Redfield council approves compromise on fire department

REDFIELD – A compromise ordinance reached between Alderman Darrell Hedden and Fire Chief Dennis McFatridge was placed on three readings and approved Tuesday by the Redfield City Council.

McFatridge, Hedden and two Redfield-area volunteer firefighters met in mid-April to develop the compromise after Hedden offered a proposed ordinance on April 3 he said was necessary to comply with state and federal laws.

Members of the Redfield Volunteer Fire Department and Redfield Volunteer Fire Association said they were not consulted on the proposed changes and opposed Hedden’s proposal. Hedden’s initial proposal was placed on first reading last month, but was not called up Tuesday.

Many of the functions of the Redfield Fire Department have been performed by volunteers and governed by the members of the Redfield Rural Volunteer Fire Association, McFatridge explained, and the volunteers wanted to continue that practice.

The fire chief of the Redfield Fire Department will be appointed by majority vote of the Redfield Rural Volunteer Fire Association and confirmed by the city council, with the city recorder-treasurer handling the funds appropriated for the Redfield department, under the revised ordinance.

While the compromise on the fire department ordinance was approved, aldermen couldn’t agree on the method to correct errors in the 2012 municipal budget. Mayor Tony Lawhon held that the necessary changes could be made in June.

Last month the council repealed the ordinance authorizing the 2012 municipal budget, and then by an identical 5-1 vote adopted the same budget by resolution. Alderman Barbara Werner acknowledged that some of the appropriations in the original were not included properly in the resolution.

In other business, aldermen approved Phase 4 of the Sunset Valley Subdivision.