Fire protection agreement sent to commission
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:07 pm
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
An interlocal agreement for county-wide fire pro-tection that has been two years in the making is being sent to the Obion County Commission for a vote.
The Obion County Bud-get Committee voted at its session Monday morning at the Obion County Court-house to send the Interlocal Agreement for County Wide Fire Protection to the full commission for a vote when it convenes Oct. 18.
The lengthy and detailed agreement was presented to the budget committee by fire committee vice chairman Tim Doyle, who explained the committee met as recently as last week and “tweaked it a little.”
The agreement would be among the communities of Hornbeak, Kenton, Obion, Rives, Samburg, Troy and Union City, as well as the Obion County Emergency Communications District (E-911) as the fire dispatch agency for all municipalities in the agreement and Obion County.
The municipalities named would agree to provide rural fire service outside of their established town and city limits and would agree to expand their rural fire service areas as indicated on a map which defines the areas in which the present municipal fire departments provide rural fire protection.
Each municipality would agree to implement a standard subscription rate, with individual properties classified by a parcel number as listed on the county tax assessor’s map/tax card and a separate subscription fee to be charged for each parcel/address for which the customer desires to have rural fire protection coverage.
According to the pro-posed agreement, South Fulton intends to provide rural fire service outside its city limits as directed by its city commission in a designated fire service area and would not be a party to the interlocal agreement.
Doyle said the first year of implementing the program would be the most difficult as groundwork is laid, but he said it should become much easier the second year.
“I think we have set up a good thing,” he said.
Commissioner Ralph Puckett made the motion to send the agreement from the budget committee to the county commission for a vote. His motion was seconded by commissioner Dwayne Hensley, who said he noticed a lot of cooperation among members when he attended a fire committee meeting.
If approved, the projected date of implementing the agreement would be July 1, 2011.
The issue of county-wide fire protection has made local, regional and even national news in recent days in the aftermath of a rural South Fulton fire where firefighters from a municipal fire department could not respond because the property owner had not paid an annual rural fire subscription fee. Ironically, the issue of county-wide fire protection resurfaced and discussion of an agreement began a little over two years ago following a similar rural fire situation near South Fulton.
In other action during Monday’s meeting, the budget committee:
• Voted to send an agreement between Obion County and the Hudgins Farm Partnership for the extension of Hudgins Drive to the county commission for a vote.
According to the agreement, the Obion County Highway Department wishes to acquire 51⁄2 acres of land from Hudgins Farm Partnership to expand their facilities on Highway 51 North in Union City in exchange for in-kind services to extend Hudgins Drive to Old Rives Road.
Hudgins Farm Partner-ship would deed a 50-foot right-of-way for the building of a road 37 feet wide with all of the same material specifications used in building all county roads and the road would become a county road until such time that it is incorporated by the City of Union City, the agreement states.
“I think there’ll be a lot of discussion in (county commission),” said commissioner Jerry Grady, chairman of the Hudgins Road study committee.
• Voted to send an agreement for the renewal of the City of Union City’s Industrial Development Board’s spec building promissory note to the county commission for a vote. All contracts must have commission approval.
• Approved line item budget transfers for the Obion County University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Office and the county commission.
• Voted to send a resolution to apply for USDA Rural Development grant funds in the amount of $2,883 for the Obion County Public Library to the county commission for approval. The money will be used for computer equipment, furniture and electrical connections.
• Voted to send a resolution to apply for federal funds under a NACCHO-MRC Capacity-Building Grant in the amount of $5,000 to the county commission to approval. The funds will be used to purchase supplies and materials for use by the West Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps, sponsored by the West Tennessee Department of Health.
• Voted to send an agreement for the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex’s inmate pay phone service to the county commission for approval.
Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder said the jail agreement must be renewed every four years. They have been drawing 48 percent commission and the company which provides the service is now offering 53 percent, plus a $10,000 bonus of the debit cards sold to inmates.
• Agreed that committee members’ stand-in representatives at county committee meetings should not be paid for that service since they have no proxy power to vote and are simply there to observe.
• Voted to bring before the full commission a recommendation to stagger the calling of the county commission district representatives on roll call votes, rather than always beginning with District 1 and proceeding numerically.
• Approved a list of notary public applications to be placed on the county commission’s agenda.
Published in The Messenger 10.05.10