BREITUNG TWP— Officials here will be looking for a new police chief after this week’s announcement by Chief Jesse Anderson that he has accepted a position with the Minnesota State Patrol. …
BREITUNG TWP— Officials here will be looking for a new police chief after this week’s announcement by Chief Jesse Anderson that he has accepted a position with the Minnesota State Patrol. Anderson, who has served as chief of the Breitung Police Department since January 2014, tendered his resignation at the town board’s Dec. 12 meeting.
Anderson said that he will be starting his new position with the State Patrol, based out of Hibbing, once he completes a 17-week training course at Camp Ripley. He’ll begin his training shortly after the first of the year.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to serve the citizens of Breitung Township and the city of Tower,” Anderson said. “I’m also thankful for the friendships I’ve gained by living and working in our communities,” he added. In the future, Anderson said that he looks forward to continuing to serve the community as a state trooper.
Anderson also reported that the police department has finished moving into their new office in the former MINOS Surface Building and is now in the last steps of organizing their equipment and paperwork. Anderson reported that the department has been experiencing a low-call volume, as is usual for this time of year. A new camera was just installed in the 2012 Tahoe police squad. Anderson cautioned that the ice can be dangerous this year and ice fishermen should be checking ice depths to ensure their safety.
The town board also agreed to a new police contract, with pay increases for staff. The police chief position will be paid $25.75 and the police lieutenant will receive $22.50 starting in 2018. In 2019 they will each receive an additional $0.90 per hour raise. The police chief currently makes $23.69 and the lieutenant makes $20.46. The full-time officers have the option to pay $125 per month for medical insurance. The officers also received two additional personal holidays and an increase in uniform allowance from $600 to $800.
The town board set a special meeting for Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. to discuss finding a replacement for Anderson.
In other news, the township board:
• Received only one bid for the post office renovation project, from Lenci Enterprises. The project was bid at $189,800, with alternates. The board rejected the bid and declined the project stating that the price was too high. The board also mentioned that other costs, such as $20,000 estimated to regrade the asphalt outside, the cost of paying a postal worker to supervise construction, and costs for architectural services would add to the final cost putting the project further out of their budget.
• Cashed out two savings certificates for $100,000 and $200,000 in their equipment replacement fund from Frandsen Bank and will be combining them into one $300,000 certificate for a one-year term.
• Will send Supervisor Greg Dostert to attend a CDBG meeting on Jan. 9 to follow up on a grant application made for funding for city maintenance projects.
• Received notice that the unemployment rate in Breitung is 0.2 percent, down from 0.22 percent last year.
• Discussed combining the current Clerk and Treasurer positions into a single full-time hired position, rather than an elected position. Councilors stated that this may be an appropriate course of action because of the positions’ difficult nature and need for significant training and knowledge, as well as time required. The positions are both currently elected positions with two-year terms.
• Next meetings will be Thursday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.