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Pequot Lakes hires police sergeant

After several years of talking about hiring a police sergeant, the Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 3, agreed to offer the position to Chad Turcotte, a Crow Wing County Sheriff’s deputy.

Police chief Eric Klang asked to hire Turcotte at $24.91 per hour, which is $1.20 per hour more than the council had previously set, or about $2,500 per year more.

Klang said that pay is still less than what area police sergeants earn.

Representatives from Pequot Lakes, Jenkins and Jenkins Township — all areas the Pequot Lakes Police Department covers — as well as from the State Patrol interviewed two candidates for the position.

“This is a very experienced officer,” Klang told the council. “He’s been involved in every facet of law enforcement and brings the knowledge and skills set to meet the expectations of a Pequot Lakes police officer.”

Scott Pederson, council member, said Turcotte impressed him beyond expectations.

“He struck me as a person who pays attention to extreme detail and would make a very good manager,” Pederson said.

Klang will include the salary in his 2014 budget. The council is in the process of setting budgets for 2014, and already decreased police overtime hours to 100, decreased police part-time officers’ hours to 500 and decreased police office supplies by $1,500.

With the retirement of police officer John Ryan at the end of August, the department now has a chief, sergeant and four officers, as well as an office manager.

Spray irrigation lease

In other business Sept. 3, the council voted to terminate a spray irrigation lease agreement with Bill Tulenchik if the city doesn’t hear from Tulenchik by Sept. 30.

Tulenchik has owed a lease payment of $5,000 since Jan. 1. The city has made several attempts to contact him regarding the delinquent payment.

Council member Dave Sjoblad said that considering the investment Tulenchik has made in the spray irrigation field, he wanted to give him another month to make the payment.

The lease agreement runs from January 2012 to December 2015 and allows for termination of the lease between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 each year.

Tulenchik has held the lease agreement for many years. The lease requires him to plant and maintain a permanent cover crop on the property.

Planning and zoning

The council approved three related requests:

• Rezoned 4.27 acres of property adjacent to Sibley Lake on Pequot Lakes Boulevard from Shoreline Commercial to Shoreline Residential. The property owner plans to subdivide the property into three residential lots and two outlots.

• Approved the preliminary plat of Timber Ridge, as requested by Patrick J. Smith and Robert Rickard.

• Approved the final plat of Timber Ridge.

And draft planning and zoning meeting minutes show that commission granted a conditional use permit that Nathan Walberg requested for a used car dealership and computer repair business on Highway 371, with conditions.