Duane Armbruster, a 32-year veteran of the Falls City Police Department, was appointed to the position last Monday during the City Council meeting after spending the last 16 years as Assistance Chief of Police. Armbruster replaces John Caverzagie, who spent 35 years with the FCPD – the last 17 as Chief – and retired in December.
The council approved Mayor Tim Hersh’s recommendation of Armbruster, who was unanimously recommended by the Police and Fire Employment Selection Board.
Hersh made the appointment official, then informed the council that four applications were received for the position and two “well-qualified” applicants were interviewed – Armbruster and Beatrice Police Lieutenant Mike Oliver.
Armbruster began his career as a patrolman with the FCPD on March 16, 1982. He was promoted to Sergeant on June 6, 1988 and to Assistant Chief on January 5, 1998.
Armbruster leads a department with seven full-time officers, including his position, and two part-time officers. He said an eighth full-time position, as well as the Assistant Chief position will be filled soon, but overall, said day-to-day operations should remain the same.
“We’ll do a little updating on the technology side of things,” Armbruster said, “because everything’s always changing on
that end, but there won’t be any huge changes.”
New Chamber of Commerce/Main Street director David Branch brought the City Council up-to-date during the Feb. 3 council meeting at the City Building, delivering a fourth quarter report and a look at the future.
The Chamber/Main Street had been without a director since the
resignation of Eric Barr late last year. Branch, from the DuBois area, assumed his duties in early January.
He said work to merge Main Street and the Chamber continues, and, hopefully, will be completed this year. Branch said grant funding for the new phase of Main Street redevelopment are being sought, as well as jobs training grant funding that could help keep young people here, while also benefiting businesses. Branch said he is working on the development of a city business directory that will be posted at various places in town andan events calendar (that would be updated periodically) and mailed to Richardson County residents. He said hopes are to install “way-finding” signs in the downtown area for visitors who may not be familiar with what is where. In addition, plans are to purchase six to seven trash cans that match those already in place in the downtown area.
Branch said the Chamber/Main Street is looking at the possibility of a barbecue contest to be held during the summer, possibly featuring Falls City Beer.
He said that the retail district was named to the National Register of Historic Places at the end of 2013.
In other developments, the Council:
—Set the salary for the new Chief of Police (Duane Armbruster was appointed; see another story in today’s Journal) at $62,000, with the same benefits as those of the Communications Workers of America.
—Approved a request to use city streets for Sunday, April 19, “Easter Eggercise” 1 mile/5K event as presented by Danitra Crofford and Denise
Daake. This is intended as a family fun event, with proceeds to go to the Sacred Heart Activity Center fund.
—Set the next meeting date for Tuesday, Feb. 18, because of Presidents’ Day.
—Okayed a request to rent Prichard Auditorium for a wedding reception where alcohol will be served and several requests for special designated liquor licenses for wedding receptions throughout 2014.