Maple Plain city council approved hire of a new fire chief, the reorganization of the public works department and approved to begin to solicit bids for the Veterans Memorial Park improvements during their July 22 meeting.

Assistant Fire Chief Dave Eisinger was approved by the council to take over as Fire Chief. He will serve from July 23, 2019 to Dec 31, 2022. Eisinger previously served as Maple Plain’s fire chief from 1998 to 2003 and 2012 to 2016 according to the Maple Plain Fire Department’s website.

The fire department began looking for a new fire chief after the council announced former Fire Chief Justin McCoy’s resignation during their May 13 meeting. The city received four applicants for the position. Written feedback was provided by Maple Plain fire fighters on all applicants, which was then brought into a panel interview.

The panel included the Fire Commission Chair, three firefighters that were selected based on years of service and the city administrators of Independence and Maple Plain. The interview committee recommended Dave Isinger for approval by the council.

PUBLIC WORKS SERVICE

The city unanimously voted to approve an operations and maintenance agreement with PeopleService, Inc. This agreement contracts out the work of the public works department, which affected the jobs of two public work employees, according to City Administrator Bobby Schoen.

According to the scope of services, “PeopleService will provide all routine operations and maintenance” of the city seven days a week as well as provide “certified employees for the staffing of facilities.”

The city will pay PeopleService $5,738 for the month of July and $11,475 per month during the first 12 months of their five year agreement with adjustments made on Aug. 1 of each year.

City hall was filled with residents who had questions regarding the council’s decision. One resident asked if a public hearing should have been scheduled due to the two employees who lost their job to the decision in order to show transparency.

Schoen said the decision was not based on the performance of the public works department but it will provide a higher level of service to the city and that snow removal will go out for a separate contract.

VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK

City council also approved to solicit bids for the Veterans Memorial Park project. Improvements to the park include signage development, a lawn and community gathering area, the band shell, two parking areas, a new playground and swing set and a new community shelter.

The American Legion presented the council with a check for improvements during the meeting as well.

The city also was notified they are being awarded a $240,000 grant from the DNR Outdoor Recreation and Natural and Scenic Area Grant. According to the grant’s guidelines, an additional walk will be added as well as playground equipment and a swing set. According to the city, there is approximately $290,000 available to develop Veterans Memorial Park. The Rotary club has also fundraised for the project.

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