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Mission considers new police car

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ST. IGNATIUS — A new patrol car could be in the works for the St. Ignatius Police Department if the town council approves an amendment to the budget. A public hearing on the proposed change will be held at the March 2 council meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Police Chief Shay Clairmont said Ronan Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep has six 2010 Dodge Charger police cars on order, and only three of the vehicles were spoken for as of the Feb. 2 town council meeting. 

“They’re in production right now, from what Mr. Wunderlich said,” Clairmont noted.

The specially outfitted cars are priced at $24,481, and would be a huge improvement over the aging vehicles the officers drive now, he said.

”One of the nice things about (the Charger) … it only uses four cylinders when you’re driving around town (and) has the ability to do better on gas than the Impala,” Clairmont said.

Council members agreed that the town should consider purchasing one new car this year and then wait a year or two before investing in a second new vehicle.

“We need to get on a rotation schedule so we’re not buying two cars at a time,” council member Marine Johnson said.

Town resident Bernie Lovell said she would support the purchase if it would help keep “our boys” safe while on patrol.

“If it raises our taxes a little bit to get (the officers) in something that’s going to keep them safe, I’d say I’m all for it,” she said. “If they’re gonna put that uniform on … they should have something to keep them safe.”

City Clerk LeeAnn Gottfried noted that the town’s quarterly revenues are “higher than anticipated.”

Clairmont also reported that the department lost two reserve officers the previous week; one resigned voluntarily, and one took a full-time position with the Troy Police Department. 

“So we will no longer have their assistance for a while,” he said.

The resignations mean the town has only two full-time officers, including Clairmont.

In other business, the council approved a revised plan for the second phase of the Skate Ignatius Skatepark. The original plan for Phase II called for 10,000 square feet of concrete that would incorporate several street and bowl skating elements, but last year, the council asked Skate Ignatius organizer Kristie Nerby to downsize the design. The new plan will add 3,500 square feet to the existing 7,000-square-foot Phase I that was completed in 2007.

“It’s taken me … until last week to get my redesign from my contractor,” Nerby said.

The council also appointed Clairmont, Mayor Charley Gariepy and council member Mack McConnell to serve on a committee to investigate solutions to the town’s long-standing animal control problem.

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