City Council Approves Police Car Purchase

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

    The Glenwood City Council has approved the Police Department’s proposal for the purchase of four new vehicles.
    By a margin of 4-1, the council  voted  last Tuesday to move forward with the acquisition of one 2011 Chevy Tahoe and three 2011 Chevrolet Caprices. The council authorized up to $175,000 for the purchase of the vehicles, although the proposal submitted by police chief Eric Johansen estimated the actual price tag at $166,000.
    Council member Kay LeFever, who made the motion for the vehicle purchase, said the proposal for one Tahoe and three Caprices made the most fiscal sense for the city.
    “It seems our best investment would be to go with the Caprices,” LeFever said.
    LeFever did not elaborate as to why she favored the one Tahoe, three Caprice proposal over an alternative proposal for the purchase of one Tahoe and three Dodge Chargers at an estimated cost of $159,807.
    Council member Craig Florian cast the lone “No” vote on the vehicle purchase. Florian stated at a previous meeting he believes the city has more pressing needs to spend its money on than four new police cars.
    The city will utilize general obligation funds to purchase the vehicles.  The police department plans to keep all of its existing vehicles, allowing each officer in the department to have his own patrol cruiser once the new cars are purchased.
    Other items on the city council agenda:
    - The council passed an ordinance setting RAGBRAI vendor fees. The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will begin in Glenwood the weekend of July 23-24.
    Glenwood’s food and non-food RAGBRAI permit fee for Mills County vendors will be $250. Non-Mills County vendors will be charged $600. Vendors requiring electricity or booth space larger than 15 feet wide by 10 feet deep will be assessed additional fees.
    The RAGBRAI vendor permit will be valid for Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24.
    Existing establishments or businesses in possession of a valid food service license or current retail sales tax permit from the state of Iowa will be exempt from paying the RAGBRAI vendor fee.
   -  The city council heard an update on the Loess Hills Archeological Interpretive Center from Rob Simon and Wayne Phipps.
    The $6 to $7 million facility is being proposed on a site at Foothills Park near the intersection of Highway 34 and Levi Rd. The interpretive center would focus on Glenwood Culture people who resided in the area from 900 to 1400 A.D. Simon and Phipps said the facility would serve as both a tourist destination and an educational center.
    “We’ve gone to a lot of effort to make sure this thing gets done right,” Phipps said.
    The council agreed to offer its formal  support for the project to assist the interpretive center’s board of directors in their grant application process.