R. County, Oak Creek reach pay agreement

2002 dispute over law enforcement resolved

A disagreement between Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman and Routt County over payment for law enforcement services in the fall of 2002 has been resolved with a compromise.

In mid-September, the Routt County Board of Commissioners mailed a letter to Rodeman suggesting the town pay about $2,700 for office hours worked by the sheriff's department from Sept. 5 to Nov. 27, 2002. Rodeman accepted the compromise.

That's about half of what the county originally requested for services provided under a 2002 law enforcement contract with the town. The contract provided services while the town was without a police force for part of last year.

In early 2002, the board had asked for a payment of about $5,600, which "we felt was a fair compromise," according to a Sept. 19 letter from the county to the town.

The county's bill included charges for investigative work done by the sheriff's office for crimes committed in Oak Creek while the county was providing services.

Before the county requested $5,600, the town had written a check for about $1,100 for the services, which the county said was insufficient.

Under the compromise, the town was charged $50 an hour for 48 office hours over 24 days in fall of 2002, as well as about six hours of work at homecoming 2002.

"We feel that these changes are the ones that you have stated to the commissioners in previous correspondence that you would be willing to pay," reads the letter addressed to Rodeman. "If this is agreeable to you, please remit a check to the county for the $2,687.50 and we can all put this issue behind us."

Officials from Routt County and Oak Creek said they were glad the situation had come to a close.

"It was a much more fair compromise and something we could all live with," Rodeman said. "Now, we can put the whole thing behind us."

Routt County Sheriff John Warner agreed.

"I'm glad it's over with," Warner said. "I look forward to working with their police department and the town of Oak Creek.

"As far as I'm concerned it's water under the bridge. Let's move forward and do what's best for the citizens of Routt County."

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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