WAPELLO â€” A $125,000 U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services grant has been awarded to the city of Wapello, Wapello Police Chief Brandon Marquardt reported Thursday to the city council.
According to past discussions, the three-year grant will be used to fund a school resource officer, who will work at the Wapello School District. Marquardt told the city council in January that he planned to submit a grant proposal, explaining if funding was awarded, the city and school district would need to split a 25% local share requirement.
He and Wapello Mayor Shawn Maine met in March with the Wapello School Board to update its members on the plan. Marquardt suggested the school could use At-Risk funds for its share, while the city could tap into sales tax revenue.
That funding could continue once the grant expires to continue the program. Under the COPS program requirements, the local entities must maintain the created position for one year after the grant funding expires.
Marquardt told the city council Thursday he had not yet received all documentation for accepting the grant and will present more information at a future meeting.
In other action, the council held a public hearing and later approved moving forward on approving a $75,000 loan to help purchase a new ambulance unit for the Wapello Community Ambulance Service.
The new unit, which formerly was used at a federal facility, will replace an older model that is not operating and no longer economically feasible to repair.
The council also directed city clerk Mike Delzell to investigate the possible construction of 13 additional camp pads at the cityâ€™s north end park. Council members said the additional pads could be used by construction crews working on the solar farm project south of Wapello and later when crews begin construction of the U.S. 61 bypass around Wapello.
The council recently dropped its monthly camping fee from $600 to $500 and Delzell told the council that at the new rate, he feels the estimated cost for the pads could be recovered in eight months.
In addition to investigating the construction of the pads, the council also directed Delzell to look into loan interest costs.
In an action related to the solar farm, the council approved a truck embargo for Oak Street, explaining they were concerned trucks hauling solar panels to the planned farm south of Wapello would try to use the street.
The solar farm developers already have upgraded a portion of 65th Street to handle the anticipated truck traffic that will need to haul the 250,000 panels to be used for the farm.
Up to 50 trucks per day for a four-month period are anticipated to travel through Wapello to the work site.
The council also discussed amending the cityâ€™s fireworks ordinance, after Maine reported he had received calls from a local resident who complained about fireworks being discharged outside the approved hours.
Officials agreed there was that possibility, but decided to postpone any action to see if problems continue.
In final action, Maine reported that although some events during the mid-July Chief Wapello Days celebration had been cancelled, the CWD Committee still hopes to hold some activities.
On Wednesday, the 2020 Wapello Pro Rodeo was canceled and Maine said Thursday a car show will not be held.
Meanwhile, Delzell reported after the meeting that the Wapello City Hall now is open.