The Fairfield Town Council finalized the zoning ordinances and dealt with details of several ongoing projects during the January and February council meetings.
At the January meeting, the council approved a resolution to revise all ordinances for zoning, building and construction. Over a series of several months and numerous meetings, the council made revisions, updates and changes to the ordinances. Councilman Chuck Brown and Mayor Bob Swartz spearheaded the process. When approving the final documents, the council remarked they were pleased to have all of the ordinances updated and in an easier format to be used by the public.
Jeremiah Theys of Great West Engineering reported on three ongoing projects at the January meeting — the addition of lights to Main Street, the swimming pool ADA project and continuation of the sidewalk improvements.
Theys said the bids for the lighting project were higher than estimated. The low bid of $98,700 was still $28,000 higher than what the town’s budget allowed. The town plans to use excess funds from the lighting district to add four to six lights to the end of Main Street. The original lighting project was overseen by the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and paid for by that organization through grants and donations.
In the two bids, the most expensive portion was for the boring. The council discussed options of rebidding in the future to see if prices would come in lower, phasing the project to fit the budget or scrap the project.
At the February meeting, the mayor said he had researched breaking the lighting project into smaller portions that appears to bring the project more in line with the budget. He located a contractor out of Conrad who would offer a lower bid for the boring. He said the town could purchase the lights directly for the dealer and the electric work could be completed by local electrician 7-Electric. With the council’s approval, Swartz said he would have a better idea of overall cost at the next week.
The council will keep the Fairfield Community Hall Board apprised of the project, as they will be responsible for the lights in front of that facility. They said it would be more cost effective to have the company bore once in the area instead of returning to compete that section in the future. Councilman Loren Tacke also asked whether the town would be seeking funds from community members who wish to donate and have the placement of a plaque on the light, as was done the first phase by the chamber. It was agreed this was a good idea.
Theys went over the interior pool handicapped-access plans. He explained that to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, the men’s and women’s bathrooms would each lose one toilet. The showers needed to be updated and the countertop in the entry needed to be lowered to meet ADA regulations, as well. He estimated the project would cost $74,000 with the interior updates at $52,000 and the exterior at $22,000.
Theys said the applications would open in February for the sidewalk project. He said the best range to receive grant funding is between $250,000 and $350,000 and to focus on ADA, routes to the school, pool and Community Hall. He also suggested having community members write letters of support, as they weigh a great deal when asking for grant funding. The council agreed to hold a work session to outline areas they feel should be considered.
Collette Anderson, from Great West Engineering, supplied documentation for possible funding for the proposed water improvement project. The council approved the $9,000 draw for the engineers to prepare and submit the application for USDA Rural Development funds.
The mayor reported Fairfield contractor Marty Palmer has been hired to build the addition on the Fairfield-Teton Public Library. The funding, which is being donated, has been given to the Fairfield Friends of the Library. The town’s clerk Tammy Comer will work with that group for the distribution of funds.
Palmer is working with the town maintenance crew to comply the ordinances. He anticipates beginning construction when the weather allows.
At both the January and February meetings, the mayor updated the council on continued work by the town’s attorney Bill Bieler on possible litigation for the sewer lagoon construction project.
The council briefly discussed the new addition to the Fairfield Cemetery. The council was asked their opinion by the chairman of the county cemetery board, Matt Morris, to the proposed idea of only allowing flat headstones in the new section. Dave Smith, the Fairfield Sexton, at a recent cemetery board meeting, spoke in support of flat head stones for ease of maintenance.
The council as a whole was not in favor of limiting the type of head stones but was unsure of any authority they had to respond.