Council considers contract with French-Reneker
The Fairfield City Council is considering a plan to contract with French-Reneker-Associates project engineer Melanie Carlson to fulfill some of the roles of a city administrator while the city looks for a full time replacement.
Doug Flournoy, chairman of the council’s personnel committee, said his committee recommended the action during its meeting earlier that day, and that the committee members want the ways and means committee to take up the matter before it comes before the full council. The reason they wanted the ways and means committee to view the agreement is to find out if the city has enough money in the budget to pay the $7,600 monthly fee to French-Reneker that is part of the proposed contract.
Carlson said she added up the amount of time she would spend performing day-to-day tasks for the city, assisting department heads with planning and engineering, and providing general consulting services. She estimated she would spend 80 hours per month performing those duties.
One topic of discussion in the personnel committee was whether Carlson, or another French-Reneker employee, should be paid by the hour or paid in a lump sum for a whole month. French-Reneker is currently paid by the hour.
The council approved a services agreement with Robert Lyons, president of the Fairfield Flying Service Inc. and the manager of Fairfield Municipal Airport. The agreement extends Lyons’s contract eight years, making it 10 years in all.
Lyons said in an interview today he has worked at the airport for 19 years and has invested a lot of time, sweat and money into providing services for the community. He is shepherding a number of long-term projects that he’d like to see to completion, which is why he asked that several years be added to his contract.
“I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate to do here,” he said.
The main course on his plate now is a new terminal building to replace the one built in 1966. The terminal building will contain a lobby, conference room, manager’s office, pilots’ lounge, pilots’ briefing room and other accommodations.
The plan is to demolish the terminal building Aug. 15 and to begin building the new terminal shortly thereafter. Lyons hopes the project will be completed by Jan. 15. It is expected to cost $500,000, of which the Federal Aviation Administration will pay 90 percent. The other 10 percent will come from the municipal airport’s development fund, which comes from the sale of goods and services at the airport such as aircraft rent, hangar rent, fuel fees and farm rent.
One project that’s a few years down the road is a new fuel farm. Lyons said the life span of the current fuel tanks will come to an end in five years, and he would like to replace them before then. He hopes to receive a grant from the FAA to pay for 90 percent of the cost, just as with the terminal. The fuel farm will consist of two 10,000-gallon tanks.
Carlson announced at the meeting that the anonymous donor who has agreed to give $160,000 toward a skate park has requested that all the money go toward the park instead of some of it going to build a nearby shelter. Carlson said that if the shelter is scrapped from the plans, it would save enough money to allow the city to build a 7,000-square foot park instead of a 5,000-square foot park as originally planned.
The council passed the third and final reading of an ordinance to increase water rates 12 percent. Councilor Daryn Hamilton and chair of the utility committee said this would mean about a 4 percent increase in the average resident’s utility bill, since a utility bill includes other items such as wastewater, garbage and recycling. The new rates will take effect July 1.