Council Meeting Minutes 2-6-2023


February 6, 2023

     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Monday, January 16, 2023, at 6:00 pm in the Community Room at the Fayette Community Library pursuant to law and rules of said council, Mayor Wood presiding. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance.

     Roll call: Present - Council members Post, Potratz, Scott (arrived at 6:01 pm), and Tucker; Absent - Tenney.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Post, to approve the consent agenda items consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 1/16/23, the special council meeting minutes of 1/30/23 and the claims list of 1/14/23-2/3/23. All ayes, motion carried.

     Citizen Comments: Jason Rohde (Fayette Fire Chief) of Randalia, commented in response to the fire department staffing numbers that was mentioned in the last "From the Mayor's Desk" communication that was sent out, Rohde shared some facts that he had looked up. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 1.1 million firefighters in the United States, which includes full-time, volunteer, paid volunteers, and support staff. This equates to 0.4% of the population. For the 2027 population, it would calculate out to 5 Fayette firefighters for the size of our town. The AFPA chart that Rohde found showed the number of volunteers per thousand residents: 1986 it was 8 per thousand and in 2020 it has dropped to 5.5 per thousand. With the population of Fayette, that would equal 6 members. Rohde advised 50% of the firefighters in the country are between the ages of 30 and 49. According to the 2000 census the population of Fayette between the age group of 25 to 44 years old was 18.6%. In 2010 that percentage dropped to 12.7% with the population of Fayette going out. Rohde advised he was unable to find the 2020 statistics. Since Rohde's ten years as Fayette Fire Chief there has been 6 members that have left the fire department that still reside in this area. Three members left due to age and physical limitations, two left because of work requirements and one was removed due to an issue with alcohol. The most important number Rohde mentioned was zero (0), that is the number of calls that the Fayette fire department has failed to respond to in the last ten years.

     Randy Streeter of Fayette commented that the Fayette Fire Chief has been really good in this area. He knows his trucks if there is a breakdown then he knows how to repair them. If he is unable to then he researches to find the problem and gets them repaired. He knows the area very well, so if the firefighters have problems finding the area, he will tell them what roads to take to get there the fastest. He has been a really good chief.

     Council member Scott wanted to follow up with some statistical data that she has found. Fayette has about 23 volunteers on the ambulance crew. Scott believes that the Iowa Fire Department Census (IFDC) showed it was updated as of January 3, 2023, and she was unsure how accurate the information was. According to the IFDC, supposedly the following cities had these number of fire department members: Hawkeye-19, West Union-29, Sumner-30, Arlington-18, Postville-25, Elgin-22, Clermont-24, Strawberry Point-26, Fredericksburg-24, Tripoli-24, Hazleton-18, Maynard-23, and Fayette was reporting 16, so that is why she is unsure how updated the information is. Hawkeye has about half the population Fayette has, as well as Elgin and Arlington, and Fredericksburg, Hazleton and Maynard have a smaller population than Fayette.

     Jason Rohde of Randalia followed up with Scott's comments by indicating some of the cities Scott mentioned have their fire and emergency medical service (EMS) departments together and they are not separate departments like the city of Fayette.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Post, to approve the agenda as presented. All ayes, motion carried.

     Mayor Wood advised that he sent a written report to the council members. Wood received a request from Fayette County Supervisor Lehman to meet with him to communicate more about the proposed Fayette County Dispatch Contract. Wood plans on meeting with Lehman in the near future.

     Upon Mayor Wood’s request, moved Tucker, seconded Scott, to approve appointing Arielle Engler and Samantha Streeter to the Fayette Ambulance Service. All ayes, motion carried.

     City Administrator/Clerk McGrane informed the council that the next regular council meeting will be on Monday, February 20, 2023, at 6PM, instead of Tuesday, February 21, 2023. McGrane updated the council on the Old HWY 150/N. Main Street project. McGrane commented that 1099's and W2's went out by the due date and that he attended multiple meetings over the last few weeks including a meeting with our local legislators to discuss priorities of the Fayette County Economic Development & Tourism board. The solar panels at the well were turned on and are operational. Fayette City Hall and the Library will be closed on Monday, February 20 for Presidents Day. McGrane also discussed some options on providing online access to city Resolutions for the council members.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Tucker, to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 516, amending chapter 55, Animal Protection and Control, section 16. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     McGrane provided information he received from the cities of Oelwein and Conrad on how they handled demolitions of condemned properties. Oelwein has recently utilized an engineer to assist with the bid process. Fehr Graham would be available to assist the city. McGrane will gather more information on how the city addresses asbestos for the condemned properties and report back to the council. No formal action was taken.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Post, to accept the Personnel Committee meeting minutes of 1/26/23, Finance Committee meeting minutes of 1/30/23 and Finance Committee meeting minutes of 2/2/23. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Post, seconded Tucker, to acknowledge the receipt of the Fayette Tree Board 2023 Comprehensive Tree Plan Draft, Fayette Ambulance Service meeting minutes of 1/4/23 and Fayette Ambulance Service meeting minutes of 2/1/23. All ayes, motion carried.

     McGrane had provided a draft of Ordinance 517, amending chapter 35, Fire Department, section 6, that was recommended by the city attorney and mayor. Moved Tucker, seconded Post, to send draft Ordinance 517 to the Fayette Fire Department to review and provide feedback to the city council. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Potratz, to approve Resolution 2023-05, establishing city employee salaries, effective February 5, 2023. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Scott, to approve Resolution 2023-06, accepting and authorizing the donation from the Minnie Miller Trust monies designated for the Fayette Ambulance Service. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Potratz, to approve Resolution 2023-07, revising and updating the job descriptions and titles for the Assistant Public Works Director and City Maintenance Worker. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Post, to approve Resolution 2023-08, amending the city personnel policy, section 1 Organization Chart/Chain of Command, section 2.3 Compensatory Time and Section 2.19a Residency Requirement. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Post, seconded Potratz, to approve Resolution 2023-09, authorizing the mayor and city administrator to deliver to the Fayette County Commissioner of Elections a request to submit the question of changing the Fayette mayor terms from a two (2) year term to a four (4) year term to the qualified electors of the city of Fayette, Iowa, on the November 7, 2023, ballot. Roll call, aye - Post, Potratz and Tucker, nay - Scott, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Scott, to hire a consultant to review the police department and any other departments as necessary and to have the city attorney and council member Nathan Post be the point of contact for the consultant. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Potratz, to set a public hearing for Monday, February 20, 2023, at 6PM on the proposed contract documents and estimated costs for improvement of reconstruction of a portion of North Main Street and grading of shoulders. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Post, seconded Potratz, to set a public hearing for Monday, February 20, 2023, at 6PM on the fiscal year 2024 proposed property tax levy. All ayes, motion carried.

    There being no further business, Wood declared the meeting adjourned at 7:44 pm.

There is no place like home. And there is no place like Fayette.

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