By News-Register staff • 

Sheridan's SRO position in peril

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan School District may not be able to fund a school resource officer position for the 2015-16 school year, City Manager Frank Sheridan told the Sheridan City Council Monday night.

The school district and the city have split the $120,000 cost of a full-time officer in the past. Yamhill County sheriff's deputy Derek Trombla has filled the position in the past, splitting his time between serving the district and responding to city calls.

Sheridan told the council he informed Superintendent Steve Sugg the city plans to continue funding its portion regardless. The city contracts with the sheriff's office for three full-time and a half-time deputy, and it wants to maintain that level of service, he said.

Neighboring Willamina contracts for 1.5 full-time positions. The half-time position is filled by a deputy who is stationed in the city two days a week, according to Sgt. Todd Whitlow, who oversees the West Valley Sub-Station. The other two days that deputy is assigned to rural patrol.

If the school district drops its SRO commitment, the Sheridan officer would split his time between city and county duties, rather than city and school duties, just as the half-time Willamina officer does, Whitlow said. 

Sheridan told the council the district's budget committee has made restoration of the SRO portion of the position a high priority, should additional funds become available.

"My wife worked in that office (high school), and I can tell you how important that deputy is," Mayor Harry Cooley said.

In other business:

n The council received a progress update on work related to three railroad crossings.

The second phase of work on the crossing at Highway 18B and Richard Street, west of downtown, is awaiting relocation of a Northwest Natural Gas pipeline. Crossing arms can't be installed until that is done.

Work on the crossings at South Bridge Street, adjacent to city hall, and Southwest Mill Street, to the west, are awaiting a Portland & Western Railroad signoff. The South Bridge Street crossing may be completed this year, but it will probably be next year for the Mill Street crossing.

n The Green Bridge, spanning the South Yamhill River, was recently damaged. A tractor with an attached stump grinder struck the guardrail, the council was told. The damage was reported to Yamhill County Public Works.

The council is next scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 1.