MCBAIN — There’s a new officer in town patrolling the streets of McBain.
At its June 20 meeting, city council unanimously voted to hire Chase Barber, 24, as the new zoning and ordinance officer for 20 hours a month for a six-month period.
Barber has worked with the zoning officer in Evart and comes with good references, according to city council’s meeting minutes.
McBain Mayor Joey Roberts said it’s not a full-time position and Barber will probably stay at 20 hours a month or maybe more depending on how much is going on.
The city has gotten complaints about yards not being mowed, abandoned vehicles not being registered and they’ve gotten several complaints of dogs running loose in the city, he said.
“We have a lot going on with the city right now,‘ Roberts said, and they need someone there to keep track of the ordinance and zoning stuff going on.
That’s what Barber is for, to deal with the complaints and write up tickets for violations.
People can send their complaints to city clerk Marcia Smith and she relays them to Barber. If Roberts sees something he relays it directly to Barber.
Barber will also help with special land use permits and zoning requests and make sure people are meeting building specifications, Roberts said.
McBain’s previous ordinance officer was Evart Police Department K9 Officer Patrick McClure.
Roberts said McClure’s “done great work with the city,‘ but his other duties kept expanding and the city needed someone closer who could put more time into the position.
So they went with Barber, who has been a McBain resident his whole life.
Barber said he saw the application and thought it was a way to help and better the community he lives in.
The city was looking for someone to take action and he was happy to do so, he said.
Barber completed the police academy at Kirtland Community College and currently serves as a reserve officer for Evart, which he does about once a week. He also works on Meekhof Farm just outside of McBain.
He has been working as the ordinance officer for a couple of weeks now and said it’s going well and there’s nothing too wild and crazy yet.
He said doing the permits is a learning experience but McClure is helping him learn the ropes.
“Nothing I can’t handle,‘ he said.
He is hoping to get certified by the end of the year and get an official law enforcement position. If he gets a position close to McBain he said he would try to continue filling the ordinance officer position, but if it’s farther away he might be unable to do so.
The experience he’s gaining through being a reserve officer and ordinance officer is good solid experience for when he finds a position, he said.
For now, he’s looking forward to the opportunity to fulfill his current responsibilities.
“I’m excited to get the town cleaned up,‘ he said.