Oak Creek Town Board to consider officer hire tonight

Community service officer position in Oak Creek soon may be filled

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If you go

What: Oak Creek Town Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Oak Creek Town Hall

Agenda: Speaker Billy Texter, regarding a request for alcohol at the park for a Masonic picnic.

General business items: Reports or items of concern from trustees; sealed bids for town vehicles; code enforcement officer; Williams Street congestion matter; property exchange matters, Joni Rutledge; restrooms at the park; staff reports.

— The Oak Creek Town Board will consider a recommendation to hire a community service officer at a meeting tonight, a step in the ongoing process of bringing a police presence back to the town.

Eileen Rossi, the town's police consultant who was part of the interview team, said that three of the five applicants were interviewed, and she's happy with the woman they found.

"The person we're looking at has a job history of doing the same job. It's really nice to find qualified people," she said. Rossi said the name of the person would be released at the meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Oak Creek Town Hall.

Rossi declined to give the woman's name Wednesday, saying only that the woman is not from Oak Creek. Trustee Dave Ege, a police commissioner who was involved in the interview process, was reached in Fort Collins on Wednesday but also declined to identify the woman.

The position will be part-time enforcement of the municipal codes. The officer will not be armed and will not deal with most major crimes.

Oak Creek has relied on coverage from the Routt County Sheriff's Office since Chief Russ Caterinicchio, Sgt. Erik Foster and code enforcement officer Tony VanDeventer resigned in September. Rossi said she still is on the police payroll on a contract basis. She maintains the evidence locker and sex offender registry and handles administrative tasks, she said.

Congestion issues

The Town Board also will take up the issue of landowners encroaching on public land, a problem that Trustee Chuck Wisecup said the town has had before.

Wisecup said some private landscaping is coming out into the roadway in some areas, including Williams Street between Sharp and Bell avenues, and sections of Dodge Street and First Street.

The Public Works director and the commissioners routed the site in preparation for tonight's meeting, Wisecup said.

The encroachments are 8 to 10 feet into the public right-of-way in some areas, Wisecup said, and it's an issue that has caused tension before.

"It created a problem a couple years ago, in wintertime especially," he said, because the cars park farther into the roadway and can potentially block traffic.

Wisecup said he didn't request to bring the issue before the board, but he did run into problems getting emergency equipment through the narrow streets in the past.

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