By Alex Haglund
The Nashville City Council approved Nashville police officers switching over from eight-hour to 12-hour shifts at their regular meeting held on Thursday, August 18.
“It’s the consensus of the committee that we will try 12-hour shifts for a trial period of 12 months,” said police committee chair Josh Fark.
Nashville Police Chief Brian Fletcher and Lieutenant Greg Hopfinger will still be working on eight hour shifts, but all of the full time Fraternal Order of Police members and part-time officers will now be working 12 hour shifts.
“It’s a trial period and it’s not going to be in the contract,” Fark told the council.
The change comes at the request not of Fletcher, although he did relay it to the council, but rather of the patrol officers themselves.
Fletcher told the council that as part of the agreement, management reserved the right to switch back over to eight hour shifts, should he deem it necessary, whatever the reason or circumstances.
Furthermore, this will not change the amount of hours officers work overall.
“It’s a two week pay period, 80 hours, just like it is now,” Fletcher told the council.
“I’m sure the officers will be excited,” said Mayor Raymond Kolweier, after the measure had passed.
“Definitely,” said Fletcher, adding, on behalf of the officers, “thank you guys.”
The police department will be purchasing a new patrol vehicle, with Fletcher again selecting a Ford Interceptor utility vehicle, based on the Ford Explorer.
Fletcher brought the council a package deal, which would be purchased from Morrow Brothers in Greenfield, with Holzhauer’s of Nashville acting as the intermediary (the Police alternate between Holzhauer’s and Meier’s for their vehicle purchases and this time, it’s Holzhauer’s turn).
Purchasing the package deal, versus buying the vehicle and then having the necessary police signal equipment installed afterwards will save the city about $800 and, hopefully, some time as well. The cost for this vehicle, not including title and dock fees from Holzhauer, will be $34,015.
Fletcher also told the council that the department still is in possession of their old Jeep and a Charger from 2008. Kolweier asked him to proceed with getting the vehicles listed for sale at auction.
Fletcher also stated to the council that the Chargers they have been using have had a lot of issues, including his own vehicle, which had been in and out of the shop with various recurring minor problems.
“I’d prefer not to go back to Dodges unless absolutely necessary,” Fletcher said.
The street department presented bids for a new packer truck for trash pick up to the council.
“The lowest bid amount, after the trade-in, was $111,956, and Armor Equipment gave us that bid,” said street committee chair Terry Kozuszek.
Kozuszek then asked that council to approve the addition of more equipment for the truck to be purchased in the amount of $1,956.
“These were some essential items that we overlooked on the bid,” said street department superintendent Richard Schuette. “That brings the total to $113,876.” The council approved the bid.
The street department also received their quote for road deicer from Morton salt. The cost this year will be $68.37 per ton – $11.39 per ton less than last year. Nashville’s allotment is 200 tons.
For July, the recycling took in 15,420 pounds or 7.71 tons of recyclables from 249 residents. The amount of residents and the amount recycled was slightly less than normal, due to all the rain during July.
Elm Street will be closed for 175 feet from Trout Street west in front of Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday, August 29, for a Sunday School Fair.
Schuette said that with the purchase of the street department’s newest pickup, they now have an old truck that they are not using. He told the council that he too would try to have it listed at an upcoming auction.
Street Oiling Begins
Schuette told the council that the department would begin oiling streets, which they did on Monday, August 22.
Other days that they will be oiling streets will be the Mondays of August 29, September 12 and 19. Citizens should be sure to check for signs announcing the oilings and should watch for city workers and reduce speed in areas they are operating in.
Water and Sewer committee chair Doug Hargan told the rest of the council that Nashville had been lent a machine from the city of Carbondale which helps to process sludge from the wastewater treatment pools, compacting and drying it for easier (and cheaper) transport and disposal.
Not remembering the machine’s proper name, Hargan asked utilities superintendent Blaine Middleton to “tell us about the sludginator.”
Middleton said that the they were working with the machine, figuring out its use and settings and using it to process loads of the sludge.
“I would like to use it for at least another week,” Middleton told the council members. “By next council meeting, I’ll have an answer for everyone.”
In the mean time, Middleton continued, he planned to get in touch with city engineers Curry and Associates, and work on coming up with a plan to distribute the sludge they have now to be spread on area farm fields following the corn harvest. Whether the city decides to purchase a machine like “the sludginator” or use a different option, there needs to be something done about the sludge the city has right now, and the new options will be what is next.