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Fountain transitions, a new era

Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in All Progress Edition

Left to right: Public Works Dan Byer, Police Chief Tom Mosher; and City Clerk Rhonda Flattum stand in front of the city's new police car. Photo by Karen Reisner

The city of Fountain has had three transitions this past year, a new city clerk, a new employee in public works, and a brand new police car.

City Clerk

In August 2011, Rhonda Flattum was hired by the city of Fountain as the new city clerk after the retirement of Stan and Sharon Speer, who had served the city in that capacity since 1970. Flattum has worked in banking all her life, most recently at the Associated Bank in Lanesboro. This is a new beginning for her, working as a city clerk.

When the opening for the city clerk job was advertised, Flattum said she was looking for a local job in a small town where she would be working with people in accounting and administration. She likes the job, enjoys learning new things, and is a self starter. Working in Fountain, a city with just three employees, she views their work as a team effort. Flattum says the new job is a challenge and exciting.

If something comes up that she is unsure of, she relies on neighboring city clerks or the Speers to answer her questions during this time of transition and learning.

Flattum is a mother of three adult children that have left the nest. Two of her children are married and have given her and her husband four grandchildren. She lives on the family farm near Lanesboro with her husband Lowell, who farms.

Public Works

Dan Byer has stepped into the shoes of Herman Freese, who retired in October. He is now working full time in Public Works. Byer, who worked construction and installed acoustical ceilings for 32 years, was laid off during the economic slow down a couple of years ago. Byer started to work part time helping Freese at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in June.

Byer took classes on his own dime to earn three licenses. He says he has learned a lot and still has a lot to learn. Byer, who lives in Fountain walks to work, enjoys being his own boss and his new job, finding it interesting. He like Flattum enjoys working with his co-workers.

Byer is married with two grown and married step-children.

Police Car and Pumper Truck

The city retired its 1996 Ford Crown Victoria police car and purchased a new 2011 Dodge Charger. Police Chief Tom Mosher, who works part time for Fountain and part time for Ostrander, said most of the equipment in the car was updated also. He admitted to being a "Dodge" man, and said the Charger broke all records in the State of Michigan Police tests rating for 0 to 60, 0 to 100, and water breaking.

The city is also replacing its old 1979 pumper fire truck with a 1992 Pierce-pumper. The new, used truck won't have to travel far to its new home, as it is being purchased from Chatfield.

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