LAHARPE — LaHarpe City Council members agreed to look into the possibility of hiring a part-time police officer.
The city has been without an officer for the past two years, due to the city’s tightening budget.
Currently, LaHarpe must depend solely on the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for its law enforcement.
It would be in the city’s best interest to hire an officer, City Attorney Chuck Apt said.
“I’d like to see if there’s anybody out there who would be interested in working for us part time,” Council member Cynthia Carr said.
She suggested the position also include code enforcement and animal control duties.
Council members agreed to look into the matter again at their June 9 meeting.
WITH CITY hall now relocated to the old LaHarpe Elementary School building, Council members will decide on the fate of playground equipment and a pair of outbuildings on the property.
Mayor Lloyd Wayne Turner said recent playground users wound up breaking into one of the outbuildings and damaging a fence surrounding the playground. He also expressed concerns about the city’s liability if a playground user was injured on city property.
“My suggestion is that the playground equipment doesn’t belong here,” Turner said. “It belongs at the park.”
Carr mentioned a couple of stumbling blocks. The park does not have a suitable hard surface for a basketball court like the one on the west side of City Hall. “You can’t dribble on grass,” she noted.
And the jungle gym, merry-go-round, slide and other equipment all have cement bases that may require significant labor to move.
“We also need to find out whether we have any more liability if somebody was injured here or at the park,” Carr said.
Council members said they would advertise the availability of the two outbuildings, as well as the old city hall building on Main Street.
“We don’t know what type of offers we’ll receive,” Carr said. “Somebody may want to rent it, lease it or buy it outright.”
TURNER received permission to install a drop box near the front door of City Hall so that residents can pay their utility bills after business hours.