Albert Lea City Council approves the use of ALPD in Hartland

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Albert Lea City Council on Tuesday approved having the Albert Lea Police Department assist the city of Hartland in its effort to reduce its population of feral cats.

The council authorized an agreement with Hartland to conduct search warrants on issues regarding long grass, refuse, junk vehicles and animal control issues.

The measure passed by a 5-2 vote. Councilors Larry Baker, Reid Olson, Robert Rasmussen and Rich Murray, along with Mayor Vern Rasmussen Jr., voted yes. Councilors Al “Minnow” Brooks and Jason Howland voted no.

Email newsletter signup

In voting yes, Vern Rasmussen Jr. said the city needs to support small communities as long as it is not costing Albert Lea time or resources, noting Hartland does not have a police force.

Albert Lea officers would not be forced to assist Hartland, and any assistance would come during overtime hours.

Under the agreement, the city of Albert Lea will charge Hartland an hourly fee for services. It is estimated Albert Lea officers would be needed in Hartland one or two times a year.

In a public forum during the meeting, Kim Jameson of Hartland, who has come under fire for the number of cats she has, said she was defending herself against harassment and targeting.

She predicted other small communities would request similar help if the agreement passed and said it would be passed based on lies against her.

“This town has been torn apart on this issue,” Jameson said.

Howland said he voted no because it was not in the city’s best interest to provide law enforcement to other communities.

In voting yes, Baker said he supported Albert Lea officers helping other communities, noting the agreement can be terminated with a 60-day notice.

In other action, the council:

Amended a lease agreement with the state of Minnesota to use the City Arena parking for the skills component of the motorcycle licensing process.

Accepted a $522 donation to Albert Lea police from Kwik Trip for an upgrade to purchase eight SkillGuide electronic displays for mannequins relating to CPR training and a $45 donation to the Senior Center.

Declared Wind Down Wednesdays community festivals.

Granted a variance to a structure setback at 1452 Nicklaus Drive.

Approved splitting a lot in Wedgewood Cove Estates to allow for a twin home.

Amended the 2018 fee schedule to add fees for weeding and grass mowing completed by the Parks Department. That could also include weed and grass mowing for a nuisance property.

Supported a $20,000 grant application to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, which would be a reimbursement for the service provided by Retail Strategies.

Abated taxes for 1452 Nicklaus Drive and 2170 Palmer Circle as part of an agreement the city has to abate city taxes for five years on new single-family homes, duplexes or multi-family complexes.

Provided for the sale of $2.5 million in general obligation improvement bonds to finance the city’s 2018 improvement projects.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam