Chatfield's police chief, Shane Fox, updated the council during its Monday, Sept. 23, meeting on the new law enforcement records management software the city was looking to obtain. The city has owned its current software for 10 years and Fox said support for the system has become nonexistent, although the city was originally promised it would be supported.

The new software is from a Minnesota developed company called LETG and is the same system currently being installed at the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office. Fox suggested this meant the software was probably the most cost-efficient for what it would do. The software would allow record sharing between the county and the city.

Law enforcement would be able to look up records and write reports in the squad car as well as check reports on people from other parts of the state.

"It will up the efficiency of the officers," stated Fox.

The cost, roughly $29,000, was higher than the $14,000 the city had budgeted for a planned software upgrade in 2013. The additional money will come from the police reserve fund.

Mayor Russell Smith commented on how expensive software has become.

Councilman Robert Pederson noted, "If you are going to have a full-time police department, you definitely should have them keep up with the county and the state."

Councilman Mike Urban asked if the reporting would be tied to the county attorney. Fox said the entire process would be paperless and save physical trips to attorney offices.

The software purchase and installation was approved with the go-live date expected to be near the beginning of October.

'Jake-braking'

The council addressed complaints of trucks jake-braking, or otherwise making too much noise, as they drive through town.

Approval was received to have the Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) put up signs indicating that vehicle noise laws of the city are being enforced. The city will pay for the first set of four signs with the understanding that the DOT will replace any damaged signs in the future. The signs will cost the city roughly $800.

Pederson asked if the signs would change how the city responds to noise incidents. Smith said the DOT would only put up the signs under the expectation that the city would enforce the noise ordinance already in place.

"It's another heads up that there are vehicle noise ordinances in place. They can't say 'I didn't know about it.' Now there's a sign," he explained.

Sewer repairs

Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Darryl Haner reported that a priority list of sewer repairs compiled in late 2012 had encompassed both dig-and repair and cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) repair work.

Haner said the dig-and-repair work had been completed and the city could begin the CIPP work. Estimated cost for all of the projects was around $100,000 and Haner said the city had spent around 60 percent of that at the time.

Haner asked the council to award the contract for the upcoming work to Visu-Sewer for $33,516, which would complete the city's top 12 projects for the year.

The council approved the bid. Work would begin around the first of the year.

Committee reports

Pederson gave the Public Services committee report in which he said a complaint had been sent to city about the number of dogs a resident can have. Currently the city allows two dogs and two cats per property without a kennel. The entire city ordinance pertaining to animals was sent to the Planning and Zoning committee for review. Smith noted that the city did appear restrictive when compared to other cities.

Pederson reported that the committee had again discussed changing the Chatfield Western Days float, which has remained the same since 1992. He recommended anyone who is interested in contributing ideas to contact city hall.

He thanked those who had watered plants throughout the city.

The committee had also discussed budgets for the fire and police departments. Smith noted that charitable gambling numbers for emergency response departments had decreased statewide and might have a local effect.

Councilman Ken Jacobson added that the discussions on the budgets had gone well. "We have to take a look at all those things. We've been pretty cognizant of what we have to do for citizens," he shared, suggesting that an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting review costs.

The Park and Recreation committee report by Jacobson included an update on the Chatfield school's plan to add rock to the outfield of a softball field in Mill Creek Park in order to make it a baseball field. The numbers, Jacobson said, were not nailed down, but would be presented to the council at a future meeting.