Department tours forge ahead

Payette’s Mayor and City Council take a tour of the Payette Fire Station on March 2. Tours of various city departments continue despite coronavirus, with attendees limited to 10 participants.

PAYETTE - As the newest members of the Payette City Council continue to learn their way around the city, department heads continue to show them around. Tours to date have included the wastewater treatment plant, the Payette Fire Department and the Street Department. The idea, according to Mayor Jeff Williams, is to help the Councilors understand how each department works and how the way they vote will affect those departments.

Williams told the newspaper about the Street Department tour on March 24, from the perspective of the Council. 

“On Monday the 16th we met at the Street Department to view that Department’s facilities and equipment; We heard from Jamie Couch about how he utilizes his Department’s personnel to handle the tasks required of the Street, Storm Water, Parks and the Mechanical aspects of the Pool. He discussed how he manages the seasonal aspects of mowing and watering the 49 acres of parks within the City limits, how he handles the weather dependent requirements of snow removal and the rotation of street maintenance and repairs.”

Williams said the Council also met with City Maintenance Superintendent and Mechanic Ed Franek, who maintains the city’s fleet of 55 vehicles and numerous pieces of equipment for the city’s police, fire, parks, sewer, water and street departments. 

“Immediately after that tour we visited with Jake Hust, our Water Superintendent about water line flushing, the demands of providing water to a growing population, our storage capacities our 2 water storage tanks and testing requirements of Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality,” said Williams.

Williams said the Council found these key takeaways in their visit to the Street Department:

“The number of days to water and mow our parks has been reduced in the past few years,” said WIlliams. “Having one mechanic and an undersized shop is something that we will need to address in future budget discussion. Our Water Department is responsible for Fire Hydrant repair, rotation and replacement.”

Further department tours are planned. However, due to the spread of novel Coronavirus COVID-19, Williams said tours are limited to 10 participants.

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