New Gear for Fire, Police Departments
Belle Plaine City Council authorized its Coronavirus Relief Funds expenditures at its meeting Monday night, Sept. 21.
As of September 11, the city spent about $214,700 providing rent and mortgage assistance to 15 residents and relief grants to 16 businesses. The Coronavirus Relief Funds are provided by the State of Minnesota.
The Belle Plaine Fire Department will soon receive new laptops equipped with LETG software to assist with emergency public health communications, while protecting patient confidentiality for COVID-19. The laptops will cost nearly $8,000 and will be purchased with the CARES Act Funds.
The Belle Plaine Police Department will receive new gear as well. The city council approved a nearly $22,500 request for quick response gear for four full-time officers, plus partial gear for the police chief. The gear will assist officers responding to school threats, domestic assaults and bank robberies. In his request, Chief Stier wrote that one officer in quick response gear is equivalent to two or three officers without. The gear will be purchased with money from charitable gambling funds, forfeiture funds and available budget line items.
The council also took steps to save money, by refunding the 2012A EDA Lease Revenue Bond. The city will refinance the bond that purchased the Public Works building, saving nearly $47,000 in interest over the life of the bond.
When it comes to housing, those looking to settle in Belle Plaine can now expect some assistance from the city. On Monday night, the council approved the HRA Down Payment Assistance Program. Homeowners can apply for down payment assistance, up to $2,000 for a newly constructed home on a lot of record platted after January 1, 2020.
The council also approved construction of a front yard fence on 561 Elk Street South, in which a portion of the fence would be less than 50% open, against current regulations. Council members approved the request 4-1, with Councilman Cary Coop opposing.
The council also authorized the city engineer to prepare a preliminary report on the reconstruction of the sanitary sewer system in the alleyway of Block 89. After televising the sewer system, Public Works officials determined that the pipes are in poor shape and at an increased risk of backing up as they continue to age. Any reconstruction of this sanitary sewer system would be part of the 2021 Improvement Project.
The city engineer will present his preliminary report to the city council in two weeks.