The Fountain City Council met in regular session on September 1. Council members present included Ron Reisner, Dave Gudmundson, and Mayor Jim Schott. City Clerk Mary Tjepkes was also present.
Two citizens, Michelle Redalen and David Drury, spoke to the council about concerns related to their business (Drury’s Furniture). Redalen stated, “We just wanted to make sure the council becomes aware that we are having some issues with the furniture store and another business in town. They’ve been doing a number of things that are starting to impact our business in a negative way.”
The business next to Drury’s Furniture is Beaver Bottoms Saloon. Redalen went on to explain that one concern was that the alley has been “tarped off” during concerts, which blocks Drury’s employees and others from driving in the alley. She added that, “We are going to start being open evenings again in September, and we haven’t been open evenings since COVID started.”
Describing another concern, Redalen said, “We’ve recently had more problems with motorized vehicles being parked on the sidewalk, specifically under our awning, and in front of our fire exit.” Regarding some concerns about the bar patrons, Redalen said, “There have been lots of people drinking outside… they’ve been quite unruly and quite rude and offensive to our customers, and they’ve even come into the store and been unruly.”
The final concern shared by Redalen was the bar’s dumpster being parked in the alley, which creates an obstacle for trucks bringing furniture to the store. Mary Tjepkes said she has sent information about Fountain’s parking ordinance and open container law to the owner of the bar. Council members suggested that Drury’s staff should promptly call law enforcement if/when these problems happen, so that law enforcement officers can “see it for themselves.”
The council considered Resolution #359, regarding the proposed tax levy, which will be collectable in 2022. Tjepkes highlighted some of the significant factors impacting the levy, saying that the Sewer Tax Levy is proposed to be $65,000, the Capital Improvement Tax Levy is to be $35,000, and the Equipment Tax Levy is to be $8000. She said these are unchanged from the previous year. She said the General Tax Levy is proposed to be $122,529, which represents a 4% increase from last year. The council voted to approve Resolution #359 with the levy amounts as presented.
Tjepkes next informed the council that Sandy Seha Luoma is interested in seeking a small grant from the Preston Area Foundation, and she would like to use that to put several whiskey barrels full of flowers onto Fountain’s downtown area, to help beautify the city. Tjepkes said Sandy may also add a flag, incorporating Fountain’s city symbol. The council voiced appreciation for this plan, and voted to give Sandy the “green light” to move forward.
Finally, Tjepkes informed the council, “I had somebody come in and complain about people blowing their grass clippings out onto the road. We do have an ordinance against that.” She said she’s informed citizens via the utility billing mailings, and will do so again. She said one reason for the ordinance is that when grass clippings are on the roadway, it can create a slippery hazard for motorcyclists. The next regular meeting of the Fountain council will be held on Wednesday, October 6, at 7 p.m. As always, the public is welcomed.