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Uncertain of how its state aid may be affected, Granite Falls holds off replacing vacant cop position

GRANITE FALLS -- Uncertainty about what the state may do to local governments led City Council members in Granite Falls to postpone a decision on whether to fill a recently vacated police officer position.

City Council members learned at their meeting Monday that police officer Dave Evenson has resigned his position with the city.

His departure reduces the department from five full-time officers to four, according to City Manager Bill Lavin. The department also relies on other licensed officers for part-time assistance, but the loss of the full-time position means that overall there will be fewer patrol hours. Council members expressed concerns about making a decision about replacing the vacant position before knowing how the city's budget could be affected this legislative session, he said.

In other business, council members approved an agreement with City Engineer Dave Berryman to examine flood mitigation alternatives for the residential area along the Minnesota River south of the City Hall. The cost for the study is an estimated $37,500.

The homes along the east side of Prentice Street required sandbag protection during the flood of 1997. A variety of proposals to better protect the homes have been offered. They range from building a "footprint'' on which sandbags could be added in an emergency to erecting a larger and permanent dike between the homes and river.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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