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Union renews contract with sheriff
UNION — Union city councilors this week renewed the city’s contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Department for police protection but not before Councilor Doug Osburn argued the city should see “what would happen if we go without a contract for a year.”
Osburn claimed, “We are paying twice for services we are due.”
His argument was that the sheriff’s department would be obligated to provide policing to the city even without the contract.
Sandra Patterson, city administrator, said the council had “verbally already agreed to the contract” at a special meeting last month with Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and had only delayed the official vote so the councilors had the contract before them for the vote.
After Patterson read from the minutes of the meeting of the special meeting with the sheriff, the council voted to finalize the city’s two-year $76,775 contract specifying 138 hours a month of service from the Sheriff’s Department, with only Osburn dissenting.
Union has not had its own police department for many years and has contracted extended patrol service from the county sheriff’s department instead.
In other business, the council voted to accept the resignation of Councilor Eileen Bowles and to publish the vacancy. Those wanting to be appointed to the position, which is up for election in November, may contact city hall for an application. Interviews will be conducted in June.
The council also agreed to adopt a resolution setting the city fire chief’s salary with the provision it not be initiated until the chief has submitted a job description.
Patterson reported that the May 5 community clean-up day “was extremely successful” and praised Union Sanitation and particularly the Union football team, which loaded nine Dumpsters with dropped-off yard debris.
Patterson also asked for guidance from the council regarding a right of way issue at the northeast corner of South Third and Harrison, where the victim of an automobile accident blamed inappropriate placement of four-by-four posts in the right of way.
The owner of the property contends, Patterson said, that the posts protect cars from running into a water ditch.
The council suggested the city study the feasibility of installing a culvert or guardrail around the ditch before having the property owner remove the posts.