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Pemberville puts purchase of new police cruiser on hold PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Friday, 21 December 2012 10:44
PEMBERVILLE - Village council will delay a decision on buying a new police cruiser until after further discussions are held early in 2013.
A motion to move forward with the purchase of a 2013 Ford sedan police interceptor for $36,342 was defeated Tuesday night on a 2-6 vote. Only Eileen Schuerman and Marge Cox voted yes.
The village has been setting aside money for the past five years with the intention of buying a new police cruiser. One of the reasons for the plan was to stop relying on older vehicles that often carry high maintenance costs.
Cox said that $7,000 a year has been set aside to carry out the plan.
"We need to have a committee of the whole meeting to really discuss long-range planning," council Member Randy Rothenbuhler said. "This needs to happen before we go forward. Just because we have the dollars, there is no one who can say this is our number one priority. I have heard of several other equipment issues. I will not vote in a positive way on this without more research," Rothenbuhler said.
He was not a member of council when the decision was made to start setting aside money for the cruiser.
Other council members expressed concerns and agreed there was a need for additional discussion.
Rothenbuhler said he is comfortable getting along with the cruiser recently given the village by Perrysburg for a couple of years if there are other concerns that need to be addressed. That vehicle is being outfitted with police gear and some repairs done before it is placed in service. "There is a need for sure, and without that vehicle from Perrysburg this new cruiser would go way up that list," Rothenbuhler said.
"No vehicle in the village gets more use than the police vehicle," Mayor Gordon Bowman said. "The intent was for this vehicle from Perrysburg to replace the Durango, which is not suitable for police work. There was no way this vehicle was intended to replace a new vehicle. The new vehicle was the intent of this council and past councils."
Village officials have said delivery of the cruiser will take 120 to 130 days after an order is placed.
Council agreed to address the time for a committee of the whole meeting at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Council later heard two residents express concerns about the police department, one dealing with driving habits of officers and another about the image of the village as a speed trap.
The citizen with concerns about driving habits was urged to make a direct report to the police chief, either in person at the police station, by e-mail or phone as soon after the incident as possible.
Chief Jim Darling said he cannot do anything unless he has details. He praised the department's officers for their efforts this year. "They truly like working in the village and I think have a positive relationship with many citizens. I think we have mended fences."
To the "speed trap" issue, Darling cited the department's latest activity report, noting there were no speeding citations issued in a two-week period but there were 41 traffic warnings issued.
Council also:
• Approved an ordinance establishing employment and compensation of employees for 2013.
• Approved an ordinance setting temporary appropriations for 2013. A permanent budget must be in place by the end of March 2013.
• Agreed to continued a $200 per month credit on the Bethlehem Lutheran Church utility bill to help support its hosting of a Wood County Senior Center satellite operation. Bowman said the credit "is very much appreciated." He said the site serves as both a social and nutritional service for the community.
• Heard the village office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.
• Learned the 2013 calendar of village events will not be available until sometime in the new year.
• Briefly discussed the status of welcome baskets for new residents. A packet of basic information is available in the village office and is to be given out whenever anyone signs up for utility services.
• Was told there will be no brush pick up until spring.

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