The Fennimore Common Council approved a letter of commitment for the city’s participation in a Focus on Energy Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program grant.
“Because of our ongoing commitment to the 25x25 Program, Fennimore was invited by the E3 Coalition to participate in their public/private research partnership that will explore and document the value of cross-sector or community-based energy planning, and demonstrate the potential for well-managed community usage data to expand savings,” stated the letter of commitment.
“What is the expected outcome of the project?” alderperson Greg Fry asked. “Are we looking to save money somewhere?”
“Ultimately, it is going to keep us in the loop for other opportunities for grants and things,” City Clerk Margaret Sprague said. “Also, identifying other energy efficiency projects that could be done in some of our buildings.”
“It gives us a better standing at the time we would do something,” Mayor Charles Stenner added. “If we didn’t do anything, we would be back farther on the list.”
The city would pay $150 per building that would be included in the program.
“More than likely we will be looking at the library, we will be looking at [the Memorial Building],” Director of Public Works John Murphy said. “I think we’ll do the utility shop, the street shop and the wastewater treatment plant.”
“I think it is a good idea but we need to be smart about where we are spending that money,” Fry said.
“Now is the time to write grants, because we were a winner of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, “ Murphy said. “We are at high standing right now.
“Every grant that we have been applying for we have been getting because of that fact.”
In other action, the council:
• approved a request by the Supporters of Solorzano to serve food in the Memorial Building during a fundraiser Sept. 15.
Jody Solorzano is battling stage four brain cancer and previously battled breast cancer.
• approved a request by the lifeguard staff at the Fennimore Community Pool to plan a fundraiser for the Solorzano family.
“The lifeguards want to have a special fundraiser because Amberly is a lifeguard at the pool,” Sprague said. “They want to do something special for the family.”
In his report to the council, Police Chief Rick Kreul informed the council the department’s new police car has arrived.
“We should have it up and going definitely before the end of the week barring any problems with parts,” Kreul said.
When asked by Fry how much time he will spend to ensure the car is ready for use, Kreul said usually three to four days.
“To me, you as police chief, your time would be better served with the city paying you to be police chief, rather than to work as mechanic changing parts on the car,” Fry said.
Kreul said there was a time when the work was hired out, but a police department employee was still needed to oversee the process. As such, the work has traditionally been completed by a member of the police department.
“It is partially a budget issue,” Kreul said. “There is not a whole lot of budget room left once you purchase the car.
“It’s not something I haven’t thought about and it might be a topic we are going to discuss when the purchase for the next one comes around. It is getting harder on me and I am looking less forward to it every time.”
Kreul also informed the council at least three unlocked vehicles were entered Tuesday night, Aug. 7 and Wednesday night, Aug. 8.
“They have been targeting things that are unlocked and are rifling through them,” Kreul said. “We had three that we know of, it is not a major crime spree.”
In his report to the board, Murphy noted at last count there were over 200 trees affected by recent storms.
“The compost pile is probably the biggest pile I have ever seen,” Murphy said. “DTE, the biomass plant in Cassville, is coming in to grind it all and haul it to Cassville and burn it all, at no cost to the city.”