By KIP CHEEK
MENDOTA – Ambulance rate changes and the audit report were among the items handled by the Mendota City Council at its Jan. 17 regular meeting.
Alderman Kyle Kim presented new ambulance rates, which were approved by the council. Effective with the passage of the ordinance, ambulance rates increase by $50 over all levels of transport for Mendota city and rural residents, and also non-residents.
Alderman John Holland presented the audit report for fiscal year 2021, which will be placed on file. The auditing firm indicated there were no disagreement or difficulties with the audit process, and it was a clean audit, which is what to strive for. It was noted that the FY21 General Fund has an accounted fund balance of $2.2 million.
POLICE CHIEF’S REPORT
Police Chief Greg Kellen gave an extended report on business and happenings with the department.
He said there are now 18 surveillance cameras in the downtown area, 20 at the police department and 12 at the fire department. He indicated the cameras are absolutely instrumental to public safety and are of exceptional quality.
New uniforms have arrived for police department personnel and are now in use. Kellen said there have been very positive comments from the officers on the quality of the new uniforms.
The police department has one full-time officer assigned to the area drug task force, TRIDENT, and three part-time highway interdiction team members. Year-end seizures for 2021, for both street work and interdiction, are as follows: Over 600 pounds of cannabis-street value $1.2 million; 16,043 grams cocaine-street value $1.6 million; 2,250 grams heroin-street value $225,000; 17,783 grams meth-street value $1.4 million; plus over $550,000 in purported illicit drug funds (cash) seized.
Kellen said members of the police department are required by the general assembly to undergo firearm simulator training. There are no places in the area to perform this training. Kellen said the police department will purchase a DART Artificial Intelligence 3D Shooting Simulator at a cost of $12,300, to be purchased with money from the narcotics fund.
The chief said the department’s 2021 Dodge Durango patrol vehicle will arrive later this year, and that the department will wait until September to look at purchasing any other vehicles.
Kellen informed the council that six applicants recently completed Mendota Police Department testing. The department is looking to hire three additional officers.
He added that members of the department recently completed tourniquet training.
The next meeting of the Mendota City Council will be Monday, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m.