The Fredonia Town Council meeting began with public comment by council member Brent Mackelprang. He explained the situation regarding the mining withdrawal by Secretary Salazar. Mackelprang informed the council the town had not been invited to the coordination meetings regarding the withdrawal. The office staff and council need to be informed about the town’s role in fighting the withdrawal.

Council member Jennifer Lukus expressed her appreciation to the fire department for their efficient and professional handling of the recent fire by the Six Mile turnoff. Alvin Johnson also stated he was impressed with their work.

Town Manager Dan Watson informed the council he is getting bids for a walk-in cooler for the Senior Center to be purchased with CDBG funds. The remaining money will be used for power pole replacement as recommended by Richard Darnell. 

Watson expressed his concern about Darnell’s billings. He stated Darnell had logged 104.5 hours to locate and install the new transformer. Watson feels this is an exorbitant amount to be charged. 

Lukus asked if there were any other people who do the same type of work, as she “hates to see being charged excessively.”

Mackelprang stated there are others, but Darnell does very well with negotiations with WAPA regarding the town contracts. The town needs to determine whether what Darnell charges is worth what he negotiates.

The Planning and Zoning position was posted for several weeks. Ty Bundy was the only resident who expressed interest in the commission position. The council unanimously approved Bundy to fill the vacancy. Another vacancy for the commission will be announced at the next meeting.

The power rate increase was on the agenda. Watson stated that as discussed at the public hearing held the previous week, Darnell suggests changing the fee structure from a minimum charge to a base rate plus usage, similar to the fee structure used for water. The council voted unanimously to begin charging a $7.50 base rate for residential customers and a $12.50 base rate for commercial customers. The change will be seen on the utility bills issued August 1, 2011.

Former council member Greg Honey was in attendance and asked what percentage of an increase it would be. Watson explained that if a regular power bill is $75.00, then it would be a 10% increase. The percentage will vary by customer as no one has the same usage.

Jimeco was awarded the contract to change out the HVAC unit at the medical center.

Techies was awarded the contract to build the new computers and server for the town office, necessary to accommodate the upgraded software. The computers and server will be purchased by the Rural Development water grant funds.

The council then discussed the Forest Service Travel Management Plan. When Forest Service representatives had previously explained the alternatives, the council felt they were not as bad as they had thought. However, after thinking about the alternatives, they changed their minds and would like to reject all of the alternatives. They expressed that not only were roads being closed, but in an effort to keep people off the mountain, activities are being closed as well. The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to be sent to the Forest Service showing their rejection of all proposed alternatives.