Council Meeting Minutes 3-6-2023


March 6, 2023

     The City Council of the City of Fayette, Iowa, met Monday, March 6, 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 (joined at 6:09pm via telephone because out of town), Tenney and Tucker.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Potratz, to approve the consent agenda items consisting of the regular meeting minutes of 2/20/23 and the claims list of 2/18/23-3/3/23. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Citizen Comments: Elizabeth Meyer (Fayette fire volunteer) of Fayette, expressed her concerns that she felt the city council has not tried to work together with the Fire Department and get input. Meyer advised not one council member has taken initiative or stopped to talk to the fire volunteers to communicate or to show they care. Meyer advised that the mayor had drove by and it appeared he was taken notes as the volunteers were working on the fire trucks. She felt it was suspicious and the fire volunteers feel unsupported.

     Scott Bowen of Fayette advised his concerns with the new ordinance letting the mayor assign a new fire chief if the council doesn't agree with the fire department. Bowen feels the mayor or the council does not know the structure of the department or all the education required for a firefighter. Bowen believes the fire department only has one firefighter qualified to be chief and encouraged the council to vote no for the new ordinance.

     Bridget Fox (Fayette fire volunteer) of Randalia advised the mayor ignored the township trustees concerns and requests that were expressed at a recent budget meeting. Fox said she has heard that there were personnel issues with Fire Chief Jason Rohde. Fox advised if there is a personnel issue with Chief Jason Rohde, there has been no documentation of the issues provided to Rohde. Fox mentioned the council indicated they wanted a meeting with the fire department but not one member has reached out to set up a meeting.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Potratz, to approve the agenda as presented. All ayes, motion carried.

     Mayor Wood advised the 2023 WMT Tractorcade will be in Fayette County this summer and will be traveling through the city of Fayette on June 13. Wood, Davis, Tenney and McGrane met with Upper Iowa University (UIU) representatives to discuss a new law enforcement contract between the city of Fayette and UIU. Wood, Tucker and McGrane met with the North Fayette Valley Superintendent and School Board President to discuss the future of the Fayette Elementary school.

     Upon recommendation from the Fayette Fire Department to reappoint Jason Rohde as Fayette Fire Chief for 2023, moved Post, seconded Tucker, to suspend the Robert's Rules of Order rules and allow discussion prior to the vote. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried. Post asked the Fayette fire volunteers present if there were any new ways to recruit members that has been done. Bridget Fox advised they have 2 people ready to volunteer. Post asked if any more ideas for recruitment has been done. Fayette Fire Chief Jason Rohde advised he spoke to 5 people in the last year, 3 had conflicts and the other 2 are considering. Post researched recruitment ideas and shared a few, including placing yard signs throughout town, applying for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant, having an open house during Fire Prevention week, having a coffee with a firefighter event and utilizing social media. Fox advised they send out flyers for the annual Fire Dept. spaghetti supper fundraiser and include recruitment information. The department is also planning on having information and applications available at the supper this year. Rohde advised about 9 years ago he took a retention and recruiting class and feels recruiting college students does not help the department because they train them and then they leave for other departments. Fox advised the college students also frequently have school and sporting conflicts as well as curfews. Scott Bowen advised the current UIU student enrollment is mostly made up of student athletes that do not have the time to commit. Post advised the Fayette Ambulance Service currently has a UIU football player and UIU baseball player on the service. Post advised a public safety meeting was held about two or three years ago with this same recruitment conversation and quite a few ideas were presented but it doesn't appear that any suggestions were followed through. Tucker advised she is interested in leadership development and training and there has to be ways for someone to step up on the department if Rohde is not available. Tucker has been in a situation where she had to wait for a long time for the fire department to arrive. Susan Scott provided more suggestions including brochures to hand out at the supper fundraiser and talking to people waiting in line. There was no motion by the council to reappoint Rohde.

     City Administrator/Clerk McGrane updated the council on the N. Main Street/Old Hwy 150 project. McGrane advised grants and state/federal funding for projects like our N. Main Street project is difficult to receive. Fayette County received funding through the federal appropriation and a safety plan grant to assist them and surrounding counties with their large street project they will be completing over the next year. McGrane attended multiple meetings including the UIU law enforcement agreement meeting, Fayette Elementary school meeting, Fayette County Economic Development & Tourism Executive meeting, Tower Genius phone conference meeting, a Community Project Funding webinar, and an Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act webinar. McGrane assisted Tucker with the BOOST program application and Tucker submitted it by the due date.

     Public Works Director Hildebrand advised the council the paperwork for the wells was submitted and we are waiting for the Iowa DNR to continue with the process.

     This being the time and place posted for a public hearing on the authorization of a Loan Agreement and the issuance of Notes to evidence the obligation of the City thereunder, not to exceed $500,000 General Obligation Capital Loan Notes, Mayor Wood opened the hearing and asked for comments. There being no comments, Wood closed the hearing.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Potratz, to approve Resolution 2023-15, instituting proceedings to take additional action for the issuance of not to exceed $500,000 General Obligation Capital Loan Notes. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Tucker, to approve Resolution 2023-16, approving electronic bidding procedures and Distribution of Preliminary Official Statement for $400,000 General Obligation Capital Loan Notes, Series 2023, for ten years. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Potratz, seconded Tenney, to approve the second reading of Ordinance 517, amending Chapter 35, Fire Department, Section 6.  Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Potratz, to approve the second reading of Ordinance 518, amending Chapter 36, Ambulance Service, Section 3. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Andrew Wenthe with UIU provided a letter to the city indicating the UIU Board of Trustees will need to deed over the property to the city, so the trail to Volga Recreation area can be completed. Fayette County Conservation Director Rod Marlatt provided a Resolution from the Fayette County Board of Supervisors dated 11-22-2010 supporting the recreational trail from Fayette to Volga River Recreation Area and meeting minutes from the Fayette County Conservation Board dated 12-1-2010 supporting the Resolution from the Fayette County Board of Supervisors. Moved Tenney, seconded Tucker, to approve getting bids for completing the trail with an 8 foot wide concrete or asphalt surfacing. Roll call, Ayes - Potratz, Scott, Tenney and Tucker, Nay - Post, motion carried.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Potratz, to approve Resolution 2023-17, accepting the agreement between the city of Fayette, Iowa, and Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental to provide professional services for the Liquid Chlorination permit application for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Roll call, all ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tucker, seconded Tenney, to approve endorsing the Turkey River Safari project by approving a site for the 2023 Safari scavenger hunt include the Fayette Trail located at the Open Air Market park. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Tenney, seconded Tucker, to approve removing Patricia Potratz and adding Nathan Post to all the city of Fayette bank accounts and safe deposit box. All ayes, motion carried.

     Moved Post, seconded Tenney, to approve requiring two city employees and/or city officials that are named on the city bank accounts be present and sign the withdrawal slip for all cash withdrawals from any of the city bank accounts. All ayes, motion carried.

     McGrane provided an updated list of all the city's certificate of deposits (CD's) as well as some area financial institutions CD interest rates. McGrane recommends the council review them and at the next council meeting decide if they would like to take out the CD's and reinvest in new CD's with higher interest rates. No formal action was taken.

    There being no further business, Wood declared the meeting adjourned at 7:32 pm.

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