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Law enforcement to stay at force of seven

Posted 12/15/15 (Tue)

By Cecile Krimm
The City of Crosby last week approved a law enforcement contract with the Divide County Sheriff’s office, down $92,000 from last year and also heard a presentation from Community Developer KayCee Lindsey.
The budget cut for city law enforcement reflects the savings of one officer, his insurance and other benefits, along with savings on equipment.
Sheriff Lauren Throntveit told the council the county is also eliminating one deputy position, to bring the force down to seven members. The reduction was achieved by not filling positions that became vacant.
“We had two that transferred out several months ago,” said Throntveit, who decided not to bring anyone new on to replace those vacancies since the budget was uncertain earlier this fall.
Commissioner Doug Anderson asked whether the decline in force would equate to a decline in coverage, but Throntveit said he doesn’t believe it will.
However, “The emergency response things, that’s a given. The phone rings whenever,” regardless of days off or deputies on the road for transport of subjects.
“There might be some less patrol done, but I really don’t think so,” he said.
On Thursday, for instance, Throntveit said deputies were busy transporting two defendents for court appearances and had a third to haul down after court. At the same time, a subject had to be transported to Plentywood last week and one to jail in Rugby.
“That jail thing is kicking us,” said Throntveit. “You lose all your manpower when everyone is on the road.”
Development issues
Lindsey presented the council with a job description she was given when she was hired as the local developer back in 2010, which emphasizes community development as well as assistance to existing businesses and attraction of new businesses.
In her presentation Monday last week, she made reference to questions some council members asked about her work direction, along with a list of Spirit Fund projects that have been assisted through her office and a tally of hours devoted to work on behalf of the Small Business Development Center.
Lindsey also advised council members of a “Main Street Success Project” meeting, which will be held in Crosby on Dec. 21.
According to a press release, the Strom Center at Dickinson State University and VisionWest ND, has invited Crosby and eight other communities to participate.
A focus group will meet at the Torgeson Family Learning Center (Basement of St. Luke’s Clinic) at 2:30 p.m.
Local leaders and community members are invited to participate to give input on Crosby’s progress and direction for future success.
Those interested in attending the focus group should contact Matthew Perdue, Special Projects Associate at the Strom Center, at 701-641-3303, or Lindsey at 965-6006.
Lindsey also received a favorable response from Mayor Bert Anderson when she suggested the possibility of earmarking a portion of future Spirit Fund income to an incentive such as tuition repayment. The idea would be to help attract skilled workers that will be needed in the future as existing contractors and business people retire.
“I think to explore the possibilities of using that Spirit Fund money to get skilled workers into town would be a very good thing,” said Mayor Bert Anderson.
He also pointed out that the city’s one percent city sales tax will be expiring in 2016 and the council needs to determine whether they want to renew it by resolution or put it to a vote of the people, as has been done in the past.
“My own feeling is if you say you are going to put a one percent sales tax on there I generally would want the people to have a say on that,” said the mayor. “I think that’s the way it should be done and I believe it will be on the ballot.”
Anderson said the tax expires at the end of June, but The Journal’s archives show the ballot measure approved in 2006 call for the sunset of the existing sales tax ordinance on Dec. 31,  2016.
The tax has been in place since the early 1990s.