The Fowler police department reached full capacity as of last Friday, Town Administrator Kelly Lotrich told the Fowler Tribune on Tuesday.

Last Friday, Officer Joshua Katz joined the Fowler Police Department. Katz joins Officer Enrique Guzman, who was hired in April, and Chief Jeffrey Worth, who was approved Feb. 11.

Guzman has 13 years of experience serving as a patrol officer. Katz served in the military and has at least five years of experience as a patrol officer, said Lotrich.

The Fowler Board of Trustees approved wages for the officers at Monday's town hall, according to Lotrich. The wages were set by the December budget, which allows for $32,000 starting salaries for full-time officers.

In January, former Police Chief Webster Hogue abruptly resigned because he received a better offer from the Bent County Sheriff's Office, Otero County Sheriff Shawn Mobley had told the Fowler Tribune.

The police department's sole remaining officer resigned the following week.

Residents of Fowler did not take the January news lightly and expressed discontent in local broadcasts regarding the chief and officers' departures.

But Guzman and Katz are out patrolling the streets of Fowler, according to Lotrich.

"I have a chief and I have two full-time officers," said Lotrich. "I'm very pleased."

In other news, the town is nearing completion of its water treatment plant. Lotrich said they are waiting on Wigen, a custom water treatment company, to visit the facility and get it started.

"Within the next couple of weeks, we should be up and running," said Lotrich. "Fingers crossed. I can't guarantee it, though."

The trustees also announced that chip-sealing is scheduled for July 12 and will focus on 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets. Fowler tries to chip-seal several streets per year, according to Lotrich.

"Last year, we did (Florence Avenue). This year, we're going to try to do the streets off of Florence."

At Monday's meeting, the trustees decided to start researching the process of transitioning from touch-read water meters to radio-read water meters. Lotrich said radio meters are more accurate and easier to update.

Also as summer fast approaches, Fowler is ready; the town pool is open.

Hours of operation Monday through Sunday are 1-5 p.m. The pool must have at least 20 patrons by 2 p.m. to remain open, according to an informational flyer available at Town Hall.

Night Swim sessions are scheduled for Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 p.m.

As a bonus, if weather forces the pool to close before 3 p.m., one-day passes will be provided to the patrons there. There won't be any refunds or free passes if the pool is forced to close after 3 p.m., however.

cburney@ljtdmail.com