City Council Recap: New Police Officer Sworn In

Lowell City Council had a short meeting last night with only two pieces of business on the agenda. Councilmembers, decked out in Pink Arrow XVI shirts in honor of this week’s game, also heard from two citizens and welcomed the Lowell Police Department’s newest part-time officer.

All councilmembers were present for the meeting.

Officer Fredi Raymundo Sworn In

At the start of the meeting, the floor was turned over to Police Chief Chris Hurst who invited Fredi Raymundo and his parents to the front of council chambers.

As a 2021 graduate of Union High School and a 2023 graduate of Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy, Raymundo is the youngest police officer to be hired by the Lowell Police Department in recent memory. Hurst said the department usually hires part-time officers who have held positions elsewhere, but Raymundo greatly impressed both him and other members of LPD.

“We thought, we need to grab onto this guy because he’s going to be valuable once we get him trained,” Hurst said.

That sentiment was echoed by everyone Hurst spoke to during the interview and screening process. The police chief contacted references at Raymundo’s high school, college and at the Grand Rapids Police Department, where he had served as an intern. All said that they were impressed by Raymundo’s maturity and work ethic.

After Hurst provided this introduction, City Clerk Sue Ullery led Raymundo in reciting the oath of office. Afterward, he received a standing ovation from councilmembers and the audience.

Citizen Comments

Two citizens spoke during the citizens comments portion of the meeting.

Resident John Sterly felt that with city hall being closed on Fridays in the fall, that might be a good time for residents to have informal meetings or forums with city department representatives. This might eliminate the need for people to wait until a formal council or board meeting to share concerns and ask questions.

The second person to speak was resident Bob Rowley. He asked for clarification about when parking was allowed on Main Street overnight, but that question was not answered during the meeting. He also asked whether the city had in fact filed an objection to the vacation of Horatio Street, to which City Manager Mike Burns replied yes. Finally, he noted that additional traffic enforcement could be used on E. Main Street to address the number of speeding vehicles in the area.

News Business: Dump Box and Storm Drain Repair

Under new business, councilmembers unanimously approved two expenditures.

The first was $27,914 to replace the dump box on the small dump truck used at the cemetery. The quote – from MI-Deal – is $7,914 above the budgeted amount but can be covered by the equipment fund.

The second expenditure was $12,240 to repair a storm drain near 1030 W. Main Street. The repair will be completed by Earthworm Excavating, which had the low bid. The only other company to bid was Georgetown Construction which quoted $36,550 for the work.

City Manager and Councilmember Comments

In his city manager’s report, Burns said the city was talking to the Kent County Youth Fair about perhaps leaving the beef and dairy barns at Recreation Park. Those could then be used as pavilions in the future. The fair will be removing all other buildings except the Reath Barn and King Building.

Burns also shared that, in response to citizen concerns about speeding, police officers were being mandated to make three traffic stops per shift. Those that did not would need to explain the reason to the chief of police.

During council comments, Councilmember Jim Salzwedel mentioned his hope that Coffee with Council – which has been on hiatus all summer – could resume in October. He volunteered to head that up but said he would be out of town on October 7.

Councilmember Marty Chambers said he would be able to make coffee and open the Chamber building on that morning. Several councilmembers also expressed their desire that the Coffee with Council sessions have more structure than what has been the norm in the past.

The meeting adjourned at 7:23pm, and the next regular meeting of Lowell City Council will take place on Monday, October 2, at 7pm in Lowell City Hall.

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