Council to mull combined agency

The Fort Dodge City Council will consider permanently consolidating two local government departments under the leadership of City Engineer Chad Schaeffer.

Also during their Monday meeting, the elected officials will consider allowing the open burning of yard waste between Saturday and June 2.

The council will meet in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

The session will begin at 5 p.m. with a review of the existing animal control laws.

The regular business meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

During that session, the council will consider creating a new Department of Engineering, Business Affairs and Community Growth.

The now separate engineering and business affairs and community growth departments have been led by Schaeffer since March 2012. He starting overseeing the business affairs and community growth department after Dennis Plautz, the former director, resigned to become the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

In a report to the council, City Manager David Fierke wrote that having Schaeffer overseeing both agencies has been both cost-effective and successful.

”This has saved the city the wage and benefit cost of a department head, enabling the city to save wage dollars in the general fund budget,” he wrote. ”The additional collaboration between the two departments has resulted in greater sharing of information and knowledge providing higher quality services to customers and citizens.”

The council will consider creating the new department. It will also consider appointing Schaeffer as its director with a salary of $100,375.65.

Open burning is generally prohibited in Fort Dodge. The use of outdoor fire pits or fireplaces is the only acceptable type of open burning.

However, a couple of times a year, the City Council suspends the burning ban.

On Monday, the council will consider suspending the burning ban for a period that will begin Saturday and continue through June 2.

If that suspension is approved, the burning of yard waste would be permitted. Burning garbage, however, would remain illegal.