Farmington Acting Fire Chief Justin Elvestad answered questions in the hot seat during the meet-and-greet session Jan. 4. Elvestad took questions from fellow firefighters, the public, elected officials and media inside the council chambers after taking part in a second round of interviews with city department heads to become the fire chief.
Farmington City Council adopted a pension increase for Farmington Fire Relief Association that members believe they may help with retention of firefighters. Jeffrey Allbee, president of Farmington Firefighters Relief Association, shared a report on the annual pension contribution at the Dec. 11 council work session. The council approved the measure Dec. 18. As an assistant fire chief, Allbee said the pension contributions are awarded for years of service. The approved annual benefit increase went from $5,500 to $6,500 effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Cheering for the Minnesota Vikings to win is serious business for Farmington City Council member Katie Bernhjelm. As a passionate, a diehard football fan, it is also her job. She works for the Minnesota Vikings, but this career is certainly not a chore. Wearing "Bold North" mittens to show team spirit, Bernhjelm is celebrating like most Minnesotans after the Vikings won the NFC North Division.
Farmington Acting Fire Chief Justin Elvestad is the sole finalist to fill the permanent role. Elvestad will talk community members 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, in the City Hall chambers as part of the recruitment process. Fire Chief Jim Larsen resigned Nov. 3 and the city appointed Elvestad, the assistant chief, as acting fire chief. After receiving 38 applications, a team then interviewed five people. "We were hoping for three for a second round," City Administrator David McKnight said.
Girls and boys from across the globe will soon open shoeboxes packaged with care and given with affection. That is the mission of Operation Christmas Child. Farmington City Council member Robyn Craig reminded locals to volunteer at the local Operation Christmas Child during a council roundtable. Each year, the Minneapolis warehouse moves and this year it was housed minutes away from Farmington.
Redundancy is not usually a selling point for effective government, it can be with technology. The city of Farmington approved an agreement that promises to add institutional internet network services. Farmington City Council approved entering the Dakota Broadband Joint Powers agreement on Monday, Dec. 18, after three years of detailed discussions, debate and more than 20 draft revisions.
Farmington Police Department K-9 officer Gary Tipton looked to the mythical world when he named the department's second police dog. Tipton and his family selected the superhero name "Odin" after the comic book character father of Thor, known as the peace-loving, wise hero who fought to bring peace and justice. Tipton believes the four-footed Odin will be highly trained to bring greater public safety to Farmington and surrounding communities.
Farmington leaders spoke Saturday at a goodwill sendoff drive to Port Aransas, Texas, the island town Farmington adopted after Hurricane Harvey devastated the community.
Farmington Fire Department holds open house.
Each year school administrators predict and budget for growing or changing fall student enrollment that show up at each school building on the first day of school. District Superintendent Jay Haugen shared an early student body fall enrollment update with Farmington School Board at the Monday, Sept. 11, regular board meeting. Haugen shared a breakdown on the total enrollment from five elementary buildings, two middle schools and Farmington High School, along with students who attend Gateway Academy.