Bosque Farms governing body concerned about Peralta's nonpayment

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After an extensive discussion, the village of Bosque Farms councilors decided that now was not the time to amend the law enforcement agreement with the neighboring town of Peralta.

The current agreement calls for Bosque Farms to provide police services to Peralta. The $180,000 annual payment pays for the village officers' time spent patrolling Peralta, making arrests, conducting investigations and other law enforcement activities. The contract also includes dispatch fees.

Mayor Bob Knowlton said the Valencia County Regional Emergency Communications Center charges the governing entities within the county based on the number of calls for service that originate from each jurisdiction.

"Peralta is requesting we amend the agreement, and they will pay the dispatch fees directly," Knowlton said. "Usually, Bosque Farms pays dispatch and Peralta pays the village."

Knowlton called for a motion for discussion of the agenda item and was greeted by silence from the four councilors.

"If there's no motion, there's no discussion," he said.

Councilor Dolly Wallace moved for approval, "for discussion purposes only," and Councilor Wayne Ake seconded the motion.

Knowlton said while there is an agreement in effect right now, under which Peralta is supposed to pay the village for its dispatch fees, the town's payment for the first quarter owed under the contract was short about $5,000 — the amount for Peralta's portion of the dispatch fees.

The village has paid the amount it was billed by VCRECC, Knowlton said, including Peralta's portion.

"That money is still owed. Peralta said they will pay directly, but dispatch has not gotten it and they are not billing Peralta yet," the mayor said. "In my opinion, we need to get back with the folks with Peralta and ask them to cough up the money owed.

"Until such time the agreement changes, they need to honor it. They are in arrears," Knowlton said. "I am not inclined to change the agreement while they are in arrears. The agreement was they would pay for dispatch up to $21,000."

Ake said the mayor's point was well taken.

"They are already in violation of a contract. What's to preclude them from being in violation of the next contract? Who's responsible? I'd like to see some sit down discussion," Ake said. "So we can find out what's going on here, what's the problem? If they are going to just pay dispatch, it doesn't make a difference who does it, so long as (dispatch) gets paid, but that's not what's going on."

Village Clerk/Administrator Gayle Jones said regardless of where the call originates — Bosque Farms or Peralta — they are still considered Bosque Farms calls.

Councilor Wallace said Peralta was asked to "step up and pay their fair share of dispatch and they agreed. But they have not been doing that. I have never in my life seen any type of contract for any monies, that if you are in arrears, will let you out of that contract. Not until you pay. They have not shown a good faith effort to make arrangements to get the bill from dispatch. I'm not sure what's going on, but at this time, I don't see where we can agree with this amendment at all."

The council voted unanimously to reject the requested change until the village could ascertain whether Peralta had paid its portion of the dispatch fees for the first quarter and if it had made arrangements to be billed directly by VCRECC.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.