Chatfield’s city council convened last Monday, July 14, and authorized the sale of $1.725 million in general obligation bonds in a competitive sale to finance the 2014 street improvement project. The project includes Bench and Twiford streets, as well as Pine in West Chatfield.
Mike Bubany of David Drown & Associates presented the numbers to the council, and the councilors found them to be satisfactory.
Work has already started on Bench Street and Pine, and the council hopes to see work in progress on Twiford soon.
Bubany explained the estimated cost of the entire project is 2.05 million, but grants have reduced the amount the city has to borrow.
Help Our Neighbors
City Clerk Joel Young shared information on a request from Help Our Neighbors (HON), the local senior assistance program, to use a corner of the tourist center as its office, at least while the weather permits.
He explained HON’s advisory members wish to move its operations to the tourist center to gain visibility in the community and since the tourist center is open and serving tourists on a daily basis, using the building for more than tourist information might make sense.
“We talked about it, and we understand that we have a building that needs to be occupied more than it is. It seems to be complementary that HON would use it,” Young said. “They would have staff in the building from Monday through Thursday, and they proposed sharing the utilities and Internet service with the city. Park and Rec thought this would be positive, and we have a recommendation from them to approve this.”
Councilor Mike Urban commented, “It sounds like it would benefit both parties involved.”
A motion passed to allow HON to locate in the tourist center.
Fire department news
Second Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkholder brought forward news of selecting two new volunteer firefighters, as the crew has been short that many due to retirements.
“We interviewed five of eight, and we used a points scale system. We’ve chosen John Reed and Cole McKean,” he added.
Mayor Russ Smith asked, “Are you comfortable with your choices?”
Burkholder replied that he and the department are comfortable with the men they’ve chosen. “It’s tough because all of them would do a great job,” he added.
Councilor Robert Pederson wanted to know whether the new firefighters live in town and are available to answer fire calls during the day.
Burkholder noted they’re not, but the hiring panel was pleased to choose one of the men because he is also an emergency medical technician (EMT), status that the department tries to maintain among its firefighters.
“Out of the eight, one worked in town, and that’s one of the priorities…for them to live in town,” he stated, adding there seem to be enough firefighters available during the day at this point in time that the applicants’ nighttime availability will be sufficient.
The council approved the new firefighters and welcomed them to the department.
Resident requests
Resident Curt Sorenson appeared at the council meeting to ask for a conveyance of his property at 214 and 216 Union Street, a two-family dwelling built in a single-family neighborhood. Sorenson, who currently rents the property to two different tenants, wanted the right to list and sell the units separately, and the council obliged.
Next, councilors accepted a proposal from William Hanson for the cleanup of 339 Hawley Street, as the city has been waiting for quite some time to see the property cleaned up. Young noted Hanson’s bid was one of two, but that the other bid received came in 20 minutes after the bidding deadline and was not opened. “He has all the certifications to handle waste properly, and my personal recommendation is that we get the ball rolling,” the clerk said.
Police department
Chatfield Police Chief Shane Fox returned to inquire whether he could purchase new video equipment for two of his squad cars after finding the equipment is failing.
“Both systems we have now are at the end of life – one system would cost $400 just to fix the microphone. Both cars are two to three years from being replaced, so we’d roll the new equipment into the new cars,” Fox explained.
Councilor Ken Jacobson wanted to know how long the new equipment would be expected to last, and Fox stated he honestly couldn’t predict, but the equipment is necessary and the most basic he can find.
The council voted to purchase the new video equipment Fox asked for, then went on to authorize the hiring of a part-time police officer, contingent upon that officer passing his exams.
Young reported the Chatfield Center for the Arts’ (CCA) advisory committee would be touring the CCA last Thursday evening to take suggestions on what improvements could be made.
He also noted the local Masonic Lodge had donated a sum to the CCA for upcoming projects.
Additionally, filing for candidacy begins July 29 and ends Aug. 12. The seats opening up include two, four-year council seats – the seats belonging to Urban and Councilor Paul Novotny – and the two-year mayoral seat, currently Smith’s.
In council reports, Urban asked the residents of the city to “be patient with the construction…there will be interruptions we can’t predict, but we will do the best we can to let people know ahead of time.”
Pederson reminded residents once again to keep their lawns mowed, as Western Days is coming up very quickly and the city should be in tiptop shape to welcome visitors.
Other business
The council approved temporary liquor licenses for the Chatfield Center for the Arts on Aug. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
The council granted a vendor permit to Gleason Concessions to be sponsored by the Chatfield Softball Association for Western Days.
Finally, the council named election judges for the Aug. 12 primary election and the Nov. 4 general election. They are Charlotte Ryan, Randy Charlton, Marilyn Merrill, Holly Martinka, Margaret Walsh, Jean Odegarden, Sue Kester, Cathy Anderson and Cheryl Jankiewicz.