Chatfield’s city council welcomed David Drown, of David Drown & Associates, to its Aug. 11 meeting.  Drown appeared before the council to inform the members of the sale of general obligation bonds for the street improvement project on Bench, Twiford, St. Albans in Chatfield proper and Pine in West Chatfield.

Mike Bubany, who normally represents David Drown & Associates, was unable to attend. 

Drown shared that the bonds were sold competitively and that Raymond James & Associates submitted the most competitive net effective rate of 1.92 percent, in comparison to other firms that bid higher but within only tenths of a percentage. 

“You were planning 2.04 percent for the project, but this means that you’ll be spending about $50,000 less than projected,” he told the council.  “The sale is projected to close Sept. 2.” 

The council then approved accepting a lump sum of $95,000 to pay off assessments for the Fingerson-Donahoe lots along Hillside Drive, as four lots remain and the assessments are higher than what a prospective buyer would want to pay, according to Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young. 

“The project was initiated by the city,” he explained, “and the property owners took on $190,000 in assessments.  The assessments’ actual cost in 2008 was $90,000.” 

City attorney Fred Suhler, Jr., questioned, “Isn’t this really a reassessment?  Wouldn’t the county be looking for it?” 

Young then explained that the city can accept the reduced amount because again, it was a project initiated by the city. 

Councilman Ken Jacobson asked, “In essence, this would clear the books?” 

Young replied, “This would be covering the real costs, not the interest costs.” 

The motion passed, with council member Mike Urban opposed. 

Ambulance director Susan Kester sat before the council with a proposal to provide a stipend for emergency medical technicians (EMT) who choose to cover weekend hours – from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday – as a means of encouraging the ambulance crew to be available, as she noted that there has been a decline in the number of people willing to remain on call in Chatfield with a pager for an entire weekend. 

“People are not putting in as many hours at the ambulance, and the same is true with any organization,” she said.  “Many towns around here are just having a tough time filling their schedules, but we have not had that happen yet.” 

She cited that she has volunteered over weekends often, but the need for relief exists.  “We are bringing in a significant amount of money from our training, so I’d like to offer a $2 per hour stipend for two people, like we do on holidays, to entice people,” she said. 

Jacobson acknowledged, “It is difficult getting people to cover hours, and volunteerism is not the same as it was 10 years ago.  People are really cognizant of the fact that they’re away from family.” 

Councilors agreed that offering an incentive to Chatfield’s EMTs would prove useful and quite possibly life-saving, and voted favorably for the immediate implementation of a stipend.

In Public Works news, Councilmember Paul Novotny reported that the committee has been discussing frozen pipes, as this past winter tested the constitution of Chatfield’s underground water service.  The committee has been discussing how it can correct the ongoing problem in light of the approaching winter, particularly in the Hisey Second Addition, where residents have learned to weather the winter partly by letting their faucets run all day and night. 

Mayor Russ Smith presented a recommendation from the planning and zoning committee for resident Bob Cole to fill an open seat on the committee until Jan. 31, 2017.  Councilors concurred, and Cole will join the committee as soon as possible. 

Before adjourning, the councilors discussed how well this year’s Western Days celebration had gone, even though the carnival failed to appear.