CLINTON — The Clinton School Board heard from Clinton Fire Department Chief Mark Regenwether Monday night on the possibility of constructing a new fire station on a portion of the Eagle Heights property.

Regenwether stated the city has been working with the district on developing the plan for more than two years, and has created four possible designs. The new station would be constructed near the intersection of Eagle Heights Elementary School along the west side of Rolling Hills Drive, on land that is not being used for school purposes.

According to Regenwether, the station would be manned at all times, and would also include a satellite police office. Regenwether stated he believed the addition of the new fire station near the school's entrance would give added security and deter vandalism in the area, as well as decrease the district’s maintenance costs and provide positive role models for students and parents.

Regenwether stated the station would be a single-story building that would house four firefighters, an ambulance and a fire truck, and would also include a large community room that could be used for community events and training exercises. He added the community room would also feature weather-resistant windows and a back-up power supply, and could be used as an emergency communications center in the event of a power outage.

Regenwether also addressed concerns about the plan, including noise distractions and traffic problems.

He advised the board that he had surveyed the site more than 100 times, and was “not overly concerned about traffic or problems with parents picking up or dropping off students.” Regenwether also stated there are already several schools located on main thoroughfares used by the fire department, and projected the new north-end station would receive a maximum of three calls per day during school hours.

School Board President Jim Tuisl stated he thought the creation of the new fire station is a great idea, and would provide a safety feature for afterschool activities and sporting events.

Board member Mercia Wolf asked about the possibility of placing a flashing light at the Main Avenue intersection, and Regenwether responded the Department of Transportation is not fond of placing traffic signals on its highways, but the city is still waiting to hear back on the DOT's final decisions.

The board scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. June 9 at Clinton City Hall to solicit community input on the proposed plan.

In other business, Clegg advised the board that the Iowa Legislature recently made changes in the way school board terms are structured, changing them from three- to four-year terms, and moving the elections to odd years. Clegg noted that two board members, Steve Teney and Joani Kittoe, had terms due to expire in the fall of 2010, and because no election is scheduled for that year, he advised the terms must be extended or lengthened by one year in order to expire in an odd year. Kittoe opted to shorten her term, while Teney chose to lengthen his.

Members of the Clinton High School Athletic Booster Club voiced concerns over the board’s selection of Ardent Lighting as the lighting contractor for the high school football field lighting project. Booster club president Dick Farwell stated the club felt Musco Lighting had superior quality and should have been chosen.

Several board members argued that under Iowa law, the lowest bid, which was provided by Ardent, must be chosen.

“I think what you’re doing for the district is certainly a gift, however, we have to get a legal consult (on the lighting issue.) I am speaking as an individual board member with an impression. My impression is, and this has been consistent... you like the bid process only if it goes your way, and I’m afraid that this ... will be a continuing conflictual relationship,” Board member Thea Engelson said, adding board members had received an e-mail from a booster club member sitting in the audience implying that “if it doesn’t go your way, you’re not going to pay the bill.”

“Talk about adversarial relationships,” Engelson said. “That does not do either of us any good.”

Board Vice President Dave Frett asked to have the lighting issue added as an agenda item for the June 9 business meeting.