City approves CPD ‘Night Out’

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
   Council members approved the use of the Lions Club Swimming Pool Park for a police sponsored “National Night Out” (NNO) on Aug. 4.
   The national event is in its’ 26th year, but this is the first time it is being held in Conrad.
   Chief Gary Dent said that last year over 15,000 communities and 37 million people participated in NNO.
   He explained that the community evening is designed to: 1. Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; 2. Generate support for participation awareness; 3. Strengthen neighborhood and community support; 4. Help build police-community partnerships.
   From 4-9 p.m. on Aug. 4, people are encouraged to turn on porch and other outside lights and spend the evening outside with friends, neighbors and law enforcement.
   “Turning on your outside lights is symbolic,” Dent said, “even if it isn’t dark it doesn’t matter, join us for a fun and informative evening.”
   Plans call for a Border Patrol helicopter to land in the park, various K-9 dog demonstrations, live music, GPS demonstrations, the MONT TIP Fish and Game display trailer, a dunking booth and more fun and games are being planned. The council approved the use of the park for this event on a 4-0 vote.
   There were eight building permits and one water contract approved. A 911/dispatching contract with the county was also approved.
   There was in increase from $11,250 to $12,250, the first in three years.
   Sheriff Tom Kuka said, “This is for services rendered and helps offset costs.” However, Mayor John Shevlin felt the city was already paying a significant amount and that taxpayers were being double taxed for the service, “it’s too much.” Nevertheless, the contract was approved on a 4-0 vote by the city aldermen.
   Action on Shane McFarland’s use of the Lions Club Swimming Pool Park to teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class was tabled. He was not present at the council meeting.
   Gordon Nelson was on hand to talk about an incident with a pit bull dog over Whoop-Up. The animal came up behind him while he was working in his yard and began snarling and growling.
   The owner overheard this and took the dog away. No one was bitten or injured. Gordon felt the council needed to look into this. It was noted the city has a vivacious dog ordinance, but it will be looked into again.
   During the public comment segment of the meeting – a letter to the council from Laura Erickson was read by her daughter Heather. It addressed the family pass policy at the swimming pool.
   In part, Erickson wrote; “I wish to express my concern about an unfair practice put in place by the mayor regarding family pool passes.”
“… Our point to the mayor and now the city council is that any decision about who qualifies for a pool pass needs to be fair across the board. We know of families who have grandchildren who live in another county, married children and children who don’t live at home,” all on the family pool pass.
   “Our request is simple” she wrote, “Fairness across the board for all families.”
   No action or comment is taken or made during the public comment segment.
   Other reports by city supervisors were given and accepted.
   The next regular meeting of the city council is July 20, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street. The public is always encouraged and welcome to attend.