City Council 8.22.23

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Mountain Home City Council met in regular session on August 22.

The meeting began with a public hearing for the proposed FY2024 budget, at which point Misty Pierce stood before the council to express her distaste with the proposed amounts for the FY2024 city budget. She questioned the $300k additional and argued that the city employees were being paid an unjustly higher amount than other residents of Mountain Home. She requested that the council members vote to reject the proposed budget.

The public hearing came to a close with no one else in attendance addressing the council. A second public hearing, pertaining to establishing a fee for map printing promptly opened and closed as no one in attendance stood to provide comments.

Department head reports followed, starting with Fire Chief Moore.

Chief Moore stated that, in a rare circumstance, the department was split between two calls simultaneously earlier this month, and commended his crew for their successful responses to both calls. He closed his remarks by acknowledging a positive trend in the departmentís recent training.

Police Chief Thomspon was up next. Thompson said academy training had begun for new hires, and that some hirees were in the conditional hire stage and would be hired upon passing a background check. He stated that another hiree is already academy trained, and finished saying the department was interviewing a Lieutenant from an outside agency.

Library Director Shasta Hochstrasser followed, excitedly sharing that the library was getting prepared to begin courier services. She also announced that September is library card sign up month.

Betsy Hiddleston, Communications Director, spoke about current and upcoming road closures, including those related to AFAD. She also spoke about the upcoming September 11 memorial service to be held by the Mountain Home Fire Department at the El Rancho Parking Lot on September 11 at 8am. Hiddleston was happy to announce that largely due to the hard work of Jon Matthews from City Development, interactive city maps will be available on the cityís web page.

Rich Urquidi, Public Works Director, spoke of the potholes on South 5th West street, noting that the street was due to be surveyed on or around Monday the 28th. He said that cones had been placed over the potholes on multiple occasions, but that they disappeared on multiple occasions, especially at night.

He also stated that a larger pump was being put in the cityís new well that would allow for 1,600-1,700 gallons per minute.

He announced a soft opening for the roundabout near Mountain Home Junior High School, as the paving has been completed, but some of the man holes need collared. He noted that at times there will be people working on the site. Lastly he announced that South Main Street should be open on or around Monday the 28th.

Councilman Brennan addressed Urquidi, inquiring about the possibility of implementing temporary construction road signage to keep the public aware and up to date on closures and local construction. Urquidi noted he would look into the suggestion further.

Moving to the consent agenda, Councilman Brennan asked for clarification on item O which pertained to the implementation of a contract with Cemetery Information Management System (CIMS).

Following this, the council voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda.

Then, the council heard from Erica Pedroza for an update on the Mellen Water District land lease. Pedroza said that things were looking up and a video of the well was expected to be received by the district before the end of the week.

The council then voted unanimously to approve establishing a map printing fee and to approve the FY2024 budget as written.

Following public comment, the meeting came to a close.

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