March Fire Board Meeting Minutes

Garden City Fire District

Board Meeting

March 20, 2014

Board Members in Attendance:  Brian House, Randall Knight, Christina Gracey, Howard Pope

Others in Attendance:  Mike Wahlberg, Tiffany Wahlberg, Anita Weston

Approval of Past Minutes:  Randall emailed a few changes and Christina mentioned that the individuals going to Emmetsburg should have listed Tom, not Mike.  Motion by Brian, 2nd by Randall, Brian, Randall, Christina vote aye.  Perry abstained since he was not at the meeting.

Items for Follow-Up:

Policies and procedures: Leave, Per diem, and Holidays (Randall):  Randall stated that he has been working on the employee section of the manual.  He stated there is still a formatting issue, that will still need to be looked at.  The only comment he received was that Christina and Brian felt that Mike should not be required to take 4 hours of leave at a time.  Randall asked how time cards are kept.  Mike stated that he keeps his hours on his phone and then transfers them to paper time cards.  Randall asked about purchasing some software to track it.  Tiffany stated that it doesn’t take long to pull the information off of his time cards.  Perry stated that one of his concerns is that there are summer holidays, but that is when Mike should really be at the station.  Mike stated that he ends up working more often than not on those days.

Randall asked if there was a savings account in place for paying out sick leave and vacation.  Tiffany stated that there wasn’t a budget for that, but that there is a budget for the captains and assistant chief that should cover any time needed to cover for sick and vacation.  Christina’s concern was that the carryover was smaller than what Mike could carry over of just vacation if it were separate.  Christina also said that if the chief has good judgment, then having it all combined should not be a problem, but if the chief begins to not work, it could easily become a problem.  Christina stated that the first sentence in Section 5-01(4) does not make sense.  It sounds like the vacation and sick are combined and that only 24 hours may be accrued.  This section should be changed to 160 hours of vacation and/or holiday hours may be carried forward from year to year.  The holiday section should also say that an employee can choose to take these hours on a non-holiday or that if the employee has to work more than a certain number of hours, then he could use those hours on another day.

Howard voiced his opinion at the last meeting that he would prefer to keep it separate.  Randall and Brian would like to combine it.  Christina would like to keep it separate.  Perry would be fine with either way.  He would like to combine the two but make sure that the numbers stay fair.  Randall would add a section to state that it has been combined.  He would also reword everything to make it fit that situation.  Christina would also like to add that Mike notify the board if he is taking personal time off.  The board can also rewrite this section if it does become and issue in the future.  This will be added to the items for follow up for next time.

Fire Chief contract/90 day probation (Randall):  Mike and Perry both signed the contract.

Building interior remodel (Mike):  Mike has been working on the remodel.  He has looked at the windows and had a few contractors look at them. They appear to be in good shape, so he would rather not replace those now.  With the money saved, he would like to put in cabinetry with doors in the meeting room and possibly in the offices if there are enough funds.

Items for discussion:

A wild land course started yesterday and will go through April 30.

DNR sent notice yesterday that the grant funds of about $15,000 reimbursement for PPE will finally be released within two weeks.

There is a water leak in front of the bays.  The water to the station has been shut off.  The repair will involve some damage to the new concrete and asphalt.  This may require an amendment to the budget to pull some funds from savings.  Hopefully there will be some funds available in other categories to move around to cover at least most of it.  Brian asked if insurance would cover it.  Mike will make some phone calls.  Randall asked if the dollar amount would require bids.  Mike stated he did make phone calls, but the only one he could find to come immediately was Lutz.  The city did not want to take funds away from private individuals by having their guys work on it.  Since it is an emergency situation, and Lutz is the only one available, it will go to him.

 Vehicle/Equipment/Station Service Requests:    None this month.

Purchase Requisitions:  None this month.

Equipment Status:  Engine 40 has been repaired.  The seal was replaced and is doing well.  Mike had to replace a trailing arm on the suspension on Rescue 40.  When Mike had the tire swapped out from winter tires back to the mud tires, one was bad.  A new one would be $600-700, so Mike ordered 4 new tires for about $700 total.  The other tires are upstairs in case they need to be used in a pinch.  Christina asked if there was a warranty and Mike stated that they have the standard amount.

Responses:  1 CO call, 6 medical assists, 10 burn permits.  Brian asked if the fire district was involved in life flight yesterday.  Mike stated that the district was not.

Brian stated that the city is looking at raising the water rates.  Brian wondered if the fire district should look at raising the impact fees.  The city’s rate will go from $35-42.  Tiffany stated that the impact fees can only be spent on building, so this would be more of a property tax increase issue.  Randall asked Mike to send out the 5 and 10 year plan so the board can review it.  Randall asked Mike about the inspection fee.  Mike stated that the double fee has not been used much.  It would only be used in circumstances where the individual is not trying to take care of the issues prior to re-inspection.


New or Miscellaneous Business:  The AEDs that were ordered after last meeting have been received.

Items for follow up: 

Policies and Procedures-Employee Manual rewrite (Randall)                         

Review and Approval of Current Expense Invoices

Motion by Brian to adjourn, 2nd by Christina, vote was unanimous