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Mission gets new police car

ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius Town Council voted to add a new Dodge Charger to its police department fleet at last week’s council meeting.

So far in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the town’s revenue is greater than anticipated, particularly due to revenue from court fines and police STEP grant reimbursement, city clerk Lee Ann Gottfried noted. 

“(The police department has) exceeded what we expected them to do,” council member Ray Jensen said.

The unexpected extra revenue allowed the town to purchase the new patrol car for $25,181. About half will be paid on delivery of the car, and the balance will be paid in July.

Mayor Charley Gariepy said the police department will also be getting new police car decals with a cleaner, more recognizable design. The council will approve the new design before it’s finalized.

“The idea is to be recognizable in an emergency,” council member Mack McConnell noted.

The council also voted to donate $100 to the Lake County Spay/Neuter Task Force, which is planning a free spay/neuter clinic in Mission this spring. The clinic is staffed by volunteers, including veterinarians who donate their time, and paid for entirely through donations.

“It’s amazing what they can do on that kind of a budget,” Marine Johnson said.

Tammy Demien, St. Ignatius Elementary School principal, told the council she’s worried about the stray dog problem around the school and the safety and liability issues involved. Not only do strays wander up to the school during the day, but some dogs follow their children to school.

“It was really bad about a week ago; we had about eight dogs outside the office door,” she said.

Gariepy said the council recently formed a committee to work on the town’s dog problem and investigate more efficient ways of dealing with the overpopulation.

“I see your problem,” Jensen told Demien. “This has been an ongoing problem for as long as I’ve been around.”

Dogs that are taken into custody by the town are held for three days at a veterinary clinic, giving the owners time to claim their pets, before being euthanized as a last resort. The town pays about $100 per animal for the whole process.

“It doesn’t take long to figure out you can break this town on dogs,” Jensen said.

The council also discussed a time frame for hiring a part-time summer parks and maintenance employee. The position will be for 20 hours per week and will run May 1 through the end of August, and will be advertised beginning in mid-March.

The next St. Ignatius Town Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 6 at City Hall.

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