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City meets police dog, gets annual department report

The Tea City Council met March 4 where they met the new police dog, Suni, for the first time.

She started canine camp March 4 and will be in camp for six weeks before hitting the streets of Tea.

Police chief Jessica Quigley provided the annual report for the police department. The report is available on the city website. Some items to note included a 42 percent increase in calls for service, a 12 percent increase in motor vehicle crashes, no fatalities, injury accidents remained the same at 16, substance abuse had a more than 100 percent increase and early data for 2024 shows cocaine is trending up. The number of thefts were up 44 cases, but burglary cases were down eight and stolen vehicle cases were down nine.

The council held a public hearing for the Tea Commerce Addition preliminary development plan for tract 1, Ronald Mueller Addition. Thomas Avenue would align and extend further south. They have a tenant for tract one. The council approved the preliminary plan.

They also approved the revised preliminary development plan for GC Estates. The plan changed the lots in block 4 from 10 to eight lots between Benjamin and Samantha. 

Councilman Lynn DeYoung read a letter from a fireworks stand operator that expressed changing the license fee to operate a fireworks stand within city limits. The current fee is $200. DeYoung suggested changing that fee to $25 to match the state’s fee. 

Mayor Casey Voelker noted that both Harrisburg and Hartford have fees of $200 for fireworks businesses. Councilman Jim Erck said they have done their research and noted they just worked on this a year ago.

The motion failed 5-1 to change the fee.

The council approved the agreement for engineering services from HDR for the 85th Street project. The estimated budget is $390,030.

They also approved the Tea Area Transportation Plan agreement with HDR. The city budgeted to conduct a master transportation plan in 2024. The city’s cost would be $40,000.

The council approved the quit claim deed for lot 2, block 7 in Pinnacle Estates. City administrator Justin Weiland said this property is being turned over to the city for a 2.2-acre park.

They approved the resignation of police officer Danielle Bilbo and the hiring of part-time police officer Jon Roman at $30.50 per hour.

Weiland noted that new water rate notices were going out this month.

The council adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

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