Rest of summer should be cooler for Fillmore Police

Saturday, August 4, 2012

FILLMORE -- As if the job of police officer isn't already thankless, the Fillmore Police Department has been weathering the hottest summer in memory without car air conditioning.

Town Marshal Darrel Bunten told the town council Thursday the actuator has gone out on the department's 2003 Mercury Marauder, leaving his deputies to patrol in stifling heat.

A new actuator will cost the town $700 to install.

"Let's get that fixed," councilor Tami Van Rensselaer (formerly Tami Parker) said. "That's nasty."

Although the town could have gotten a used unit for $200, the council chose not to take its chances.

"You're beating your head against the wall if you get a used one," councilman Curt Leonard said.

The purchase was passed unanimously.

Another move that should help keep the car cool came at no cost to the town.

Bunten recently inquired with K & A Window Tinting about tinting the windows of the police car. Knowing the town's budget struggles, the marshal planned to pay for it from his own pocket.

When approached, however, K & A offered to do the job at no cost to the town.

The 2003 Dodge Intrepid the police department no longer uses was officially sold Thursday. Only one bid was received on the car, so Kathy Sparks is the car's new owner at a price of $851.

In the town's ongoing struggle with overgrown yards, the council may have a new way to expedite the process.

Even with the nuisance ordinance passed this spring, there is still a drawn-out process of official notifications and certified letters in getting a nuisance yard mowed.

Leonard suggested that, with this year's drought conditions, yards of overgrown, dried up grass represent a fire hazard.

The council will contact Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Davies about the possibility of signing off on such a measure.

In other business:

* The Council approved a proposal by president Alan Jones to build a salt floor on the same site as the town water tower.

Jones plans to do the work and pay for it himself. The concrete floor will be a way of keep the town's salt supply off the ground.

Utlity manager Joe Cash will help Jones in planning floor. Plans include a back wall against which the salt can be scooped, as well as the capability to build a structure on the base in the future.

* Bunten reported he opened an expense account with the Marathon station on Indianapolis Road in Greencastle.

Hoosier Market in Fillmore ran out of fuel on Thursday afternoon, with the town police car extremely low. Bunten then went to the Greencastle station, which recently changed ownership, to open the account.

Bunten, his deputies and Cash are all authorized to fuel their vehicles on the account.

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