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Troy mayor sets goals for 2010, including rural fire protection plan

Troy mayor sets goals for 2010, including rural fire protection plan

Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 9:04 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

 By DONNA RYDER Associate Editor Troy Mayor Jimmie Hart has three major things he wants to accomplish in 2010, and they are all things which linger from 2009. First, he would like to have a county-wide rural fire protection plan approved and implemented by July 1. In 2009, the Troy board of aldermen set a June 30 date for the Obion County Commission to respond with funding or at least a plan for funding. They said they would no longer allow the city taxpayer-funded fire department to respond outside the city limits unless monetary provisions were made. Municipal fire chiefs have said they want the county government to contribute to the financial responsibilities of each fire department so they can have better equipment to respond outside their city limits. Troy Fire Chief Mark Watson had said some residents asked about the fees owed to the fire departments by homeowners not covered under the current guidelines but who are victims of fires. As he explained it, this fee is rarely paid, doesn’t cover the actual cost of fighting the fire and in no way prepares the department to fight the fire in the first place. One thing the fire chiefs did not want was with a subscription fee, departments responding only to those homes for which a fee had been paid, unless there was a life at stake. However, that’s exactly the plan county commissioners offered. Currently, the plan calls for the county to collect a fee, which has yet to be determined, for each of the municipalities which approve the plan. The county would charge a collection fee and then distribute the remaining money in equal amounts to the rural departments. Officials from both Mu-nicipal Technical Advisory Service and County Tech-nical Assistance Service have been asked to look at the plan before municipal governments vote on it. An example of why the departments are seeking the county-provided funding happened in Troy in 2009. While firefighters were fighting a fire outside the city limits, a portable tank exploded and was propelled toward the department’s truck. It narrowly missed a firefighter and caused damage to the truck. Another thing Hart wants for 2010 is a tenant in the town’s spec building. The new building was completed in 2009 and there are people interested in it. The third major item on the agenda for 2010 is rebuilding the town’s only grocery store. E.W. James and Sons had recently purchased and renovated a grocery store in the town when a Halloween night fire destroyed the business. A new building was quickly located and a temporary store opened within two weeks. Now the task is to rebuild. Hart said there is work being done on the lot now and the town is doing its part to relocate a ditch and utility lines at the site. Among the things accomplished in 2009 were preparations for another natural disaster. When the ice storm hit early in the year, lights were out for a while in the town. Though Troy didn’t have a major problem with supplying water and sewer service to its customers, the plight of neighbors to the north in Kentucky made board members think about the future and the possibility of having a major electrical outage. “What we did was to improve our ability to keep our plants operational,” Hart said, adding water and sewer facilities, as well as other major government buildings in the town which did not already have generators, were made generator ready. “If the lights go out, we can still have sewer and water with no problems.” The town also installed surge protectors at City Hall and the fire department to protect from lightning strikes. The mayor said for some reason the two buildings were hit several times. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.6.10

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