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Fire Department offers proposal to increase ambulance funding

Monday, September 16, 2019 - Posted 9:02:02 PM
At a Finance Committee meeting prior to the city council meeting Monday night, a proposal to increase the funding of the ambulance department by the fire department was presented.  City Administrator Bill Moline said he met with the fire department board of trustees last week to help iron out the funding proposal.

The proposal includes a referendum in next April's election to increase the tax levy from 3% to 4%.  If passed it will generate another $60,000 annually to go toward funding the ambulance service.

In addition, the fire department proposes to include additional tax levy funds that will bring in an additional $40,000.  The fire department also proposes to increase their present funding from $180,000 to $190,000 which added with the $40,000 will make the total fire department funding for the ambulance squad equal to $230,000.  If the referendum passes the total will increase to $290,000 annually.

City Administrative Moline said final details and wording need to be worked out but said the proposal will be on the next council agenda for approval.

The Finance Committee also agreed in principle to split the cost with the Fieldcrest School District to repair the lighting at Veteran's Park football field for which the school has a 99 year lease.  31 light bulbs have to be replaced and repairs are needed immediately on one of the light poles for safety reasons.  Repair cost is estimated to be $49,000.  The agreement will be on the next council agenda for approval.

In other business, the council approved the appointment of Trent Ruestman to the Chairman of the Public Works Committee and approved the appointment of Julie McNamara to the Public Safety Committee, Public Works Committee and Food Pantry.

In council comments, Julie McNamara asked why the city can't notify the public when the water supply is to be affected.  She though the city should have contacted the schools to inform them of the water situation. The taste has been altered due to the shut down of the reverse-osmosis system until repairs can be made to the water plant.  The repairs are supposed to take 6 weeks with 3 weeks still remaining until repairs are complete.

Mr. Moline gave the following update on city projects:

Water Treatment Plant - plumbing that is being replaced is removed, measurements taken and materials ordered and should start going back in this week. Contractor will be cleaning up the pipe layout to give more room around the tanks.

Com Ed - Lighting topic from last meeting. Discussed with our contact and there was a glitch in their reporting system so nothing was being shown in Minonk as being out, which he thought was odd, so I sent him a new list that was gathered for me by our night shift officers. He also contacted someone personally to get the list of lights that were discussed during the last meeting that I no longer had.

Backhoe bidding process - Will have 3 bids to review and discuss with the finance committee.

Speeding by the Nursing Home - Officers have been positioned in this area and have not noticed any violators recently but will continue to monitor the area.

Playground equipment is installed at the West side park.