By Don Nelson

Winthrop’s lone police officer may soon get some part-time help.

At its meeting last week, the Winthrop Town Council approved interim Marshal Ken Bajema’s request to hire temporary law enforcement help at $25 an hour, assuming the person meets all state requirements for sworn officers. Bajema said he has a local person in mind, pending review by the town’s Civil Service Commission.

The commission is currently reviewing candidates to fill two openings: a replacement for former Marshal David Dahlstrom, who resigned in December, and another for former deputy Seth Carlson, who resigned in January. Bajema, who has said he won’t apply for the marshal’s job, has been the town’s sole police officer since Carlson left.

Bajema said there has been an increase in property crimes since the force was reduced to one officer, and even a part-time officer could help counter that.

In other business, the council learned that three candidates to replace building inspector Dave Sandoz, who retired recently, will be interviewed Thursday (Feb. 13). Mayor Sue Langdalen said there were nine applicants for the job.

Langdalen said the town looked into contracting with the county for building inspection services, but found the cost prohibitive.

Langdalen also reported that a building permit question about the current remodeling of the Grubstake & Co. building on Riverside Avenue by Brian and Amy Sweet has been resolved. Planning Director Rocklynn Culp said that after surveying the site, it was determined that a roof overhang that is part of the Sweet’s plan does not intrude on public property as much as earlier assumed.