Police year-in-review: Police Chief Drew Hilscher provided figures for the Police Department after his first full calendar year as its leader:
Issued 374 citations.
Filed 166 criminal incident reports.
Made 16 arrests.
Responded to 270 calls for service.
Hired Sergeant Dan Stocker, Officer Travis Herbolsheimer, and Officer Joshua Damme.
Acquired upgraded equipment, including a new cruiser, radar speed guns, and computers.
By year-end, achieved near round-the-clock coverage, seven days per week.
Chief Hilscher deserves to be commended for building this department and accomplishing the goals given to him by the mayor and City Council when he was hired in the fall of 2019.
Heritage development: The Council gave preliminary approval to a new 37-home housing development in Heritage. It will be located at the end of Rainwood Road in the originally planned location for the elementary school. (The site proved unsuitable for a building of that size.) The single-family homes will be similar to others in the area. Rainwood Road will be extended for a few blocks, and it will eventually connect with 149th Street.
New parkland: The Council approved a payment of $192,500 for grading costs on the planned parkland between Bennington Road and the new Kempten Creek housing development. This deal took advantage of excess soil on the building site. It creates an opportunity to place a recreational facility along a new road that will connect Bennington Road and 156th Street. The new road will provide access to both the park and the homes to the north.
A task force, including representatives from youth sports leagues, the Bennington Community Foundation, and myself, are colleting ideas and building a concept for both the parkland and, further in the future, an indoor recreational facility. If you have ideas on what should be included among these amenities, please e-mail me.
Appointments: The Council also approved the following appointments to the Bennington Public Library Board:
And to Bennington's Planning Commission:
Please note: Starting in February, City Council meetings will be held at 6 p.m. rather than 6:30. They will continue to be on the second Monday of the month.
As always, if you have ideas, questions, or concerns about the future of our community, please let me know.
Bennington City Council, Ward 1
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