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Nevis disbands police department

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Nevis disbands police department
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Nevis marked an historical moment this week, the council disbanding the city police department.

A constable has served the village for more than half a century.


The move came as a cost-saving measure, with an anticipated $18,000 trimmed from the city budget.

"It was a difficult cut," Paul Schroeder said of eliminating police chief Ed Franckowiak's part-time position. "We appreciate what Ed has done for the community."

"He always stepped up to the plate for us," clerk-treasurer Carol Fridgen agreed.

Deputy Jeff Stacey, who began serving the city as the chief officer more than a year ago, reported the county will cover the shifts currently assigned to Franckowiak.

A motion by mayor Dave McCurnin to disband effective Dec. 1 died for lack of a second. An amended motion by Schroeder to disband Dec. 1 if paperwork is complete met council approval.

Paul Monteen of the Minnesota POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Commission reports 15 agencies have disbanded in Minnesota in the past three years. While this includes a variety of law enforcement agencies, he said the majority of dissolutions have been one- and two-person police departments.

Fridgen, checking council minutes from days of yore, found a motion to appoint a village constable in 1953.

The minutes from another meeting stated a switch would be installed under the bar in the municipal liquor store with a red light on the building's exterior. In the event of unruly clientele, the light would alert the constable.

In other action, the council:

-Wished the Nevis girls volleyball team well at state.

"This is our first sports team to go to state," Schroeder noted. "Individuals have gone, but this is the first team. It wasn't a fluke. The girls worked very hard and have done well."

"I imagine scouts from colleges will be looking at them," McCurnin said.

"There have been quite a few," agreed superintendent Steve Rassier, who attends the council meetings.

-Approved an ATV/snowmobile ordinance drafted by Stacey, council member Heidi Schmeichel commending him for the finished product.

Ordinance 38 regulates "the operation and use of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, go-carts, motorized dirt bikes and neighborhood electric vehicles" in the city.

McCurnin questioned the route the snowmobiles and ATVs will travel within the city.

-Reported liquor store earnings of $4,192 in October, $16,613 year to date.

The Municipal Beverage Association October Food Shelf Drive raised $205 in cash and 35 pounds of food.

Liquor store manager Mark Peterson reported the traveling dart league is going well and Trivia Tuesday is proving to be a "big hit."

"We've suspended construction of the ark," he joked of the sodden October, which drove beer sales down.

-Approved transferring money market and prime market accounts to certificates of deposit at Tru-Star Federal Credit Union, the local financial institution offering the best interest rates of 2.09 percent for a 10-month CD.