The Colo City Council discussed multiple subjects pertaining to the rest of Story County Monday night. During committee reports, Colo Fire Chief Dennis Clatt reported that the county is experimenting with a system where multiple fire departments are called simultaneously for fire incidents in locations around the county (in addition to adjoining departments assisting other fires). For example, at a recent call in the Hickory Grove trailer park, the Nevada and Maxwell Fire Departments were called, in addition to Colo’s. The county will try this arrangement for one year and revisit it next winter to see if it will continue.

Colo-NESCO Superintendent Jim Walker has been working with Clatt and City Clerk Amy Kohlwes on contingency plans in the event of an emergency at the school or during school hours. Things that will be discussed include where and how to stage transportation if necessary, and locating important infrastructural elements such as valve shutoffs. Walker is working with city administrations in both Colo and Zearing for these plans. Walker also mentioned that the north entrance to the Zearing building will be blocked off due to safety concerns of someone injuring themselves on snow or ice.

The council also spoke with Story County Supervisor Lauris Olson and Story County Conservation Board Director Mike Cox regarding the potential to hook into Colo’s sewer for Hickory Grove Park. The council told Cox and Olson that as of now they do not know if the city could handle the added load (they are currently checking all residences throughout the city to check capacity), so they do not expect to be able to meet the county’s timeline of having all the infrastructure ready for the lake at Hickory Grove visitors in the spring of 2020. Cox estimates that Hickory Grove brings in around $6 million to the local economy annually.

In other news, the council heard from Pastor Adam Koester of the Zearing Christian Church. Koester works with high school students in the area to build tiny houses and is looking for areas in which people might like to rent or buy them. The council was open to the idea, but currently does not have any areas for the houses. The council continues to explore options for possibly acquiring land on which to offer more lots for housing in Colo.

The next board meeting will be held April 1. A budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2019 will be discussed during that meeting.