Before the Oak Creek Town Board makes any decisions about the future of the town's police department, it needs more information from its police chief.
During Thursday's Town Board meeting, Steamboat Sp-rings resident and Oak Creek business owner Scott Wedel expressed his concerns about police Chief Linda Koile's safety and the amount of hours she's working. Board members countered that they have asked Koile several times for her daily police logs, hours and an end-of-the-year report, which they said Koile still hasn't provided.
"It appears Linda is working a lot of hours and is tired," Wedel said. "If you're thinking she's working a 40-hour week and goofing off, there seems to be a high level of ignorance of what's going on."
Town Board member Chuck Wisecup, who also is one of the board's two police commissioners, said he can't address issues with the police dep-artment until he knows what Koile is doing.
"I asked Linda to provide me reports to see what calls she is responding to," he said. "She was supposed to file that with the FBI, and I still haven't seen that. Until I see that information, I can't tell you what we need as a police department."
Wedel suggested the town was trying to eliminate the police department by "not making any decisions," and he said it would be a huge loss for the town if Koile quits or is injured.
Koile is the police department's sole officer after the Town Board decided not to fill the other positions because of budget constraints.
Board member Dave Fisher, who is the other police commissioner, said Wedel's assumption was incorrect and the town must address its budget issues before making any decisions about the police department.
"There is no structure in the police department right now, and that's an issue we're struggling with," Fisher said. "Obviously this is a concern to a lot of residents and the board as well."
Fisher made a motion to discuss the police department after a Feb. 17 budget work session. Board member Tom Bleuer seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
Koile was not at Thursday night's meeting because of a death in the family.
In other business, the Town Board:
- Heard an update about the town's centennial Winterfest celebration from Oak Creek historian Mike Yurich. The Routt County Board of County Commissioners donated $2,000 to the town's centennial budget.
- Heard an update about a log cabin visitor's center project from Karen Tussey. Tussey indicated the next step in the project is finding a general contractor to oversee the project, including moving the cabin from its current location near Rio Oso Nursery to Bucket Park. Tussey estimated the cost of the project to be about $60,000.
- Agreed it is important to have Noreen Moore of the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative attend a work session Feb. 21 to update the town's comprehensive plan. Moore updated the board about economical trends in Routt County that is affecting lifestyle, housing and the workforce in all of the county's municipalities.
- Heard from Chuck Vale, Routt County Director of Emergency Management, who suggested the town appoint a designated emergency response authority. Vale also suggested the board sign an intergovernmental agreement with the Moffat County Hazmat Team.
- Agreed to pay a resident's plumbing bill after the resident's water line broke.
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