Today’s Poll

Police boat still in the works for Nelson Police Department

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
March 24th, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

Nelson will likely have a new police boat in its fleet of vehicles, but the police board chair said it would take some time before its purchase is finalized.

City council approved the allotment of $17,000 in its budget for a police boat for the Nelson Police Department in its recently adopted Financial Plan for the current fiscal year.

Mayor John Dooley, the board’s chair, said the money still has to be reallocated within the police budget, and the boat has not been given final approval.

The determining factor for the board for that permission will be if they elect to put it in this year’s budget or not.

The board has to look at the budget as a whole, said Mayor Dooley, and then they will prioritize what is needed this year.

“They need a replacement, yes,” said Mayor Dooley. “And if the boat comes to the top of the list that is what it will be.”

The pontoon boat (with motor) has been a part of the police force’s fleet for 17 years.

He said people were surprised to find out the police force even had a boat. It saw limited use, however, being employed in conjunction with Nelson Search and Rescue’s watercraft.

City manager Kevin Cormack said the boat has been fully amortized through the City’s budget. The boat would be paid for out of one of the reserve budgets, not taxation, he added.

If approved by the police board — which meets next week — the money is expected to come out of the equipment pool budget. The boat will be amortized over 15 years so the yearly costs for the boat will be small.

The current boat is lodged in a donated boathouse on Nelson’s waterfront.

Coun. Deb Kozak said recently she had heard from the public about the boat and questioned its necessity, seeing as the city did not have a large amount of water traffic and boats moored in the marinas.

Dooley said the police have relayed to him they feel a new boat is important to provide complete police service in a city that borders on a lake.


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