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September 21, 2019

8/15/2019 2:42:00 PM
Hallberg Family Foundation provides donation for firefighter safety trailer

The Wyoming City Council accepted a substantial donation from the Hallberg Family Foundation at its regular council meeting Tuesday, August 6.

The generous $12,600 donation is earmarked for the purchase and equipping of a Decontamination/Operations trailer for the Wyoming Fire Department.

Public Safety Director Paul Hoppe explained that some construction materials used in new homes can leave behind cancerous soot after being burned.

As it stands, when Wyoming firefighters are done with a fire, they load their gear, which is full of that soot, back into the trucks and it mixes with all of the unused gear. The firefighters then are exposed to that soot-filled equipment returning to the firehouse, where everything is decontaminated and cleaned.

The inside of the trailer  will be sprayed with a truck bed liner product and will be equipped to handle all of the gear the firefighters use. So when they are finished fighting a blaze, they can load all  their dirty equipment into the trailer so it doesn’t mix with the unused gear, and is separated from the firefighters themselves.

The council, as well as Hoppe, praised the Hallberg Family Foundation for the “generous” donation, saying that the organization has really shown it cares for area first responders with the contribution.

Wyoming resident Jeff Eifler was present for the public comment period, and he asked that the city talk with Polaris about their frequent use of the test track, which is very close to Eifler’s back yard. He said he understands Polaris is an important part of the community, but according to Eifler, they are running machines on the test track at early and late weekend hours, including on Mother’s Day Sunday, as well as kicking up a large amount of dust. Eifler was hoping the city would talk to Polaris about the hours they are running machines on the test track. Mayor Lisa Iverson and City Administrator Robb Linwood said they would talk to Polaris and gather information and report back to the council if any further action would be on the table.

Sabrina Gorr resigned from her position as Building Inspector for the city, which Linwood attributed to her pursuing another career choice.

Council member Linda Nanko-Yeager brought up the possibility of not hiring for that position, but was met with quick opposition by Mayor Iverson and Council member Dennis Schilling. Iverson noted the position was self-sustaining and

Linwood explained that the position has been approved in the 2019 and 2020 budgets. He also noted City Building Official Fred Weck’s inundation of permit inspections and the need for prompt service to Wyoming residents as factors for hiring the position.

Schilling didn’t even want to discuss the possibility of not hiring for the position.

“This position is completely self sufficient with the monies brought in. It has nothing to do with the tax base. It’s different than the police department, administrative, and staff. It’s covered on it’s own,” he said. “We need to be very careful. We’re in a situation where we are looking for an inspector and if we keep running [Weck] dry, we’ll be looking for both positions and that’s what I don’t want. We need to stop talking about cutting this position. It’s not an option. It has to be here.”

Hoppe guided the council through the purchasing of new computer/docking stations for the squad cars for Wyoming Police Department. The purchase comes on the heels of the expiration of a contract with the county that was going to see a large increase in their yearly contract.

Going this route, the city will see a large expenditure early on -- almost $100,000 to get the computers, software and servers -- but it will be at a nearly $34,000 savings per year, so it won’t be long before the city is saving a large amount of money.

The council entered into a closed session for an annual performance review of Linwood in his City Administrator role.
After the meeting was reopened, city attorney Tom Loonan noted that there was commentary back and forth between the council and the administrator and that no formal motions were offered or passed in the closed door session.

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