Council votes to resurface streets

The Fairfield City Council voted unanimously Monday to award a contract to Norris Asphalt Paving of Ottumwa to resurface streets in Fairfield.

The streets to be resurfaced include portions of East Buchanan Avenue, South Maple Street, and North and South Park Street. They will receive a 3-inch hot mix asphalt overlay. According to City Engineer Melanie Carlson, the purpose of the overlay is to provide a longer lasting service than a seal coat, without the cost of a full upgrade.

City policy states that when a street is fully upgraded from gravel or seal coat to a paved street, the improvements are assessed through taxes. This work saves city dollars from having to seal coat the streets every three years, but does not assess costs to the residents, Carlson wrote in her report to the council.

Norris was the only bidder and bid about $155,000 for the work, which the engineer estimated would cost $187,000.


Pence traffic flow

The council passed a resolution to change parking and traffic patterns around Pence Elementary School. The changes include adding no parking signs on the east side of South Sixth Street effective when students are being picked up or dropped off at school, between 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 3-4 p.m.

School Place, a short street that runs east-west just north of the school, would have no parking anytime signs on its north side, and would become a one-way street going east during pick-up and drop-off times, the same as those that apply to Sixth Street parking. A street sign will indicate those times to motorists. The south side of School Place will be a loading zone that will not permit parking, either.



The council passed the second reading of a pair of ordinances that would remove crosswalks around the former Lincoln Elementary School. At an earlier meeting, the council learned that the streets department asked to remove the crosswalks from city code so it does not have to paint them. The department has stated there is no need for crosswalks around the former Lincoln school because it is no longer used as an elementary.

The ordinance would also add one crosswalk on North Fourth Street/Highway 1 between Hildenbrand Hall on the west side of the street and Maharishi School on the east. Maharishi School asked the council to add the crosswalk to accommodate boarding students who live in the basement of Hildenbrand.


Bow hunting

The council passed the second reading of an ordinance that would allow bow hunting in the city limits, with a number of caveats. The city has passed similar legislation before to control the deer population, but the hunts have been canceled for lack of participation. The councilors hope this one will be different because it allows bow hunting on private property, whereas early attempts restricted hunting to around parks such as O.B. Nelson, Jefferson County Park and Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Though the new ordinance allows bow hunting on private property during Iowa?s bow hunting season, other restrictions in it will exclude most properties in town from hunting, said councilor Michael Halley. For instance, hunting is not allowed within 150 feet of occupied buildings or school property, nor within 75 feet of unoccupied buildings, a public street or a trail. Hunters will be required to take their shots from an elevated position, and at a distance no greater than 25 yards.

Hunters must prove their proficiency in archery skills, safety, and deer hunting rules as determined by local law enforcement and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.