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Published: Tuesday, 5/9/2006

Rossford pays for radar units although purchase improper

Rossford City Council last night reluctantly approved the payment for three new radar units that were purchased by the city's former police chief outside of his department's budget.

City Administrator Ed Ciecka said former police Chief Dennis Foy, whose last day was in April, bought the three units for $7,773 "without proper purchasing procedures."

Also purchased were an affidavit software for $2,250 and Windows Operating software for $1,500.

Councilman Ken Hermes voted against the supplemental appropriations ordinance.

He said it would be inconsistent to increase the department's budget because of the error.

Council also approved an increase of $2,500 for the police department's Safety Town program for kindergarten students in June.

The program originally was cut in the adopted 2006 budget. Mr. Ciecka, in a letter to council, said the current police chief, Robert Vespi, Jr., outlined some programmatic changes that will reduce cost.

Also included in the supplemental appropriations ordinance, approved by a 6-1 vote, was $3,700 to cover the cost of evaluating water depth and preparing cost estimates for dredging the Rossford marina and $5,000 to cover the cost of repairing the floating docks.

Also last night, council voted 4-3 to approve an 18-month leave of absence for police Officer Kevin Swanson so he can participate in a training program in Iraq.

The city will continue to pay its portion of Officer Swanson's dependent health care. Mr. Hermes and Councilmen Larry Oberdorf and Leonard Michaels voted against the measure.

"Are we allowing a trend to be established?" Mr. Oberdorf asked. "A trend of paying the benefits?"

In January, 2005, council approved an 18-month voluntary leave of absence for Sgt. Todd Kitzler for the same reason.

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