PRAIRIE CITY – It’s official: Police patrols are returning to Prairie City.

On Monday, Prairie City Mayor Gary Waterhouse and Peggy Gray, the John Day city manager, signed a contract for the police service. Under the agreement, a John Day Police officer will conduct regular patrols in Prairie City.

The coverage will begin in early April.

The city council of Prairie City approved the contract at its March 12 regular meeting, pending legal review and approval. The council voted to let Jeremy Green, the attorney representing John Day in the matter, choose a lawyer versed in municipal law to review the contract for Prairie City’s approval.

A minor delay occurred, however, when at least one Prairie City councilor wanted to change a vote on the attorney selection, resulting in a special council meeting on March 18.

At that session, the council opted to find its own lawyer, and voted to have Green make suggestions from a list of attorneys acquired by Councilor Viola Rose. The council authorized Waterhouse and newly sworn-in councilor Kevin Dahlen to contact a lawyer from the list.

The city hired Michael Horton of Nyssa, Idaho, who conferred with Green and said the contract was satisfactory, Waterhouse said.

John Day will hire an officer specifically for the position. Terms of the contract include coverage of not less than 20 hours a week, with services to be provided during regular weekday hours and other times as needed.

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