Hornbeak awarded grant for fire department tanker
Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011 6:43 am
By: Chris Menees, Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
It’s a busy time for the Hornbeak Volunteer Fire Department.
Hornbeak Fire Chief Bob Reavis told the town’s board of aldermen Tuesday night he has received official notification the fire department has been awarded a grant for a tanker.
He said the fire department will have to match a portion of the grant funding and provisions need to be made now. He hopes to soon have the specifications for the tanker and to open bids by the end of the month.
Reavis explained the lo-cal fire department’s match will be $17,500, or 10 percent of the $175,000 for the tanker purchase. He anticipates the fire department will receive $5,000 per year from the new interlocal agreement for countywide fire protection and said a truck which can be sold as surplus is worth about $10,000 which, combined, should provide about $15,000 of what is needed. He said the department also makes a couple thousand dollars per year on fundraisers and there will also be funds generated by the department’s annual collection drive.
Reavis also shared with aldermen about the availability of Community De-velopment Block Grant disaster recovery funding, based on the May 2010 flooding. Obion County is one of the Tennessee counties eligible to apply for a portion of supplemental disaster funding available statewide to support long-term disaster recovery and critical infrastructure needs.
He has learned the funds cannot be used for communications purposes but can be used to provide a generator for the town’s water department. He said there is no match; however, the submission deadline for this round of funding is Monday.
The board voted to make application for the CDBG funding for the generator for the water department for the Hornbeak Water Utility District and approved a motion for the town to borrow the funds for the matching portion of the fire department’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant, as well as additional funds for the required re-banding of the fire department’s radios since communications cannot be covered by the CDBG funding.
Alderman Leon Walden said is he proud of the Hornbeak Volunteer Fire Department and called it “one of the best in Obion County.” He said they need good equipment.
In a related matter, the board also heard from the fire department’s Brian Davis, who gave a brief explanation of the department’s First Responder program.
According to Davis, the department’s First Responders responded to 37 medical calls in 2010. The program is approved by Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City and he said most of the town’s First Responders are emergency medical technicians.
Davis said responding to calls in town is the First Responders’ first priority, but they will also respond to mutual aid calls outside Hornbeak when requested by ambulance personnel and will consider mutual aid response to the rest of the county after ensuring their town is covered first.
He said Don Petty was recently promoted to medical lieutenant and will take over the medical portion of the fire department’s work.
In other action during Tuesday night’s board meeting, Hornbeak’s aldermen:
• Accepted the resignation of alderman Grant McGuire, who recently moved outside the city limits.
In a resignation letter dated Tuesday, he told his fellow aldermen he is proud to have served with them. He urged them to look to the town’s future and work together for its good.
• Voted to appoint Dennis Dozier as an alderman to fill the vacancy created by McGuire’s resignation.
Two other residents were also nominated by aldermen, but Dozier received the majority of votes. City recorder Joyce Truett said she will arrange for a judge to attend the board’s next regular meeting for Dozier’s swearing-in.
• Discussed a recent situation involving repairs that needed to be made to the city’s police patrol car and the manner in which it was handled.
Mrs. Truett said she recently received a call indicating $300 was needed for parts for the patrol car, but she was unable to write a check for that much without board approval since her limit was $150. She also referenced a letter from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service which indicated there could be a liability situation with the town using an unlicensed mechanic to make the repairs to the city vehicle and questioning why the patrol car would not be taken to a dealership.
Mayor Pete Burpo explained he personally phoned four aldermen to get permission for the payment to be authorized and Mrs. Truett noted his action was a violation of the Tennessee Sunshine Law which forbids aldermen from discussing city business outside a public meeting.
Alderman Debi Jerden said the board needs to raise the amount of the checks Mrs. Truett can write without board approval, while alderman Paula Parker said she does not agree with all of the aldermen not being contacted and said there was a violation of the law. McGuire said rules need to be followed.
Burpo said the mechanic who has offered to make the repairs has agreed to not charge for labor, with the $304 to cover the cost of parts.
Walden said the amount of the checks Mrs. Truett can write without approval needs to be raised to $500 in case of emergencies and special called meetings need to be held in the future to deal with such situations. The board approved his motion to increase the limit to $500.
Alderman Paul Truett asked if anyone else is concerned about the liability issue mentioned by MTAS and aldermen Christina Gray and McGuire said they have some concerns. Mrs. Truett said Reavis, who works at Blackley Chevrolet, indicated the dealership would also be willing to check out the patrol car. McGuire said the board previously discussed obtaining bids for work and Mrs. Gray said it would not hurt to check with the dealership.
Mrs. Parker said the board needs to obtain two estimates.
• Voted to remove a $175 fee for grease trap pumping from Donald Smith’s sewer bill for TM’s Diner after hearing concerns from Smith about the manner in which the pumping has or hasn’t been done over several months’ time. He indicated he has been in contact with the district attorney’s office in regard to services not being rendered.
• Learned Mrs. Truett will be sending out delinquent sewer bill letters this week.
• Was informed Mrs. Truett will be attending a workshop for one of the town’s recently-received park grants Feb. 2 and the City Hall office will be closed that day.
Published in The Messenger 1.6.11.