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Prescott Police hires two new officers

Officer Mark Peterson was sworn in by Municipal Court Judge R. Patrick Eich at the Feb. 12 Prescott Common Council meeting. Peterson started with the department Jan. 23. Submitted photo1 / 2
Officer Brette McMahon was sworn in by Municipal Court Judge R. Patrick Eich at the Feb. 12 Prescott Common Council meeting. McMahon started with the department Jan. 24. Submitted photo2 / 2

Prescott will see a few new faces in police uniform as two officers were sworn in at the Prescott Common Council meeting Monday, Feb. 12.

Municipal Court Judge R. Patrick Eich swore in new officers Brette McMahon and Mark Peterson.

Interim Police Chief Rob Funk said McMahon is from Taylor Falls, Minn.; she graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in River Falls in May 2017 with a degree in Criminal Justice and from the 720-Basic Recruit Academy in October 2017. McMahon is an assistant cheerleading coach at River Falls High School and enjoys spending time outdoors hunting, hiking, boating on the lake and river and spending time with loved ones.

Peterson, Funk said, graduated from Fall Creek High School in 1990 and is a 2007 graduate of CVTC in Eau Claire and Basic Recruit Academy. Peterson has worked as a police officer in Wisconsin and New Mexico. In his spare time, Peterson enjoys bow hunting, fishing in Canada, coaching football and relaxing next to a bonfire when he has time.

Funk also introduced new police department administrative assistant Jennifer LaCasse. She moved to the Prescott area in 2009 and has worked in Prescott since her move to town. Funk said she already knows many community members and he and police department staff believe LaCasse was the "perfect choice" for the position.

After swearing in the new officers, Funk spoke about officer Tom Koen who was selected as the 2017 Wisconsin Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor's Association Advisor of the Year.

"Having Officer Koen selected as the Wisconsin Explorer Advisor of the Year was phenomenal," Funk said. "Officer Koen is a dedicated professional who serves as a natural mentor and teacher. We are very proud of him and our Explorer Post."

Funk said a lot of work goes into being part of the Explorer program and what Koen learned in this training will help him serve the community.

"They train very hard and are diligent in their service," Funk said. "Officer Koen fosters positive proactive leadership within the post, which serves as an example to the department and community. Officer Koen will also use these talents as he serves as one of our field training officers for new officers."

Transportation survey

The council approved sending a letter of intent for the potential bus route to Steve Sizemore of S & C Consulting & Management after Sizemore spoke about results from a community transportation survey. This letter will allow Sizemore to look into a potential bus route in Prescott, but is not a binding contract between his company and the City of Prescott.

The survey results show 143 responses returned, which was 8.2 percent of the total surveys given out. However, in the report Sizemore noted that this percentage is higher than the typical response to direct mail surveys, which is less than 3 percent.

Fifty percent of respondents said the proposed stops were convenient to where they live but 80 percent said the stops were not convenient for where they work.

Sizemore spoke about making Prescott a transportation hub with other destinations.

"Goal is to obtain hub in Prescott," Sizemore said. "Potential hub to other locations."

He suggested these other locations could include the Twin Cities, Red Wing and Treasure Island (since there are a number of people employed there).

Sizemore will continue to look at a potential bus route in Prescott.

Emergency purchase of EMS furnace

Mayor David Hovel said he authorized the purchase of two new furnaces in the Emergency Medical Services Building and brought it to the council for approval.

Hovel said one of the furnaces stopped working so it had to be replaced right away, and the other furnace had been put in at the same time. Hovel said by replacing both furnaces together River Falls Heating gave the city a 5 percent discount. The cost of each furnace without the discount was $3,695.

The council approved the purchase of the two furnaces that had already been installed. The money will come out of the contingency fund.

Albert and College streets

The council approved the preliminary resolution declaring intent to levy special assessments for the 2018 Albert and College Street project. Jayne Brand, Prescott City Administrator, said the city will pay for the cost of the street, but property owners on the sections of these streets will be assessed the cost of the curb and gutter that will need to be put in.

"A letter with preliminary costs of curb and gutter will be sent out to the property owners this week so they have approximate idea of costs," Brand said.

A public information meeting is planned for Feb. 26 for residents on these streets, Brand said. At this time residents will be able to ask any questions they have about the project.

Brand said a public hearing is planned for the March 12 common council meeting.

"This is the chance for the residents to come in and talk with the council about the project and/or special assessments," Brand said. "Following this the city will be putting out the project for bids."

Brand said at any point during this process, prior to any bids being awarded, the council can stop the project.

Other business

• The council approved the third and final payment to Haas Sons Inc. for the 2017 Henry, Hampshire, and James Street project in the amount of $35,662.44. In a letter from Greg Adams, project engineer from Cedar Corporation, the project construction price came in $40,967.28 less than the original contracted price.

• The Council approved $7,000 plus travel expenses to come out of the contingency fund to Meyer, Sullivan, Hahn & Associates, LLC for a police department assessment. Brand said this is not a police investigation but an assessment they are doing before bringing in a new police chief to make sure all policies are correct.

• Kip Johnson from ACA Engineering and representative for St. Joseph Catholic Church detailed "a gathering addition" to be added to the church. The addition would be 60-by-44 feet (2,600 square feet). He said they would also be taking away 16 parking spots in front of the church and replacing them with four parkings spots. The council approved the plans for the the new addition.