Oak Creek to discusstown police department

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The Oak Creek Town Board will discuss the town's police department tonight, in the wake of the chief's resignation.

The Town Board will consider whether to hire another chief or choose another structure, Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said.

Options include hiring a new chief, hiring another officer or hiring someone to enforce town codes. All of those would assist Officer Linda Koile.

Crawford said public comment would be taken while the issue was discussed.

"The board always appreciates comments from the public," she said.

Chief Guytano Farnan, who officially began on Dec. 10, submitted a letter of resignation to the town on Friday. He has agreed to work until April 1.

The town has paid Farnan almost $15,000 in salary since Sept. 23, when he began training to get certification from the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman has said. He received a portion of his working salary while in training.

The town also paid about $5,000 for Farnan's training, but according to an agreement, the town should get two-thirds of that back, or about $3,400, Rodeman said.

Town Trustee Steve Beven said he favors the option of hiring a code enforcement officer to assist Koile, but that he is open to other options that could come up tonight.

Some people in town may think the town needs a large police force, but Beven said he doesn't feel that way.

Town Trustee Bill Paxton said he feels it's very important for the town to have a second police officer. A second officer could be an important backup, and also is crucial as Koile does not have much experience, Paxton said.

Also tonight, the Town Board will consider a request from Storm Mountain Coffee Roasters to relocate the business to the old parachute factory building.

The coffee roasting business has operated for the past two years in Oak Creek, and has to leave the building it rents now, owner Julie Spitzley said. It has a lease with the owner of the parachute factory as long as the town approves the use.

The Planning Commission made a recommendation to approve the use last week, and the Oak Creek Town Board will make a final decision tonight.

The old parachute factory was built in the mid-1990s and has not been occupied for a few years, Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said. The building is on Arthur Avenue near the town's ice rink.

In other business, the Town Board will consider approving a liquor license for an open house the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg is holding on April 15; could authorize the sale of a property the town owns on Highland Street; could approve a final agreement with Sierra View about improvements that are still needed; and will discuss replacing the doors to the skating rink building.

The Oak Creek Town Board meets at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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