The Fairfield Town Council reviewed the 2020-21 preliminary budget during a public hearing held before the regular council meeting on Aug. 12.

Finance Officer Tammy Comer reviewed the town’s projected expenditures of $1,539,450, highlighting line items from the town’s wish list, one-time expenditures and funds with larger-than-normal balances.

Among the projected expenses are: $124,000 in pool expenses including purchasing a slide, repairs, painting, replacing lifeguard chairs and a two-part project to bring the pool in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; $35,000 for street maintenance with the funds coming from the Montana’s BaRSAA gas tax funds; $35,000 to complete the sidewalk improvement project; $10,000 from the water fund to clean, inspect and paint the water tanks; $80,000 from the street and light fund to complete a lighting project on Main Street; $10,000 for equipment purchase; and a balance of $110,710 in the sewer fund, the balance from the contingency fund which will be used to pay for a third-party engineering firm and principle payment on the sewer project.

The final budget will be approved at a special meeting on Aug. 26 at 3:45 p.m.

During the regular meeting, the council agreed to delay voting on revisions to the zoning and building permits but gave the public works department temporary permission to authorize zoning and building permits.

The council members spent just shy of two hours discussing zoning during a work session on July 30. Included in their discussion were zoning for commercial businesses, setbacks in alleys for fencing, safety issues at intersections, living quarters in a garage, fine assessments, lot sizes to build, and allowing owners of nonconforming properties that lose their home or building to an act of God the opportunity to rebuild with the same footprint within one year of losing their home or building.

Fairfield resident Opie Idland attended the work session and noted he had looked at several towns and cities in Montana for their zoning regulations. He felt zoning ordinances in Baker and Polson were worth the Fairfield council’s consideration.

The council also approved David Dale as a new firefighter.

Councilman Loren Tacke anticipates work beginning on the first phase of ADA compliance at the pool toward the end of August or beginning of September. Tacke also said he hopes to move forward with the Main Street lighting project in the next month. He was unsure how long it will take to ship the lights, given many businesses are still operating on limited staffs during the pandemic.

The next council meeting will be Sept. 9. A second public hearing on the Fairfield Town Council Community Needs Assessment for a community development block grant and other state and federal programs will be held at 6 p.m. The regular council meeting will follow after the public hearing.