July 2020 Fairfield Council Meeting

In a public hearing held before the July meeting of the Fairfield Town Council, the council heard from (left to right) Emily Gulick, VP of the Fairfield Community Hall Board; Brad Bauman, Fairfield Loins Club; and Sarah Converse with Sweetgrass Development. The three spoke about the ongoing work at the Fairfield Community Hall and how to fund the final phases of the project.

The Fairfield Town Council held their July meeting on the 15th.

The regular meeting was preceded by a public hearing regarding a Community Development Block Grant CDBG) application. Emily Gulick, Vice President of the Fairfield Community Hall Board; Brad Bauman, with the Fairfield Lions Club and Sarah Converse, representing Sweetgrass Development, spoke for the ongoing Community Hall renovation project.

At the time of the council meeting, Gulick told those present, “phase one will be done by the end of this week.” Gulick added that the first phase included enlarging the kitchen and updating the restrooms to be fully ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. One of the side entrances was also upgraded.

For upcoming phases Gulick said plans included new HVAC, including air conditioning. The old swamp coolers have been removed. A new front entryway is also planned.

Brad Bauman reported that 17 foundations have been approached for funding, with requests totaling $500,000. Members of Fairfield’s business community are also being approached and a “campaign for personal donations is underway”, Bauman said. The Fairfield Lions Club is “casting a wide net” to raise the funds. “This community has never backed away from anything,” Bauman told the council.

Sarah Converse, with Sweetgrass Development, will work with the community, guiding the town through the CDBG application process. Converse described the CDBG paperwork as “onerous.”

Phase one had a tab of $300,000. The remainder of the project is expected to run $550,000.

At the conclusion of the CDBG public hearing Mayor Bob Swartz said he would “like to compliment the Lions Club and others working on the Community Hall project.”

Next, a public hearing was held on improvements to the town’s water system. Collette Anderson, engineer with Great West Engineering spoke via telephone with the council. The engineering firm representative said the form has done an evaluation of the current system. She told the council that the current system is pumping, on average, 148,000 gallons per day, but the system was only delivering 115,000 gallons per day, a loss of about 30 per cent. “Ten to fifteen per cent loss is typical,” the Great West engineer told the council.

Next, the regular council meeting started.

First on the meeting agenda was moving the time of the monthly town meeting to 6:30 p.m. The motion passed.

Next was a motion to approve Resolutions #381 for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Special Assessments for Lights and Garbage. It passed.

A motion was made to approve Resolutions #382 for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Special Assessments for Street Maintenance. The motion passed.

Next, a motion was made and passed for #383 Budget Amendment for Street Light Fund Unanticipated Expenses.

The next item was a revision to Ordinance 15.24.010, Resolution of Intent #384. The intent of the revision is to put the approval of building permits in the hands of the town’s public works department. Currently, the applications come before the town council, which only meets once a month. After a lengthy back and forth among the council and mayor, the resolution passed.

Next on the agenda was a Resolution of Intent #385 to Revise Ordinance #11.04.070 (C). The resolution seeks update the ordinance to read: “11.04.070 (C) General Business District Intent.  The intent of this zone is to provide for general business activities pertaining to retail and wholesale trade services, but to limit heavy commercial and other uses which may cause conflicting conditions to other use areas. Zoning setback requirements for main street businesses on Central Avenue from US Highway 89 and 7th Street shall be exempt.”

Councilman Tacke made a motion to table the matter. Councilman Chuck Brown voted no. Tacke and Ron Dauwalder voted yes.

The council then approved a three-year contract with the town’s audit firm.

The council then voted to approve a permit for the construction of a new building at 3 Rivers, replacing the “East Building.”

The mayor then delivered his report, telling the council that Alluvion Health would like to conduct COVID-19 testing in Fairfield. Councilman Tacke commented that “the town has nothing to do with it.”

Nick Dale, reporting for the town crew, told the council that the sprinkler system in the park was failing. Nick brought in a section of PVC pipe that had split.

The next meeting of the Fairfield Town Council is set for August 12.