Grant OK’d: Obion fire department to receive funding for new equipment

Grant OK’d: Obion fire department to receive funding for new equipment

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 9:08 pm
By: Kevin Bowden, Staff Reporter

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Obion Volunteer Fire Department will soon be getting about $80,000 in new equipment, courtesy of an $89,000 federal grant.
Fire Chief Jamie Evans made a series of recommendations to the Obion City Council Friday night, bringing the total cost about $9,500 under budget for the purchase of firefighting foam, eight self-contained breathing packs, an air compressor and a thermal imager.
The city will be responsible for paying for 5 percent of the equipment, with the grant paying for the other 95 percent. The Heritage Fire Group’s bid for the thermal imager ($9,499) and 250 gallons of concentrated firefighting foam ($4,050) was approved by the council, as was a $30,845 bid from Tupelo Fire Equipment for the high-pressure air compressor and a $36,000 bid for the SCBA packs from Fire Storm.
Evans told The Messenger Monday he has already placed the orders for the equipment and expects everything to arrive within the next four to six weeks.
He told the council he would file a grant amendment to use the excess grant funds for other fire department purchases.
“It seems to me they’ve got the fire department in good shape,” council member Mike Miller said.
In a related move, the council voted unanimously to seek bids for a 1981 pumper truck donated to the fire department by the Hollywood Casino in Mississippi. Evans told the council the fire department has spent about $18,000 over the last eight years for repairs to the truck. He said plans are to use the proceeds from the truck’s sale to help finance the purchase of a newer model firefighting truck.
There was also discussion of possibly building a helipad in the downtown area, across from Obion Grain Co.
It was a busy Friday night for Obion council members. A police committee meeting was held at 6 p.m. to consider applications for a vacancy in the police department. The committee recommended that two certified officers be tested and interviewed for the vacancy — Timothy Clark of Troy and Derick Hundley of Dyersburg.
Following the police committee meeting, a brief public hearing was held for a $12,540.50 parks grant that will be used to purchase playground equipment from Game Time. The equipment will be purchased with the help of a $2,400 donation from Foundation Bank.
Friday night’s actual city council meeting began at 7 p.m. and lasted nearly two hours.
Mary Nita Bondurant, representing Union City Insurance, met with the council and discussed several options to reduce the city’s costs to insure seven city employees. No action was taken Friday night, but the council will continue to look at insurance costs.
A motion to switch the city’s gas supplier from Atmos Energy to Conoco Phillips was unanimously approved Friday night. The move is expected to save the city money as the city will be buying directly from the producer.
“I think we’ll be happy with this move,” Mayor Glen Parnell said.
An audit report by Enoch and Associates that was originally on Friday’s agenda was moved to the council’s Feb. 21 meeting.
Although not on the agenda for the meeting, the lingering controversy over the city’s public works department and its director, Charles Steffen,  came up again Friday night.
The discussion of the city’s review of employees in the public works department erupted into a heated debate. The debate took up a considerable part of the Friday night meeting, but ended without the council taking any action and the issue remaining unresolved.
In other action, the council:
• Approved a formal agreement to participate in a beaver management program.
• Agreed to spend about $440 to purchase a lot behind the city’s old post office site off Broadway Avenue.
• Accepted a report from the Robert L. Nichols & Associates engineering firm regarding the de-annexation of property on Board Street.
“This de-annexation description removes Board Street, west of Tennessee Highway 183, from the city limits of Obion,” the report stated in part.
• Moved a report on the Jere Mack Cutler property, to be given by city attorney Roger Fisher, to the council’s Feb. 21 meeting.
Friday’s meeting was opened with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, both led by Parnell.
Absent from the meeting was council member Bob Anderson.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by e-mail at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 2.15.11

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