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Redwood Falls Gazette
  • City approves way to keep police officer in schools

  • The Redwood Falls City Council approved a tentative agreement that would allow the Redwood Valley School District to continue having a police officer stay on the school premises for the next two years.
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  • The Redwood Falls City Council approved a tentative agreement that would allow the Redwood Valley School District to continue having a police officer stay on the school premises for the next two years.
    Currently the cost of keeping an officer on-site at the school district full time comes to $71,300 per year (including benefits), for a 40 hour week.
    The current arrangement lasting until the end of this school year has the school district paying 75 percent ($55,000) of the cost, and the city paying the remaining 25 percent.
    However, a change in the school district’s grant situation raised questions about whether the district would be able to continue financing an on-site police officer.
    A committee consisting of two council members, the mayor, the city administrator, and Police Chief Mark Dressen have met with school representatives for discussions about funding to keep the police officer’s position.
    The school has agreed to fund the position for 32 hours per week during the school year with a $42,000 safe school grant.
    City staff requested the council approve an additional $14,000 from city funds, as an increase to the police department’s budget.
    To make up difference to have the standard 40 hour week, the school officer will work the remaining eight hours per week as the Community Service Officer for the Redwood Falls Police Department.
    In other police department business, the city council approved moving ahead with the hiring process for the full-time vacancy that was created with the resignation of Officer Rachel Johnson, who has taken a position with the St. Cloud Police Department.
    In other city news, the council:
    • Received an update about the proposed Grandview Village Apartments project.
    Trident Development LLC has a purchase agreement with the Redwood Area School District to acquire approximately four acres of land on Cook Street for a 72-unit, three-story apartment building to be built in two phases.
    In June, 2013, the city council approved a tax increment financing district for the project.
    However, according to Roger Fink, Sr. Vice President of Trident, after studying the loan situation, Trident determined it was necessary to bring the total project cost down to make it economically feasible.
    As it happens, a relatively recent Redwood Falls company, Northstar Systembuilt, creates modular housing that could potentially bring the project’s costs down.
    Fink said Trident and Northstar have spent the past few months reviewing ways they could collaborate on the project.
    As it currently stands, Trident would build the foundation and first story of the complex, then Northstar’s modular units would complete the next two stories.
    Since the apartment buildings’ footprint and infrastructure needs wouldn’t change, already-completed engineering plans would stand, and wouldn’t have to be redone at additional cost.
    Page 2 of 2 - Fink said it appears that a collaboration between Trident and Northstar could potentially lower the project’s cost by up to 12 percent.
    Among the biggest savings: transportation, since the Northstar Systembuilt facility is literally just a few blocks away from the proposed apartment site.
    • Approved the 2014 agreement for liquor dispensing at the Redwood Area Community Center with the American Legion Post 38.
    • Approved a public utilities backhoe trade with Titan Machinery for $6,412.
    • The city approved the following license applications for the coming year:
    • Solid waste hauling, commercial, and residential with franchise, to Waste Management of MN, Inc.
    • Billiard Table to O’Leary Enterprises (Murphy’s Landing).
    • Games of skill, to O’Leary Enterprises (Murphy’s Landing), and Chumley’s Burger and Brew).
    • On-sale liquor, to O’Leary Enterprises (Murphy’s Landing).
    • 3.2 malt liquor, on-sale, to the Redwood Speedway, the Redwood County Ag Society (Friends of the Fair).
    • 3.2 malt liquor, off-sale, to Tersteegs Holiday Market.
    • Tobacco, to Tersteeg’s Holiday Market, and two to Casey’s Retail Company locations in Redwood Falls.
    • On-sale liquor, to  Chumley’s Burger and Brew.
    • On-sale liquor and Sunday liquor licenses to El Cancun, LLC.
    • Therapeutic Massage, to Shawn Dixon.

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