Mattawa Police Department to see promised 2020 raises

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MATTAWA – The members of the Mattawa Police Department will finally see the raises that they were promised in the 2020 budget.

The Mattawa City Council modified the job descriptions for the police department during a regular council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6, removing all references to wages. The references to wages were blocking the wage increases approved in this year’s budget.

The new job descriptions also updated the description of the police clerk to accurately reflect what the clerk does. It also deleted some language that attempted to differentiate between new hires and hires who had previous experience.

“This streamlines this whole process into one job description,” said Joe Harris, Mattawa’s chief of police.

The new starting wage for Mattawa Police Department officers is $28 an hour.

In other business, Mattawa Police Sergeant Mabeline Pantaleon thanked council member Alex Heredia for his help in locating a stolen vehicle. Pantaleon said that within minutes of alerting Heredia, he had found the stolen vehicle. A suspect, who also had a warrant, was apprehended.

“We are grateful for the help of the community,” Pantaleon said.

Mattawa Mayor Scott Hyndman commented that the new temporary blowers at the Mattawa Wastewater Treatment Facility are quiet. He indicated that the city council could have held the meeting next to the blowers and not known they were running.

The city council voted to annex the facility into city limits. This will allow the city to get sales tax revenue from the work that is about to be done to fix the facility after the fire. The treatment facility had been located in the county.

It was noted by Mattawa’s city planner, Darryl Piercy, that the Wahluke School District is talking about asking the city to annex more of the district’s property into the city as well. The annexation would have to be approved by the school board before any further steps are taken.

In a previous meeting, the council had discussed declaring a Chevy Impala surplus. The car had formerly been a police vehicle but was unsuitable for the job. The council had voted to surplus it and another former police vehicle. But because the city staff had started using the Impala, the council voted to unsurplus the vehicle. The other vehicle has been posted for sale online.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.

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