Jodi Bedel hired as Hancock City Clerk
Hancock has a new city clerk. After receiveing 23 applications and interviewing seven candidates, the Hancock city council members approved hiring Jodi Bedel for the position. Bedel has accepted the job and will begin later this month.
The current city clerk, Jennifer VerSteeg, will be leaving at the beginning of May to stay at home with her children, the second to arrive in May. Her last day at the city office will be May 2.
Along with the decision on a new city clerk, the council members heard reports from the various city departments at their meeting on April 8. These included the fire department, city attorney, maintenance department and police department.
Fire Chief Kyle Rose was present at the meeting to request the council’s approval of Mike Neuman as a new member to the department. Neuman lives in Hancock and has two children attending the Hancock School.
The council members approved him as the twenty-third member of the department. This still leaves two open spots for anyone interested in joining the fire department. Rose informed the council that there are six firemen eligible to retire so they are actively looking for new members.
Rose also told the council members about some of the countywide trainings they have participated in and ones planned for the future. A recent training was held on mass decontamination and in the future there will be a training on hazardous spills. Some of these trainings are being generated by the fact that the number of crude oil train cars passing through the area is expected to double over the next few years.
Rose added that they seem to train the most for hazards that happen the least. They never have trainings for grass fires which is the most common fire they respond to.
Carl Thunem had been asked to check into the city’s vacant building ordinance. He told the council members that there were two things that would qualify a building as being vacant.
The first is that the building can’t be occupied for a legal use. It has to be used in accordance with the zoning ordinance. For example, a main street building would not be zoned as a storage facility unless at least part of it is used for retail or commercial business as defined in the zoning ordinance.
A second thing that would make a building designated as vacant would be if there were issues regarding rubbish, being unsecure or if there are outstanding utility bills. Thunem said that the vacant building ordinance is designed more for people who do not maintain the building.
A building on main street in Hancock primarily used for storage may not be in violation of the vacant building ordinance as long as there is no rubbish, it is secure and there are no outstanding utility bills. However, this type of establishment could be in violation of the zoning ordinance which actually carries a stiffer penalty than the vacant building ordinance.
John Jepma told the council members that he has been in contact with the dealership about the new city pickup and it should be arriving toward the end of the month. He asked about getting a different tool box for the back and council approved this. The current city pickup will be sold through bids in the future.
The city wide clean-up days were set for May 12-16. People will be able to place items at the curb for pickup or place them in a dumpster at the city garage. An ad will be placed in the paper with more specific information closer to that date.
Steve Henriksen informed the council members that he has received all the necessary licenses and he is just waiting for uniforms to arrive before he officially begins work for the city. The council members approved a contract with Ron Schley to continue to rent office space for the police department. Henriksen will be starting to do some work on the computers in the office before he actually starts patrols.
Pet Clinic dates were set up and Henriksen will be working at these. The H & H Pet Clinic will be held on May 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Community Center. The Morris Vet Center pet clinic will be held May 3 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. also at the Community Center. Watch for more information on these days.