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City council approves police grants

Posted: Tuesday, Oct 9th, 2012

City news

EVANSTON — The Evanston City Council approved a trio of agreements that will enable the Evanston Police Department to conduct DUI, traffic, tobacco and alcohol enforcement activities.

The first agreement, a Highway Safety Grant Agreement with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, will provide $29,850 in funding for DUI and traffic enforcement.

Police chief Jon Kirby told the council the city has been receiving the grant for several years, though its focus has changed somewhat.

“It used to focus mostly on DUIs,” Kirby said, “[but] they now call it a ‘high visibility enforcement grant’ that focuses on DUIs and safety belts, seat belts, stop signs, speeding and stop lights. We try to work with the state to do those around big events…when there’s extra traffic out.”

Kirby said some about $10,000 of the grant will allow them to purchase two new in-car video camera systems, and a pair of new radar systems will also be acquired. He said the remaining grant funds will go toward advertising the program, as well as paying additional salaries to officers who will be doing additional enforcement.

The council also approved a contract with the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police for $5,950 in funding to pay for alcohol compliance checks at Evanston-area businesses. Kirby said the money is used to pay for additional man-hours, as well as compensating those who attempt to purchase alcohol during the course of the checks, and rewards for clerks who refuse to sell alcohol to the minor.

“Since we’ve started doing this, it’s gotten better,” Kirby said of the alcohol checks. “The numbers were higher when we started.”

Evanston Mayor Joy Bell noted the failure rate of businesses in avoiding selling alcohol to minors in the past was more than 50 percent prior to the beginning of the alcohol check program.

And a similar grant from the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police was approved for the police department’s tobacco compliance inspection program. The grant is also for $5,950.

Other council business

• The council approved an agreement with the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race organization to maintain the city of Evanston as an official stop in the race.

The 2012 race will mark the 18th in the event’s history. The $6,000 fee to maintain the stop will be split among Evanston, Uinta County, Mountain View, Lyman and Bear River.

West Yellowstone, Montana, and Ashton, Idaho, have been added to the 2013 route, while Park City, Utah, has been removed. Since Evanston will be the final stop in the race, it will host the final banquet and other events.

• Councilors approved an access and use easement for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality for the installation of a ground water monitoring well at the intersection of Front and 11th streets.

City Engineer Brian Honey said the well is part of ongoing remediation work to repair leaking underground fuel tanks in the city, as well as treat ground water already tainted by the fuel.

“A contractor from Park City has contracted with the state of Wyoming to do remediation work for leaking underground gas storage tanks,” Honey said. “These are locations where old storage tanks…[are] affecting the ground water. They’re putting up little buildings with pumping facilities in those buildings. They drill a well down into the ground water…and then filter out the contaminants.”

Honey noted the location at 11th and Front was formerly a Maverik convenience store, which was preceded by a number of fuel stations at the site, as well.

• The final reading of an ordinance to provide developers a way to recoup utility construction costs from owners of undeveloped individual units within their developments was approved.

Honey noted developers will be required to request an account be set up to receive the funds, if a lot owner decides to attach to the utilities within 10 years of completion of the utility work.

• The second reading of an ordinance that will bring the city of Evanston’s construction codes up-to-date with 2012 international rules, was approved.

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