Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2017

Council agrees to share services with school

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Jul 26, 2017

Fairfield City Council members met Monday night and approved a 28E agreement with the Fairfield Community School District, which would enable the entities to share services.

“This idea originated with [Fairfield school superintendent] Dr. Laurie Noll. She approached me with the idea,” said city administrator Mike Harmon during an interview today. He said the idea came up during the city’s budget season.

Harmon said that he and Noll discussed the logistics of sharing resources, and took those ideas to their respective boards.

“[City] council approved it; the school board had already approved it,” Harmon said, adding that this is exciting news because the collaboration would save taxpayers money.

Noll was every bit as thrilled as Harmon.

“I am excited that this is a way that we are sharing our resources and sharing the funds; this will save our taxpayers in the long run, and I feel that this is also a [bridge] that will open a door to possibly sharing our resources in other ways,” Noll said.

According to the 28E agreement, the school board would share its facility director, Jeff Koontz, with the city, and in return, the city would provide a variety of services such as sand, salt and cold storage, snow removal and tree removal.

“We’re open to providing all of those services,” Harmon said.

In turn, Koontz will consult the city on preventive maintenance with its boilers and chillers at the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center, aquatic center and the Fairfield Public Library.

“The ultimate goal is to use tax dollars in the most efficient way,” Harmon said, adding that the collaboration would provide additional funding from the state equivalent to five students.

“We get the spending authority for five students, and the funding that goes along with it,” Noll said. “This is an incentive that’s in state legislation for school districts to help share and cover some of the costs.

“This plan to look at the sharing agreement has been in the works since the beginning of last year. It is part of what [the district] had talked about as far as cost savings for this next year. ”

Harmon called the 28E agreement, “a win-win for both the city and the school district.”

In other news, the city awarded the construction bid for the wastewater Treatment Facility to PKG Construction of Fargo, North Dakota.

The interim loan the city received from Fairfield MidWest One Bank for Phase One construction of the sewer project is slated to be repaid Aug. 10. Harmon said the city is refinancing its interim loan and is moving into the permanent stages with USDA.

Harmon said, adding that the closing date for the refinance with USDA is Aug. 10.

 

 

 

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