Savanna Fire Chief Briefs Council on New 911 Dynamic
By Michael Miller For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – Savanna Fire Chief Shawn Picolotti updated the Savanna City Council on how Savanna’s recent controversial withdrawal from the 911 agreement with Carroll County will affect service and overall dynamics, at the June 12th, 2012 meeting of that body at 333 Chicago Avenue in Savanna.
This meeting was attended by Council members Bill Grummitt, Lois Hunsaker, Tony McCombie, Jeff Griswold, Peg Haffey, Merle Long, Bill Robinson and Robert David. Also attending were Mayor Larry Stebbins, City Clerk Paul Hartman, City Attorney Phil Jensen, Picolotti, Police Chief Michael Moon, and Public Works Superintendent John Lindeman, with Comptroller/Treasurer Sheryl Sipe absent.
Picolotti told the Council, in response to questions from David, that Savanna “is not going to ‘totally’ lose it’s 911 service”, adding that “that’s the best way to put it, I guess.” He then delineated the current plans for Savanna and 911, saying that he and Assistant Fire Chief Scott Wolfe had been working out a plan whereby, as long as both of them were working and neither were on vacation, that the Savanna 911 calls could be answered by himself or Wolfe for 12 hours per day during the week and for eight hours on Saturday. He said that Wolfe had worked out a graph which revealed that Sundays tended to be fairly “quiet” days in regards to 911 calls.
Stebbins explained that one important facet of this plan was there would be no overtime, and that if the workers had to respond to calls past their regularly scheduled hours, they would then just work deduct that same amount of hours during the week to make up for this discrepancy. Training hours, which are currently overtime hours, will now be straight time hours.
The Chief added that in regards to fire calls, “it’s going to be difficult for us, a little bit, in our response time, just because of the way our city’s laid out.” Savanna’s 911 center, will, the chief said, remain the backup center for Carroll County.
Amount of Grant Funding for Sewer Plant to be Drastically Reduced?
Water / Sewer / Refuse / Streets and Alley Committee Robinson delivered the unfortunate news that after consultation with Sharon Pepin of Community Funding and Planning Services, he learned that federal officials would like to see Savanna’s grant request reduced to approximately 1 to 2 million dollars. Previously it was speculated that Savanna might be a good fit for a much larger grant amount, perhaps around 80 percent of the 10.6 million which will be required to build the facility.
Robinson explained that since a minimal number of permanent jobs would be created from this project, the officials noted that the previously speculated amount would not be available to Savanna. Robinson said that should Savanna elect to continue to pursue the larger amount, it would likely end up receiving nothing, and recommended seeking the smaller amount plus seeking out other grant opportunities.
New Administrative Hire
McCombie gave the Personnel/Safety Committee report, telling the Council that the main agenda item was the recent hiring of Ashley Bunn as a new administrative employee, in a full time position. (The mayor does the hiring in this case and the committee makes the recommendation to set the wage, which is then voted on by the full Council). The committee recommended a starting pay of $14.00 per hour for Ms. Bunn, who is scheduled to begin her duties in July. After a motion by Robinson, seconded by Haffey, the full Council approved both the hiring and the wage recommendation.
Robinson reviewed the latest Finance Committee meeting. The committee had received a request for funds from the Hotel/Motel Committee, which wished to transfer funds totaling $4,000.00 into a fireworks fund. Public Works also requested funds, for a leak detection survey, with Robinson motioning that the Council approve the requested $2,700.00 necessary for this process, and the full Council approving.
New Business was highlighted by a long list of ordinances, all in their first readings. The Council read by title only an ordinance that would amend a previous ordinance so that state sanctioned gambling could occur within the city. An ordinance which would waive the reinstatement fee for nonpayment of bills for industrial accounts due to billing cycle issues “or the timing of the corporations’ approval of the bill” was also read by title only. Two more ordinances would seek to amend the schedule of license fees for transient merchants as follows: the daily fee would be $50.00, for a period not to exceed 72 hours, the seasonal fee would be $500.00 (covering March 1st to October 31st), and the annual fee would be $1000.00. A final ordinance dealing with handicapped parking was not yet ready for perusal so it was tabled until a later date.
Finally, a resolution acknowledging and agreeing to prevailing rate of wages was read and approved by title only.
This meeting would be Robert David’s last as an active Council member, and as such he took a few moments to address the occasion. David told the assembled Council that he’d enjoyed his time serving with them, had learned a lot, and that he hated to leave but that he and his family would be relocating to Fulton. Grummitt, in his comments, thanked David for his service.