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Ely police force reshuffles

by Tom Coombe

For the second time in a month, Ely is looking for a new police officer.

Council members accepted the resignation of officer David Wimmer on Tuesday.

Wimmer, who joined the Ely department in 2021, is leaving to be closer to family members and his last day on the job is set for Nov. 11.

“He has been a great officer,” said police chief Chad Houde.

At Houde’s request, council members voted to post Wimmer’s position but it may be a challenge to get it filled.

“Numbers are very down throughout the state,” said Houde. “To say there’s a hiring crisis in law enforcement is probably not the right term.”

The council voted to hire Courtney Schurhammer for another vacant police officer job, and Houde noted the city only had one applicant for the job and “it was a great applicant.”

“It is my concern that it’s going to be tough to fill the next position,” said Houde.

In another police-related matter, Houde reported that calendar parking goes into effect in Ely on Nov. 1.

Put in place to aid with snow removal, the city’s calendar parking rules call for motorists to park on alternating sides of streets and avenues, depending on the date on the calendar.

Police generally grant some leeway early on.

“For the first few weeks we’ll be putting some friendly reminders on your car (rather than issuing tickets),” said Houde.

Calendar parking generally runs into May.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

• Accepted the resignation of Scott Kochendorfer from the police commission and agreed to advertise to fill the vacancy. Kochendorfer resigned from the commission so he could take a part-time police officer position. The part-time post will help fill police shifts given the department’s vacancies.

• Passed a resolution authorizing the Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club to sell pull tabs at the Kwazy Wabbit.

• Allowed the temporary closing of Linda Fryer Way (Seventh Avenue East) during the Oct. 31 Halloween Trunk or Treat Event.

• Scheduled a study session with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 28 to continue discussion on the permissible and conditional uses list.

• Established a timeline for dealing with blighted property at 1545 East Harvey Street.

• Passed the second reading of ordinances related to animal licensing and dealing with dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs, and a resolution establishing licensing fees for dogs.

• Approved a residential rehabilitation loan for Joseph and Nicole Shusta.

• Supported the projects committee recommendation to submit the Ely Water Systems Improvement project for Community Development Block Grant funding.

• Approved the projects committee recommendation to assist with the drafting of easements for the Prospector Loop Trail connection of Bear Run and the Y-Store to Pfeiffer Lake sections.

• Approved the Turkey Trot race on Nov. 23 from 8 to 10:30 a.m., which will be run on Miners Drive to the Trezona Trail and back to the Trezona trailhead.

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