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Tea councilmen turn down resolution on city administrator

Citizens spoke up about the council’s resolution on a city administrator at the April 3 meeting.

Mayor John Lawler presented a resolution to create the office of city administrator. One citizen spoke against hiring a city administrator because she felt that it would take some power away from the council and it would be expensive and she would rather see that money go into economic development.

Lawler noted that the salary for a city administrator would be about $70,000 to $80,000.

Another person asked if some of what the mayor does could be spread out among council members. Lawler noted that it would be hard to do that because you need a consistent person to go to the various meetings the mayor currently attends.

Councilman Todd Boots, who was in favor of a city administrator at the previous meeting, did some research about what city’s in the state have city administrators. He noted it was all over the board on which cities had one and which one did not. At the April 3 meeting, he would rather see someone in the economic development position that Jenni White is vacating.

Councilman Brian Fowlds moved to approve the resolution to create the city administrator position. The motion failed for lack of a second. As a result, Lawler asked those councilmen who were not in favor of a city administrator to create a committee to get going on an economic development position. Boots and Joe Weis volunteered for that committee.

The council approved the annexation of tracts 1 and 2 and ROW in the Bendt Addition for the Tea Area School District. The area is about 4.5 acres. They also approved the annexation of tract 3 in the Schoen Addition, 6.5 acres, from Herman Otten. Fowlds abstained.

The council discussed the needs of the city in a proposed elementary school and community center. The city decided all they would want in a shared space with the district is a gym, bathrooms, storage and office space for park and rec.

Planning and zoning administrator Kevin Nissen noted they were having a public input meeting April 4 to discuss the comprehensive plan to help the city make a vision for the future.

City engineer Ben Scholtz provided information on bids for surface treatment for streets in Tea. The council approved the bid of $138,317 from Intermountain Slurry Seal, Inc. from Utah. The company is also doing jobs for other cities in the area. Since the bid came in lower than the $225,000 budgeted, the city may ask the company to do more surfacing if they have time.

The council approved the 2014-15 audit report.

Utilities superintendent Thad Konrad planned to start the dropoff site in the next couple of weeks. Watch the newspaper for dates and times.

Council adjourned at 8:01 p.m.

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