Staffing shortages impact Clearwater emergency responses

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By Michelle Leidy-Franklin
TSnews

CLEARWATER – Sedgwick County shortages in emergency response personnel have resulted in less coverage for the community response vehicle located in Clearwater.
The priority for staffing will be given to ambulance personnel first. CRV coverage will be reinstated when staffing shortages are resolved.
The City of Clearwater has qualified staff to take care of covering emergencies when the CRV is unable to respond. Fire chief Jared Dinwiddie will be working with staff and staying in contact with county emergency services to make sure local emergencies are covered during the shortage. City council members were made aware of the issue during the city council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
In other business:
• A hearing was held to discuss a resolution for the city to access property taxes exceeding the revenue neutral rate. No one attended the hearing to voice concerns or questions. The resolution was approved by the city council.
• A hearing was held for the 2022 city budget with no one in attendance voicing concerns or questions. The mill levy was set at 64.022 mills.
• A temporary alcohol permit was approved for the Clearwater Booster Club for their annual BBQ at the city park shelter held on Saturday, Aug 28. The vote was 4 to 1 with city council member Chris Griffin voting no.
• Chief of police Kirk Ives reported that a well-known burglar from Sedgwick County had been caught by local officers after a long investigation that included a long evening of surveillance and a foot chase. He said all of the officers put a lot of time and work into the case and he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
• The city council approved the appointment of Stephanie Koehler as the new city clerk.
• The annual adoption of the uniform public offense code and the standard traffic ordinance was approved to keep the city in compliance with state laws.
• The city council approved an interlocal agreement between the city and the cemetery for the city to provide secretary and treasurer duties to the cemetery. City Hall staff will perform these duties. The cemetery will pay the city $360 per month for the services. This comes after the cemetery secretary and treasurer resigned and posted the job opening. No qualified applications for the position were received.
• The council approved the remodel of City Hall’s front office enclosure not to exceed $20,000. The remodel will be done with grant funds allocated for COVID-19 safety improvements. The front office of City Hall will get bullet resistant wall and glass for the partition between staff and the public. A reinforced door with key faubs will also be included in the remodel.
• The council approved a land swap agreement with the cemetery district.
• The council approved hiring Phillip Rush as a part-time employee for the public works department. The public works department currently has two additional openings for employment.