure there is enough capacity to run the programs.

Equally important is the need to hire an investigator for the Police Department. At present when officers are doing investigative work, they get called out on a call and leave the investigation until they return from the call. They then need to try and pickup where they left off. It takes a long time to do an investigation and having to be interrupted with calls.

It is difficult to bounce back and forth by getting interrupted for a call and then having to go back to the investigating. Without being able to dedicate their time to the investigation, it could take three days or longer and that is not fair to the people involved, they want answers sooner".

The Sheriff Department has five or six investigators and Marinette has three or four. An investigator would be specifically for investigating and can dig into the details of who, what, when and where and would not be patrolling. Their time would be dedicated to investigative work, digging into the details and presenting and handling of the process.

Leupp added, "Investigators would still be available to be called out, it is not a nine to five job, but if an investigator is called out, the officer takes control and then turns it over to the investigator for him to finish the process".

After brief discussion, it was decided Badgley will call and get salary rates for an investigator from comparable sized cities and will get the ball rolling on this. He said, "We may have to wait for the computer / printer update investment for now and re-address at a later date".


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