Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2018

Council talks about widening Highway 1

By Jon Gilrain, Ledger correspondent | Mar 28, 2018

The Fairfield City Council met Monday night to realign funding and scheduling for Highway 1 improvements, hear updates and take care of other business.

A public hearing was set for 7 p.m. April 9 for a paving project at the Fairfield Municipal Airport.

 

Public investment trust

The council authorized participation in Iowa Public Agency Investment Trust. The trust was created in 1987 to enable eligible Iowa public agencies to conveniently invest their available operating and reserve funds. IPAIT serves more than 400 Iowa public entities.

City Administrator Aaron Kooiker explained that participation in IPAIT did not mean the city couldn’t still engage local financial institutions. The council also updated the authorized signers for IPAIT to include Kooiker and City Clerk Rebekah Loper.

“Currently, their interest rates for CDs are very favorable,” said Kooiker referring to IPAIT, “but we’re only adding the authorization to be able to do it; it doesn’t mean we will. We can still go to local banks and ask them to match those rates if they would.”

 

Highway 1 widening

The council heard from City Engineer Melanie Carlson about revisions to both the State Transportation Program and Transportation Improvement Program about a Highway 1 project.

The Iowa Department of Transportation allocated $3.5 million to widen Highway 1 from two lanes to three lanes between Fillmore Avenue and Libertyville Road for fiscal year 2022. The project includes acquiring right-of-ways, adding a 10-foot wide trail on one side, curb and gutter pavement and storm sewer improvements. It will also improve the intersection of Libertyville Road and Highway 1.

The Federal Highway Administration gave the Fairfield Trails Council a grant for $320,000. Another $240,000 will come from money the FHWA allocates to the city every year which can be saved. The city’s contribution will be $140,000. The changes made Monday night were to appropriately budget the federal funds to the years when the funds will be needed.

“The next step is the funding agreement with the DOT and Federal Highway Administration to blend all these dollars together to make sure we don’t have conflicting requirements with all the different funding agencies,” said Carlson.

Carlson wrote in an email that the budget includes options for widening the intersection even more to four lanes, or building a roundabout at the intersection of Libertyville Road and Highway 1.

The council approved a resolution to issue debt to reimburse the city for projects on Tyler Street and Court Street. The funds are to be reimbursed to the city through tax increment financing, sidestepping the need to use the city’s general fund.

Two ordinance amendments relating to municipal infractions were moved from second to third readings. The ordinances would give police the option of giving motorists a municipal infraction instead of a state ticket. The municipal infraction would not include court costs, the money would go to the city’s general fund and the offense would not go on the driver’s permanent record.

The council approved former Fairfield Police Chief Randy Cooksey’s appointment to the Civil Service Commission.

The city administrator attended the Iowa Municipal Management Institute Conference in Iowa City earlier this month. The event provides city and county managers, administrators and other key local government staff from Iowa with a professional development program as well as networking opportunities.

“It was a very good conference and it gave me ideas on a number of different topics. These things are very informative and instrumental in expanding and improving my abilities as a city administrator,” said Kooiker.

Before adjourning, Mayor Ed Malloy asked the franchise committee to look into a contract with Waste Management that had come up for renewal earlier than anticipated.

He also mentioned that the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce has chosen the City of Fairfield for a business improvement award based on the facade project. Malloy wants to thank the property owners and include them in the presentation at the chamber’s annual awards banquet April 12 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

 

 

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