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Colfax public safety committee recommends police department facelift

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Police Department will soon be receiving a facelift.

The Colfax Village Board’s public safety committee approved recommending that the village board accept bids for drywall, paint and new flooring for the police department at a cost not to exceed $6,567 at the committee’s October 6 meeting. No one currently employed by the village remembers the last time the police department offices were painted or new flooring was installed.

 Colfax Police Chief Bill Anderson pointed out that electrical work in the police department would have to be completed before the painting and work on the floor could be started. Police Chief Anderson received one electrical bid from Abe’s Electric out of Eau Claire in the amount of $1,325 for new outlets in the police department or for $1,000 to reuse and remount the electrical strips currently in use.

Police Chief Anderson said outlets would be more practical and useful than the electrical strips mounted along the wall. The Colfax Police Department does not have any outlets in the back room, which is used as a break room, and the refrigerator, microwave oven and coffee pot are all operated with extension cords running from the front portion of the office, he said.

Public safety committee members asked about additional electrical bids, and Police Chief Anderson reported that Chris Fogarty of Fogarty Electric out of Colfax was planning to look at the department’s electrical outlets the next day.

Police Chief Anderson said he was hoping Fogarty would submit a bid for the job.

The Colfax Police Department received two bids for painting and patching the drywall.

One bid was from Richard Jenson of Artistic Drywall and Remodel out of Colfax in the amount of $1,742. The other bid was from Mark A. Hartman out of Bloomer in the amount of $3,190.

The Colfax Public Safety committee approved recommending the village board accept the bid in the amount of $1,742 from Jenson. Village trustee and public safety committee member Annie Schieber abstained from voting on the motion.

The public safety committee also recommended the village board accept a bid for flooring from the Menomonie Flooring Centre.

The bid for carpet tile and installation was in the amount of $2,859.

The Menomonie Flooring bid also included an additional $550 to tear out the old wood baseboards and install new vinyl baseboards.

Police Chief Anderson said it was possible he could tear out the old baseboards and install the vinyl baseboards himself.

The public safety committee recommended the village board accept the flooring bid in an amount not to exceed $3,500.

Since the recommended improvements to the police department amounted to about $6,500, public safety committee members wondered if there was enough money in the budget to cover those items.

Jackie Ponto, administrator-clerk-treasurer, said the police department had $2,000 in this year’s budget for improvements and the Colfax Municipal Building budget contained $10,000 for improvements.

Police Chief Anderson also said he would like to replace the desks in the police department and that he was watching the UW-Stout auction site and another auction site for used furniture.

2015 budget

The public safety committee reviewed the proposed 2015 budget for the Colfax Police Department in the amount of $206,671.

The largest increase was about $20,000 for full-time police department wages that included state retirement. The increase in wages was due to Police Chief Anderson beginning employment with the village last spring, Ponto said.

The village did not have to pay state retirement for Pete Gehring to work as the police chief after he agreed to come out of retirement to work for Colfax again, she said.

The 2014 police department budget was $197,594.

The increase in salary for the police chief is offset in the proposed 2015 budget by a $3,000 decrease in part-time wages, a $1,500 decrease in retirement benefits, a $3,000 decrease in insurance, and a $500 decrease in technical supplies.