Town Council

Fairfield Mayor Bob Swartz swears in Fairfield Town Council members, Charlie Brown and Loren Tacke, on Dec. 11.

Fairfield Mayor Bob Swartz swore in the two newly-elected Town Council members during the Dec. 11 meeting.

The oath was administered to incumbents Loren Tacke and Charles Brown. Tacke was re-elected to the board. He has served three terms on the council. Brown was elected to fill the seat held by BJ Bouray who did not seek re-election after serving three terms. Brown had previously served one term on the board.

The two councilmen will take over their seats on Jan. 1.

Before they opened the December meeting, the council held a public hearing on proposed revisions to an ordinance to repair city water lines. Under consideration was a timeframe of seven days for a homeowner to repair a defective or leaking line.

The council had considered the resolution at the November meeting, but requested a time limitation be added to the original resolution.

Given that there was no one present at the public hearing and no objections were made to the change, the council approved the ordinance during the regular meeting. The council also approved a resolution to adopt the Teton County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan.

The council tabled a motion to hire an on-call engineering firm. It was noted two firms have submitted bids for consideration. Tacke said he would like to personally interview representatives from both firms before making a decision. Fellow council members Ron Dauwalder and Terra Rosenbaum agreed with Tacke. No timeline was set, but the council hoped to meet with both firms before the January council meeting.

The council gave their stamp of approval for the NLC Service Warranty Program, which allows property owners to purchase private insurance to help cover potential sewer or water breaks they would be financially responsible for. It was noted the city has been responsible for this program for financial gains. The town will assist the company in reaching property owners by placing addresses on pre-paid mailings that will go through the town office.

Town maintenance employee Nick Dale reviewed the inflow to the sewer lagoon and said he would have to discharge from the lagoon in the first few months. He said it is a balancing act, making sure the cell is filled to the right level while maintaining enough in the cell to avoid freezing pipes. Dale said the maintenance crew is working on options to preview the system to gather information on where there is water leaking into the system contributing to the high inflow at the lagoon.

The town is also working with Montana Department of Environmental Quality officials to fix issues at the lagoon.

The council also discussed damages to the fire hall from an electrical short caused by a tree branch that was cut on adjoining property. The town clerk/treasurer said she has been in contact with insurance companies and it is at a stalemate with neither the town or the property owner wanting to pay. Given the information, the council agreed to send a bill to the owner of the property where the tree was cut. They understood insurance isn’t agreeing to pay for the repairs, but said they think the bill is still the responsibility of the property owner. The damage is for $4,000 plus an attorney fee of $220.