4/19/2017 3:47:00 PM Byron City Council
McPhee recognized, shares experiences as firefighter
By Gretta Becay
Phil McPhee served as a volunteer fire fighter for the Byron fire department for 30 years. He first joined on April 21, 1986, and he retired in April of 2016. He and his wife, Kim, were at the Byron city council meeting April 11 where he was recognized by the city council members and received a gift certificate. (See photo on page 4.)
When he started his firefighting career, the department was located in the old fire hall on County Road Five where public works is now headquartered.
When he began, there were many more barn fires, house fires and other fires in other old wooden structures, he remembers.
The years went by pretty fast. "We had a pretty good camaraderie," he reminisced.
One of the biggest changes over the years was the amount of training firefighters received then and now.
"Everything now is so regulated," he said.
The worst things he remembers are the car accidents. The department didn't have the Jaws of Life® until they all moved down to the new fire hall on Frontage Road.
"If it wasn't for us, a lot of people would have died," he said.
The council members thanked him profusely for his years of service.
Also during the meeting, city council members decided to go ahead and advertise for two positions in the public works department. The positions are for the public works director and for an entry-level worker.
Eric Counselman, the public works director for the city since 2015, has resigned.
The group also discussed - in a special work session before the meeting - the need for a lead foreman in the public works department and the current organizational chart for city staff members.
for well refurbishment
City Engineer Bill Angerman talked about the work that will be done this construction season on the city's wells number two and three.
These repairs and upgrades are a result of the city's water study a few years ago. After the projects are completed, the pumps will be able to move more water, but the well size will stay the same.
The old pumps were installed more than 30 years ago.
With Byron's growing population, city officials must constantly stay ahead of the growing need for city utilities such as water while staying within the state's strict limitations on new wells.
Bids for the project will be opened at city hall at 2 p.m. May 3.
Toyota Lift to sell electric passenger vehicles
Council members approved a request by Toyota Lift on Voll Drive for an interim use permit to enable them to sell Polaris Global Electric Motorcars.
The permit is needed so the business can have a dealership license. The little vehicles will be stored within the building.
The vehicles have, "...more built-in comfort and street-legal safety features than a golf cart and [they're] more maneuverable, cost-efficient and sustainable than a van or truck. It offers a more spacious interior with the same compact footprint and quiet electric power...".
presentation April 25
The city council meets again at 6 p.m. April 25 at city hall. At that meeting, a request for the city to begin a feasibility study for a library/community center will be presented by a focus group that has been working on the concept since 2015.
Anyone interested in Byron having a library should attend this meeting.