The Montevideo City Council welcomed two new officers to the police department at Monday evening’s council meeting. Officers Steve Nagel and Lucas Gronli were introduced to the council by Chief of Police Adam Christopher.

The Montevideo City Council welcomed two new officers to the police department at Monday evening’s council meeting. Officers Steve Nagel and Lucas Gronli were introduced to the council by Chief of Police Adam Christopher.

 

Nagel comes to Montevideo from North Dakota, where he served as an officer for the communities of Carrington and Minot. He also served as a dispatcher in Stutsman County.

Lucas Gronli is originally from the New London area, and was formerly a Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Deputy, as well as a Lower Sioux Agency Tribal Officer.

Mayor Debra Lee Fader administered the City Oath of Office to the officers, who were then welcomed to Montevideo with a round of applause.

The mayor, along with the council, next presented a 25-year Employee Service Award to Brad Weckwerth and thanked him for his service to the city.

Weckwerth was hired on March 22, 1993, and is currently the sexton of Sunset Cemetery.

In business on the Consent Agenda, the council approved Verified Claims in the amount of $249,096.63, and also approved an application from the Senior Citizens of the Montevideo Area, Inc., to conduct excluded bingo at the Montevideo Community Center on June 11 and October 29, 2018.

In general business, the council heard annual report reviews from Byron Hayunga, Adam Christopher, and Steve Jones.

Hayunga gave a report on the activities of the Utilities Dept. over the course of 2017. Hayunga went over some highlights, including that all requirements for their NPDES permit were met, worked with Hjerpe Contracting to bypass and relay the main 24 inch line going to the wastewater treatment plant, and work on manhole repairs, along with jetting and flushing the sewer system.

The Utilities Dept. also met all requirements for the DNR and MDH. The Wellhead Protection Plan had its final approval on Dec. 6, 2017, and the DNR Conservation & Emergency Plan was approved on Dec. 18, 2017

Adam Christopher presented the annual report for the Police Dept. The main concern for the MPD, according to Christopher, is staffing issues. “Nobody wants to be police officers anymore; the applicant pool has totally dried up.” he said.

The department recently received only nine applications for a job opening. “We used to see 60 to 70 qualified applicants for a position with the city,” Christopher said.

Christopher related that other communities across the state are experiencing the same lack of applicants. Willmar recently had 12 applicants for an open position, while Alexandria only had four for an open position.

“That’s what we’re struggling with all the time is staff retention and  staff recruitment,” said Christopher.

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