Wyoming PD sets plan to replace retiring sergeant

Scott Dexter’s last day is Friday; open house will be Feb. 7



Alice Pickering
Wyoming Reporter

Sgt. Scott Dexter is retiring from the Wyoming Police Department effective Friday. The department’s plan is to promote a part-time officer to a full-time position, promote a full-time officer to sergeant, and then fill vacancies for two part-time police officers.

At the Dec. 3 City Council meeting, part-time officer Michael Tadych was hired on probationary status as a full-time officer at the recommendation of Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe. Tadych has been with the department since July 2011. Council unanimously approved hiring Tadych at a starting wage of $24.40 an hour. He begins work on Dec. 30.

The department is developing a list of eligible candidates from which to select part-time officers. Preliminary written tests, physical agility tests, and first-round interviews have been completed. Final interviews will be completed by year’s end.

Related to this, Hoppe requested permission to begin the promotional process for the sergeant’s position. He anticipates this to be completed by January or February. Selection will have three steps: written exam, oral interview and a leadership assessment.

Hoppe briefly outlined the requirements for a candidate for sergeant. As a leadership position, candidates need more in-depth knowledge, he said. A minimum and primary qualification is five years experience as a police officer. He also listed as preferred qualifications a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, criminal justice or a related field, or the ability to complete such a degree within four years of the appointment.

Discussion between Hoppe and the council ensued relating to how to weigh candidates on experience and education. Ultimately, council members unanimously allowed Hoppe to begin the promotion process.

A retirement celebration for Dexter will be at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Stella’s on 97 in Forest Lake. The public is invited.

Solar energy project

One of the five proposals in a competitive bidding process regarding Xcel Energy’s future energy needs would involve a solar site in Wyoming.

The City Council approved submission of a letter in support of Edina-based Geronimo Energy’s Aurora Solar Project. The proposal involves 23 sites in 18 Minnesota counties. Each site would bring $180,000 in tax revenue to the local government and school district.

An administrative law judge representing the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will review the proposals. The letter from Wyoming will be part of the public comment considered. The other four proposals are centered on natural gas.

Between all the sites, the Aurora Solar Project would produce 100 megawatts of power starting in December 2016. If selected, local permits would still be required. In Wyoming, the solar field would tie into the power substation in the southern part of the city. The fenced-in solar field would be designed to offset approximately 20 percent of the substation’s load.

The project would help Xcel Energy meet renewable energy standards.

Ambulance space

North Memorial Ambulance is looking for space for several longtime needs, such as a break room and heated ambulance parking.

Hoppe said terms have been negotiated with North Memorial to provide parking space in the city’s fire apparatus bay for when the ambulance is on patrol in the city. North Memorial has agreed to lease the space for three years at $400 per month. The presence of the ambulance means a faster response to medical emergencies in the city. Either party can break the lease with 90-day notification.

Hoppe called it a win-win agreement. Council members agreed and unanimously approved the contract.

Hallberg to build

Hallberg Inc. is developing plans to expand its boat storage facilities at 26193 Fallbrook Ave., in the city’s industrial park. A site plan submitted to the council calls for construction of a 63,360-square-foot building.

The Planning Commission recommended approval of the site plan, with several conditions. The council gave unanimous approval. Groundbreaking will occur in the spring.

Other business

In other business:

– The council learned that the Public Works Department replaced two failing culverts over which a road was settling in the former township. Also, a drainage problem was corrected at the end of Fountain Avenue to minimize flooding. Money to pay for the work came from the Surface Water Fund for which residents pay an annual $8 fee.

– The council approved the hiring of John Peka for a third year as the ice rink attendant. The department budgeted $7,500 for the seasonal position.