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  • Last modified 21 days ago (Oct. 25, 2018)

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New dispute arises between city, Beneke

Staff writer

A letter from Mike Beneke, handed to mayor Todd Heitschmidt during the public comment session at Monday’s city council meeting, prompted an executive session with the council and city attorney Susan Robson.

The letter refers to a contract between Beneke and the city, forged in July, that Beneke would mow the flood levee adjacent to his property at 601 W. Main St., the former Straub’s International location. Beneke would keep the hay after mowing and pay the city 1/3 of its value. After a showdown between the city and Beneke arose soon afterward over silage piled on the property, allegedly in violation of city code, the city in August exercised its 30-day right to cancel the contract.

“I am writing you in regards to your breach of our 2018 mowing and baling contract that you drew up and approved with me on the dike levee and surrounding areas,” the letter reads. “During the week of July 23, I’m assuming city crews destroyed all potential of the harvesting of the hay crop by mowing it to the ground without my permission. At this time, I request monetary damages of 2/3 of hay share that I was not allowed to put up of $8,500. I hope a peaceful resolution to this matter can be worked out without going to court. I request a written reply within 10 days on this matter and will not seek further legal counsel until after Nov. 5.”

The city did not provide a copy of the letter to the Marion County Record despite a request for it after the meeting.

Coming out of the executive session, the council took no action.

Interim police chief Clinton Jeffrey introduced officer Aaron Slater, recently promoted from part-time to full-time status.

A lifelong county resident, Slater was hired as a full-time police officer by Peabody police department in 2016. He then joined the sheriff’s office.

“I have personally worked with then-deputy Slater for the past year,” Jeffrey said. “I have seen officer Slater interact with the community as well as how he handles calls he is on. Officer Slater is a caring person who genuinely enjoys helping people. Officer Slater will be a great asset to the community.”

Last modified Oct. 25, 2018

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