Obion has new fire chief, mourns loss of firefighter

Obion has new fire chief, mourns loss of firefighter

Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 9:06 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Obion has a new fire chief today — Jamie Evans.
Normally, it would be a day filled with joy for Evans, but his first day as the town’s fire chief is filled with sadness.
Evans and the rest of his fire department will bury fellow firefighter Billy Lynch today.
The 20-year-old Lynch died earlier this week after an illness and his funeral was scheduled for this afternoon. He was to be buried in Mount Zion Cemetery. Lynch joined the fire department in late November 2008, after his 18th birthday.
In a telephone interview with The Messenger this morning, an obviously somber Evans described to-day as “bittersweet.”
Evans had served as the assistant fire chief since 2003 and most recently was appointed interim fire chief following the Nov. 29, 2010, resignation of former fire chief Jay Cryer. Evans works full-time as a registered nurse in the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City.
Tuesday night he had the interim title removed and was promoted to fire chief by the Obion City Council.
The vote was 7-0 to promote Evans, who was unable to attend Tuesday night’s council meeting due to his attending Lynch’s visitation.
As fire chief, Evans will be in charge of the 18-member volunteer fire department and has already been actively involved securing a $89,500 grant for the department.
Tuesday night’s Obion council meeting lasted just under 40 minutes and included several reports.
Council member Mike Miller began the meeting with a report on the city’s previous decision to relocate a culvert from 609 Sunset Drive, a move he described as “a wrong decision” by the city. It was easily corrected, though, as his motion to leave the culvert on Sunset Drive was approved by a 6-1 vote, with only Mayor Glen Parnell voting against the motion.
The council voted unanimously to send city recorder Jana Fluty to a four-hour grant workshop in Jackson on Feb. 2. The workshop is a required meeting since the city has been approved for a $12,542 state grant through the Local Park and Recreation Fund.
Approval was also granted to a motion that will put into motion a survey of a lot off 15th Street. The property is owned by Jere Mack Cutler and has a sewer lift station located on it, but there is no survey of the property.
Once the survey is done, the council is expected to negotiate with Cutler on an agreement with the city. The vote to survey the property was 6-1, with council member Renee Webber abstaining from the vote.
Also Tuesday night, the council heard reports on the city’s natural gas provider — Atmos Energy — and the city’s health insurance coverage. No action was taken, but the council is expected to take the matters up at its next scheduled meeting.
Also Tuesday night, the council:
• Voted 7-0 to de-annex Board Road and will work with Board Road resident Bobby Huffstutter in regard to his property taxes.
• Heard from Parnell that the city water leak under the railroad crossing at Black Lane has been repaired. Parnell said the city had been losing an estimated 25,000-30,000 gallons of water a day from the broken pipe.
• Discussed, but took no action, on a review of city expenses and city finances. There were concerns raised by members of the council about dwindling fund accounts.
“When it comes to budget time, we need to look at all of this,” council member Patsy Barker said.
Tuesday night’s council meeting was opened with prayer by Police Chief Royce Aker.

Published in The Messenger 1.19.11

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