Council approves grant application for police vests

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cassville aldermen approved a grant application aimed at enhancing police officer safety. The Office of Justice Program's Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant was discussed during the city council's regularly scheduled meeting on June 11.

According to Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr, some police departments qualify for a financial hardship waiver and can receive up to 100 percent of the cost of each vest submitted for reimbursement. Departments that are awarded the grant receive a reimbursement of at least 50 percent of the cost of each vest.

"We are going to try to get the 100 percent match," said Kammerlohr. "The grant is good for two years. We have four vests that need to be replaced."

In the grant application, Kammerlohr is requesting funding for 11 vests.

"That doesn't mean we have to buy 11 vests, but I want the money there in case we need to update a vest or purchase a vest for a new officer," said Kammerlohr.

On average, vests cost approximately $675 each. Kammerlohr has secured a bid that would allow the department to purchase vests at a cost of $639.90 each.

"The department has to have a mandatory wear policy, which we have, in order to be eligible for the grant," said Kammerlohr. "We purchase new vests for officers so that they have a vest that fits them. Vests are uncomfortable enough when they do fit you."

In addition to purchasing vests for new officers, the department must purchase a new vest when an officer's vest expires. The department currently has four vests that will expire in the next two years.

The quote Kammerlohr has received includes four vests at a total cost of $2,559.60. The vests are constructed of a new type of cover material that allows officers to wear the safety device over their uniform instead of under it.

"These new vests should be more tolerable to wear," said Kammerlohr.

The Cassville Police Department applied and received funding through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership in 2009 and 2010.

In new business, the council amended the 2012 operating and capital budget. The amended budget decreases general fund revenue and expenses from $2,020,302 to $1,586,875 and adds the certificates of participation fund balance of $374,729.

The amendment also includes the following changes: economic development fund revenue decreased from $12,500 to $3,000 and expenses decreased from $12,500 to $8,211; park fund revenue increased from $445,055 to $456,132 and expenses decreased from $445,055 to $443,799; street fund revenue and expenses increased from $230,037 to $238,184.

Capital improvement fund revenue increased from $383,120 to $405,565 and expenses increased from $383,120 to $405,612; water fund revenue increased from $584,641 to $601,901 and expenses decreased from $584,641 to $510,224; and sewer fund revenue increased from $992,597 to $997,808 and expenses decreased from $992,597 to $912,057.

The aldermen approved a revised budget for 2012 during their regularly scheduled meeting in May. The revised budget eliminated the fee in lieu, which allows cities to recoup a franchise fee for the operation of water and sewer services.

A time study was used to more accurately divide salaries between the administration and water and sewer accounts, and revenue estimates were changed to reflect the same revenues collected in 2011. Currently, the city's revenue has increased by 6.5 percent when compared to 2011.

Other changes in the revised budget include a decrease in the operating expense for building inspections and the elimination of transfer procedures that were instituted earlier this year.

During the May meeting, the council also eliminated the city's economic development department. The elimination of the department decreased the city's economic development expense by $45,584 this year. The annual cost savings for 2013 will be just over $75,000.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Voted to rezone 31 acres north of Forest Circle Subdivision from R2 to AG and eight and a half acres on Clover Street north of Fasco Road from R2 to C2.

* Approved a $5,128.20 purchase order for liquid alum from Watermark in Ozark and a $6,186.98 purchase order for airport sealing project engineering services from Lochner in Kansas City.

* Reviewed departmental reports.

* Discussed the status of the burned home located on a lot on Mineral Springs Road.

* Asked Steve Walensky, public works director, to include gallons of water pumped versus gallons billed or metered and not sold in the monthly public works report.

* Voted to ask the Cassville YMCA to offer free swim days on July 4 and the last day that the pool is open during the 2012 swim season.

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