During the City Council's regular meeting on Tuesday, November 21, one of the most notable headlines was the break-in at the Steel Lake Maintenance facility located off 28th Avenue on the previous Wednesday, November 15.

Thieves targeted and vandalized vehicles, where they also stole a large equipment trailer and caused a substantial loss of tools and equipment. The estimated total loss amounted to $213,793, which includes sales tax. 

Mayor Jim Ferrell authorized an Emergency Declaration on November 15 to replace critical equipment for emergency responses and essential functions.

The City Council has approved spending $325,000 from The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund to replace stolen equipment, repair damaged trucks and fences, and hire a third-party security contractor to strengthen our presence at the Steel Lake Maintenance facility.

The estimated cost of hiring the on-site security contractor is $187,440. The majority of these funds will come from the General Fund reserves.

β€œOur officers came into contact with the people who had this in their possession,” Mayor Ferrell said during the City Council meeting. β€œThey confronted them, tried to stop them, and by state law, we were prohibited from pursuing them. Let that sink in for a moment. That’s why it’s part of our Legislative Agenda. We cannot have this happen again. Legislators need to act fast β€” this is out of control.”