Tomah council approves full time fire chief, wage scale

The Tomah City Council approved the creation of a fulltime fire chief position Tuesday night
Fire chief Tim Adler received approval for full time status, effective May 1. The benefit/wage package of $92,969 was also approved.
Both motions were approved unanimously by the council. With the change the part time fire chief position will be eliminated. Adler has been part time fire chief six years and on the TFD an additional 25 years. The position is a 40-hour work week post.
Appointing a fulltime fire chief has been considered for Tomah several times over the years. But it was noted as Tomah continues to grow so will the demand for fire protection service and time demands to oversee the department.
Adler noted several communities similar in population where full time fire chiefs have been in place for years. Included were Portage, Rice Lake, Altoona and Lake Delton.
During Adler's monthly report he updated the council on the latest details on a combined fire/EMS building. Adler and Tomah Area Ambulance Service director have been working with Keller Planners/Builders/Architects on building design.
They are hoping to have a design proposal with cost estimates ready for council review in five to six weeks, he said.
Adler said the building will be similar in design to the Lake Delton combined emergency service structure, "with our own design tweaks."
An agreement on a proposed site for the building is still being negotiated and it's premature to reveal the location, Adler added. Dunford and Adler told the council there was a recent combined meeting of TFD and TAAS employees to solicit feedback on how the building should be designed to function.
Keller representatives have been responsive to specific needs.
"They have been working for us," Adler said.
Adam Gigous was sworn in to fill the Dist. 1 council seat, vacated with the death of Mary Ann Komiskey. Gigous was the lone resident in the district to submit a letter of interest for the seat. Gigous ran for the seat in the last general election. Gigous will serve Dist. 1 until the April 2021 general election.
The council approved a motion to allow Dunford to send service contract agreements to townships and villages in the TAAS service area.
Other than Town of Clifton, the city or TAAS have no written agreements on file with municipalities served. The contract would mirror the language in the Clifton township contract. The contracts would automatically renew unless either party provides 60 days notice to terminate.
The contract stipulates a service fee of $7.50 per resident in the township. The contract also stipulates the city can raise the fee based upon a recommendation from the TAAS. It also mandates a three month notice in advance of a fee adjustment.
The council approved recommended all terrain and utility terrain (ATV/UTV) crossroads established by the Monroe County Highway Committee. The motion is connected to the city approval to open all city streets in Tomah for ATV/UTV use once all routes and signage is complete. The Monroe County highway department received requests to approve routes on segments of county highways ET, PP, CA, CM, M and A.
The council also approved revisions to said sections of city ordinances and creates language for ATV/UTV operation on city streets. There was also a reminder that trails will not be open until all routes are signed by local ATV/UTV club members. There will be an announcement when trails are legally open.
Tomah Chamber and Visitor's Center president Tina Thompson provided a hint for musical entertainment scheduled for the summer Downtown Thursday Night concert series. Bands are booked for each date. Three bands performed in 2019. Which bands remains a mystery. The full lineup will be announced in the near future for the six dates.

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