Dan Walker honored as Scott’s Officer of the Year

Published Feb 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm (Updated Feb 16, 2014 at 8:40 pm)

Scott Township commissioners opened their Feb. 11 agenda meeting by recognizing their 2013 Officer of the Year, Dan Walker. With over seven years with the Scott Township Police Department, Walker was on more than 300 calls in 2013. The president of the police association, Walker also applied for a number of grants which generated more than $30,000 for Scott’s Police Department.

Scott Township Police Chief James Secreet told the board that the award is about what an officer does all year long, day in and day out. “Dan does a real good job,” said Chief Secreet. “It’s a pleasure to work with him, and I’m glad to see him get the award.”

Walker thanked his family, and then thanked the chief and the board, stating that they help keep the morale in the police department high. He also thanked his fellow officers.

At the same meeting, the board heard from Amy Hess, of the USDA Wildlife Services, about a proposal from Integrated Goose Management regarding goose harassment at Scott Park. The proposed 18 month contract, which would be billed quarterly, is $2,552.54 for 20 visits to the park for goose harassment. Hess explained that the proposal is a “not to exceed” contract, adding that if they did less than 20 visits, the cost to the township would be less.

Hess reviewed the options they used to harass geese, which include the use of dogs, specially designed avian pyrotechnics and electronics and lasers. She said they try to warn people in the immediate area, especially if they are going to use the pyrotechnics, which Hess said are very loud.

Integrated Goose Management has sharpshooters, and Hess said that use suppressed rifles and shoot to enforce if the geese are not responding to harassment. She said by shooting one or two geese, the rest recognize her as a predator and leave the area. Hess stressed that shooting is only done with board approval.

Commissioner Bill Wells remarked that people will be filling this room if there was to be shooting in the park. Hess repeated that shooting is done only if approved, adding that it was just a tool. The board is expected to vote on the proposal at their Feb. 25 regular meeting.

The board also discussed use of bond money for township projects like the road program. Commissioner Wells said that a portion of the 2012 bond issue proceeds were used for the 2013 road program’s add alternates, but at the time, most board members didn’t realize where the money was coming from.

Wells said that at the commissioners July 2013 meeting, there was discussion that there was funding for the add alternates for the road program. Wells said he thought the additional money was coming from increased mercantile taxes, adding, “Shame on me, shame on us, for not asking.”

Commissioner Don Giudici commented, “No one knew we were using the bond money for roads.”

“If we’re going to spend bond money,” said Wells, “the board should be apprised of where the money is going to be spent.”

Citing projects the township has to consider related to storm sewers and sanitary sewers, Wells said the township needed to focus on fixing infrastructure.

Board president David Jason said that one of his priorities is to deal with the storm sewer problems. “They need taken care of,” he said.

Township manager Denise Fitzgerald said that she would get the commissioners a breakdown of how the bond money was being spent.

In other business, the board is looking for summer help in the public works department. Scott residents who are graduating from high school and planning to attend post-secondary school, as well as those attending post-secondary school, are encouraged to apply. Applications must be returned to the township offices no later than April 18.

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