City of Keota Seeking Part Time Police Presence

Casey Jarmes
The News-Review

KEOTA – During the Jan. 16 meeting of the Keota City Council, the council discussed the future of the Keota police department, which has not existed since the resignation of Chief Doug Conrad in July of 2023. Councilman Curt Burroughs stated that the city currently has three options: begin hiring officers to work part time; continue receiving police protection from the county; or negotiate police protection from Sigourney. Burroughs stated that he was open to hiring part time officers, which he feels is the easiest and quickest way to get coverage, and that doing so would help the city find out if they need additional coverage from Sigourney. Councilman Matt Greiner stated that he had been contacted by qualified policemen interested in working part time for the city and noted that coverage could be split between several different officers. Greiner noted that the city will not have to provide benefits for part time workers, saving money in the budget. The council approved putting out an ad seeking ten hours of part time police patrols.

The council gave their official support to Kevin Miller so he may apply for a Community Catalyst Grant to repair the Hinkel Building on Broadway. Back in September, Miller informed the council that the historic building had a damaged roof, resulting in flooding and cracks running down the building. The city paid for an inspection of the building. Miller's attempts to repair the building were delayed for years, due to half of the building having a separate owner. Miller reported to the council that he had purchased the entire building and sealed the roof. Miller plans to turn the second floor of the building into four apartments, while continuing to rent out the first floor to businesses.

The council revised the city’s ordinances concerning mobile homes. Under the previous ordinances, mobile home owners were required to renew a permit every twelve months. Under the new ordinances, mobile homes instead only need to be approved by the city once. The council also removed language specifying what part of town mobile homes needed to be placed in, although the requirement that mobile homes sit on a permanent cement slab remained. Mobile homes on concrete slabs will be subject to the same ordinances as normal homes. Burroughs noted that the old ordinances were designed to limit mobile homes, something that is not currently a problem in Keota. Councilman Keith Conrad brought up one nuisance property mobile home in town, the owners of which plan to upgrade to a new, ordinance compliant mobile home.

City Administrator Alycia Horras brought up the idea of contacting pool employees and asking them to reapply for the upcoming pool season. Karen Sypherd, who is on the hiring committee, pushed back against this, stating that employees should not think their jobs are guaranteed and should apply if they want to be rehired. Horras stated that she had talked to several former employees, most of whom want to return. Greiner suggested Horras first reach out to old employees and see if they want to return, then meet with students at the school if the pool does not have enough returning employees.

The city plans to close on the 506 S. Fulton property later this month. The council approved a $500 bid for the 24x24 garage at the Green Street property.




The News-Review

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