(Reporter’s Note: The Becker City Council had light agendas for the September 20 and October 4 meetings, and so the two meetings are covered by the following article.)
During the September 20 city council meeting, Police Chief Brent Baolun approached council to ask to enter into a new body camera contract.
The police department’s contract for their body cameras ended at the end of September. The department therefore wished to enter into a contract with Axon to continue with the body camera service. With the new contract, the department can upgrade the cameras after two years, and they wished to add six extra tasers as well, so officers no longer need to share them.
The council approved entering into the new contract. The cost came in over the $14,000 budgeted for the cameras (due to the addition of the tasers). After a generous $500 donation from the Becker Lions Club, an additional $1,700 was needed.
The Economic Development Authority reported there were 18 homes on the market. They also have been working on a planning update.
Public works heard an update on the streets projects as well as on efforts to replace an employee who retired.
Fire board is looking into purchasing a new reporting system. The fire department had 49 calls for service last month.
Parks and Recreation decided to take a year off from the community gardens. If there is still a demand for the gardens after the year is up, they will be relocated to Pleasant View Park. Barktober Fest will take place October 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m at the Becker Community Center north parking lot. The event is open to the public and welcomes pets. Costumes are encouraged.
Budget and Finance reported everything is operating smoothly. Becker Community Center Memberships are near pre-COVID-19 levels. Past-due utilities are down, following a shut-off period. The committee also discussed health care renewal for staff members.
Joint planning reviewed their home-based business ordinance.
Personnel discussed employee benefits and a change in drug testing contracts.
Pebble Creek has removed several dead trees from the property, and is in need of new trees. Staff proposed, and council approved, a purchase of 28 trees from Midwest Landscapes to replenish the foliage. The cost came in a little over budget at $16,986 (the budget for this project was $15,000). The remainder will be taken from the golf maintenance fund.
The council called for a public hearing for October 18 at 5 p.m. The hearing will give citizens the opportunity to give their opinions on updates to the city fee schedule, specifically on fees regarding cannabinoids, dangerous dogs, and WAC/SAC fees.
In Other Business, the Council:
• Approved a change order for work on the well house.