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Preston City Council Report: Preston fire department changes approved

Fri, Jan 19th, 2007
Posted in Government

Outgoing fire chief Kurt Reicks detailed modifications requested by the Preston Fire Department (PFD) at the January 16 Preston City Council meeting. Reicks, who is also the Mayor, asked that the council approve Jerry Olson to be the new fire chief, Doug Keene to be the new assistant chief, Stuart Quanrud to serve as secretary and Ron Schreier as treasurer.

Reicks explained that the Tri-County Firefighters Association has decided to raise the mutual aid rate from $200 to $300 per hour. Therefore, the PFD is asking that their rates be raised from $200 to $300 to stay consistent with the Tri-County mutual aid agreement. City Administrator Joe Hoffman asked if there was a one hour minimum charge. Mayor Reicks said that there was. Council member Jon Haugan questioned how the rates are applied if more than one fire department is sent out on the same call. He asked if both fire departments get the hourly rate. Reicks assured him that they do. Council member Heath Mensink suggested that the extra cost is well worth it when a great deal of water is required to put down a fire. He said that a water pumper truck can run out of water and without another truck as back up, firefighters may stand helplessly by watching a fire destroy property while waiting for a truck to return refilled with water.

Kurt Reicks then explained the Preston Fire Relief Association request for a pension increase from $1100 per year of service to $1300 per year of service. All of the requests were approved.

Other Business

A pay equity report was approved for submission to the state. Joe Hoffman stated that the report is required to be submitted to the state every three years. He said the goal was that male and female city employees receive reasonably equitable compensation. Hoffman noted that if the gender equity report is out of compliance with state standards and if the city fails to take steps to correct the imbalances, the city's level of state aid could be effected.

The council approved sending newly elected council member David Harrison to the League of Minnesota Cities two day training conference for new city council members.

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