Haxtun Town Council agrees to pay PD's unused vacation days
November 11, 2020
With just two officers on staff at the Haxtun Police Department, the possibility of taking any vacation time is limited. The Haxtun PD, usually staffed with three officers, has been down to two since April when Officer Mike Beard made the move to the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office.
For the majority of the year, the department has been staffed by Chief Tanya Mayhew and Officer Tom Bullard. Having only two officers leaves limited amount of time for either to use vacation days allotted to them each year. Vacation time and the addition of part-time help were all topics of discussion at the Haxtun Town Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 2.
Council members voted during the November meeting to pay unused vacation days to Mayhew and Bullard for 2020. All town employees are allowed to roll over five days from a previous year into a new year, but council members voted to pay for vacation days not used for the two officers at the end of 2020 due to the lack of staff with the department.
According to Town Clerk Karie Wilson, an exact number of vacation days to be paid will be unknown until the end of the year, giving Mayhew and Bullard time to still use vacation days over the next month and a half.
Additionally, the Council granted Mayhew permission to utilize part-time help from surrounding agencies and departments as needed until a third officer is hired, trained and ready for duty.
The Haxtun Police Department went through the application and interview process for a third officer several months ago and landed on William Farnsworth, who at the time entered into an agreement with the PD to attend the police academy to become certified. However, Farnsworth withdrew from the academy a few short weeks later, leaving the department in need of a third officer again.
At the start of the Nov. 2 meeting at the Haxtun Community Center, council members heard from Haxtun Chamber of Commerce board members Kindra Plumb, Julie Thayer and Alan Nall and Director Jenn Oberle.
The group gave a report on 2020 Chamber happenings and activities and talked about an upcoming membership meeting slated for Thursday, Nov. 12 at noon. The meeting will take place at the Haxtun Community Center and will also be online, Oberle said.
The Council asked for a report from the local Chamber as several members have received comments from community members and Chamber member businesses on the local organization. Additionally, the Council is working on the upcoming 2021 budget and the Town of Haxtun currently contributes $4,800 a year to the local Chamber.
In their report, Chamber representatives said an outside financial review is underway of Chamber accounts and information should follow once that review is complete.
No further action was taken by the Council on funding for the upcoming year.
In other business the Council:
• Approved optional insurance coverage with CIRSA, the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, for volunteer accident medical, community service worker accidental medial, equipment breakdown, occupational accidental death and dismemberment and excess crime. All are renewals from the current year;
• Set a public hearing date for the 2021 budget for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.;
• Reviewed a draft copy of an ordinance to allow water supply outside of city limits. Plans are to continue working on the draft copy and bring forward for possible vote at the December meeting;
• Superintendent Ron Carpenter said he is working with Industrial Welding and Supply in Sterling for new welcome signs on the edges of Town. Existing signs were damaged during a summer storm;
• Carpenter met with Linda Langelo regarding grant funds to replace trees in the Haxtun Park that were damaged during the same storm and others over the past few years;
• Mayhew reported her department is seeking grant funds to allow for cadet training in the POST academy.