The Fountain Council rescinded an August vote to remove all truck routes within the city at the Wednesday, September 4 meeting. The move came after citizen complaints and concerns over the action.
The earlier decision came following discussion of a Rochester City Lines bus stop. Plans to address the municipal parking lot to better accommodate bus pick ups for those commuting via Rochester City Lines were approved. At the time, the council opted to remove truck route signage because of a conflict with a city ordinance on vehicles weighing more than five tons using the street.
City Attorney Frederick Suhler suggested the option of removing the signs because enforcement of the limitation requires that the signs be present in order to enforce the ordinance. Using this option, a vehicle of any size could lawfully travel on the street. A second option, modifying the ordinance to exempt certain kinds of buses from the weight limitation was also discussed and the council agreed to having Suhler to amend current ordinance.
City Clerk Rhonda Flattum clarified to the council that while the signs for the truck route hadn’t been taken down, complaints had come in and it appeared the route should be left in place. The route runs down Third Street, Main Street, First Street, and Cedar Street. After further discussion, the council voted to keep the truck route and signs in place, but to remove the weight restriction on Second Street for bussing.
The city also continues to deal with speeding on Main and Cedar Streets. Flattum noted recent discussions with Brent Kohn, Fillmore County Maintenance Supervisor, about the issue and stated the difficulty in regulating speed limits. In an effort to reduce the frequency of speeding, the city will take a multi-pronged approach to make motorists aware. Preston Police Department, with whom the city contracts police services, will place an electronic speed sign on Cedar Street, as well as ramping up monitoring of the street by officers. The sign is expected to be in place no later than next week. “Hopefully, it will slow people down,” said Flattum.
For added safety, a crossing sign will be moved to Main Street, between First State Bank of Fountain and Drury’s. “We’ll start with that and see how it goes,” Flattum added.
In other news, bringing MMS Environmental on board with a new contract to maintain the city’s wastewater treatment plant appears to have gotten off to a good start. A monthly update submitted by Mike Morris, of MMS Environmental, indicates that total nitrogen for August is 3.08, well below the limit of 10. One particular concern, noted by Morris is the report, is gas monitors at the plant that appear to be non-functional or haven’t been calibrated in some time. As a major safety issue, the city will secure price quotes on getting the monitors up and running.
The Wastewater Treatment Agreement between the city and Valley Design has been signed by both parties and is now in place. “I would like to thank Valley Design for working with us and signing the agreement,” said Mayor Jim Schott.
The city’s proposed tax levy for 2020 is $200,237. This represents $115,237 in general levy, $65,000 in sewer levy, and $20,000 in capital improvement levy. The council approved the resolution unanimously.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Wednesday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m., at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.