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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

La Cygne officer to take on job of interim police chief

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

La Cygne Police Officer Jo LeStourgeon will serve as interim police chief when Chief Tina Fenoughty takes medical leave beginning this Friday, Aug. 11. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

LA CYGNE – La Cygne Police Chief Tina Fenoughty is expected to take medical leave from her post beginning on Friday, Aug. 11. The announcement came on Wednesday, Aug. 2, after the council met behind closed doors to discuss personnel matters in two five-minute executive sessions.

Following the second session, council members emerged and voted to name Officer Jo LeStourgeon as interim police chief for a salary of $24.24 an hour effective Aug. 11. There was no date given on when Fenoughty is expected resume her duties.

The council then voted to appoint LeStourgeon to Fenoughty’s other duties as interim public health officer, codes officer, and zoning administrator. LeStourgeon’s appointment came two weeks after Officer Achilles Ferrell was able to return to active duties following several weeks at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.

At the meeting, Dan Nasalroad, city fire chief and public works superintendent, reported that the construction on the new fire station on the northeast corner of Fourth and Sycamore streets had no sooner begun than it was temporarily halted because of a hidden underground surprise: an abandoned cistern he estimated to be 8 feet wide and 6 feet deep.

He told the council it would needed to be filled before work could progress, and that BG Consultants, the city’s engineering firm, was working on the specifications to fill the cistern. He said that the building’s architect indicated that there was going to be a change order because of it.

Earlier this week, crews continued to work on compacting fill around the construction site except for the hole in the center blocked off by yellow tape.

Nasalroad suggested that, in order to keep the construction on schedule, the council should consider giving him authority to approve the change order without having to call a special council meeting. The council gave him the authority to sign off on a $5,000 change order.

Councilman Thomas Capp said if the cost went beyond that, the council could meet in a special session.

Despite the delay, the council approved the first payment to Humboldt contractor Hofer and Hofer and Associates for nearly $11,400 for work done between May 8 through July 21, mainly as a partial payment for site conditions and bond less a 10% retainage.

The council also agreed to award a bid to Wildcat Fence Co. of Louisburg to install about 250 lineal feet of 6-foot tall-cedar fencing for $7,900 in two places: north of the water treatment plant and at the site of the new fire station.

Nasalroad said that upon checking city codes, it was required that a screen be installed between commercial properties that are next to residential properties.

The council questioned him about additional bids for the project, but Nasalroad said he had been unable to get a second bid because other companies deemed the project too small.

In other business, the council:

  • Reviewed the most recent update of the codes covering use of fireworks in the city. The council decided to keep the current period during which discharge of fireworks are allowed but held off on approving the amendments until language requiring approval of the fire chief on the location of fireworks displays be included.

  • Decided to conduct a workshop on the use of all-terrain and utility task vehicles, golf carts and dirt bikes on city streets with the council and police representatives. The workshop was initially set for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the community building but was later rescheduled to the following day, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m.

  • Learned from Chief Fenoughty that her department was able to help the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department on an investigation into an injury accident.

  • Learned that city Treasurer Connie Gore and Bruce Snyder have been working to update gravesite maps. They are researching to see if grave sites in the new La Cygne section are available to be sold.

  • Received tentative language on a proposed ordinance that would license landlords in the city and regulate their activity.

  • Delayed action on adopting an ordinance that would regulate manufactured homes, mobile home parks and recreational vehicle parks. A sticking point in its adoption was the problem with replacing a mobile home with one the same size.

  • Learned that the city received a dividend of more than $8,700 from Truly Insurance.

  • Heard a request from Mayor Debra Wilson to set up a mayoral candidate panel discussion for the upcoming election the community and at the schools. No action was taken on the request.

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