WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --         westbrook — Police Chief Alan Wahl talked to the council about replacing the squad vehicle. The current vehicle is a 2007 Ford Crew Cab. Wahl noted the vehicle was still in pretty good condition, but at ten years old problems could develop, although he felt it still had good trade in value.

    He says he has been talking with Jim Schmidt at Higleys and he felt for the use out here, another pickup would probably work best. Earlier he had considered looking at an explorer, but thought the pickup would suit the needs of the city better.

    The council discussed whether they should purchase outright or go with zero percent five year purchase plan. City Clerk Katie Steen said there is not enough money in the vehicle reserve fund to purchase it out right. Mayor Dennis Phelps said, perhaps they might be able  to find money in another fund to use. Phelps told Chief Wahl he should continue to look into the options for purchase.

    At  the same time the council discussed what to do about a part time officer. At the present they have one part time officer that works about 20 hours a month, but has full time employment in the twin cities area. Wahl says he doesn’t know how long he will continue to work, but it is getting  harder to find good part time help. Wahl also said he will be retiring in the next couple of years. The council discussed possibly hiring another full time officer to work with Wahl before he retires. Wahl knows  a couple of young guys that are in the area that are going to school. He thought that would possibly be a good fit for Westbrook. Mayor Phelps said it is something they will have to work on. Wahl would like to find  someone he could work with that would commit to taking over as chief.

    The council looked at the workers compensation deductible. Currently the deductible is at $1,000 which gave them a premium credit of 3.1 percent which lowered their premium  from $21,000 to $15,341. However their premium credit percentage will only be 2.9 percent at that rate. If they bump the deductible to $2,500 the premium credit would increase to 5 percent of next years premiums. Having a low experience  rating has been good for the rates. With an expected premium increase of 4 to 8 percent this will help reduce the overall increase for next year.

    City Clerk Steen also told the council the city received a dividend check of  $23,713 dollars from the League  of Minnesota Cities. The Municipal Utilities received $8,900 of that as their portion of the dividend.

The council approved a 25 cents per hour pay increase

for part time employees. A raffle permit was approved for the Lions club for their annual raffle.

The following commission appointments were made.

Acting Mayor - Jan Johnson; Park and Pool - Jan Johnson, and Manda

Jorgenson; Streets - Kelly Brown, Chadd Wahl; Finance - Dennis Phelps,

Katie Steen, Jan Johnson; Community Center, Jan Johnson, Dennis Phelps; City Assessor - Cottonwood County; Newspaper -

Sentinel Tribune; Bank Depository - Bank Midwest; City Attorney - Muske, Muske, and Suhrhoff; Economic Development - Jan Johnson and Dennis Phelps; Personnel - Dennis Phelps, Manda Jorgenson;

Emergency Management Director - Curt Madson; Civil Defense Director -

Curt Madson; Zoning Administrator - Dennis

Phelps. The council also approved the city’s Fines and Fees Resolution. Only two changes were made to the Fines and Fees list.

Township fire coverage was raised from $125.00 per section to $150.00 per section. Security fee for events where alcohol is served at

the community center increased from $75.00 to $100.00.

December Police report. Nine tickets were issued, two resident welfare checks were made. Council