Cops on a cart? May happen in Geneva

    Police officers patrol on bicycles, motorcycles, segways and horses, so why not on a golf cart?
    Geneva Marshall Rob Johnson suggested the idea to council members at Tuesday's meeting, noting, "I have received a lot of positive feedback from the community." Council members also supported the idea of police officers using a golf cart.
     Johnson said that the department has been proactive in reducing the number of miles it puts on its patrol cars since the issue was first discussed in March. He added that using a golf cart for patrolling Geneva streets, alleyways and trails is just another option the department has been eyeing to cut down on fuel costs in preparation for another budget cut next year.
    "If we do get one, it will be available for use on all shifts and it will not eliminate patrol cars entirely," said Johnson. The golf cart would likely be used from April through the end of October.
    According to Johnson, a larger golf cart with a top speed of 35 miles per hour will cost approximately $4,500. The money to purchase the cart will come from fundraising efforts by the department. Johnson noted that nearly half of the money has already been raised, and he is hopeful that the rest will be raised within the next week.
    When asked if the golf cart will have a siren, Johnson replied, "It's going to be a surprise."
    In other news, the town of Geneva received a $600,000 wastewater infrastructure improvement grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. An official presentation of the grant will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.
    Also at Tuesday's meeting:
    — In the absence of Clerk-Treasurer Bill Warren, Deputy Clerk Rosie Puterbaugh explained that the town is expecting to see more expenses in 2012 and a loss of approximately $11,000 in revenue. The budget will be discussed in more detail at several upcoming public meetings.
    Because of the budget concerns, Puterbaugh said that town department heads recommended that they receive no wage increases next year.
    — Street Department Superintendent Curt Chaffins said that installation of the new "stop" signs and speed limit signs is mostly complete. He also reported that the department is patching some large potholes that have been a concern.
    — There was some discussion on placing trash receptacles at Affolder Park for use by patrons who rent the site for parties or other activities. Council members supported the idea but left the implementation up to department heads.
    — Attorney Jim Beitler requested, on behalf of Dennis and Nyla Gerber, that a utility easement running along their property be vacated. Beitler said that the easement is a public encumbrance on the Gerber's property. A public hearing on the matter will be held at the July 12 council meeting.
    — It was announced that a car show and fireworks display will take place on June 25.