The Smithville Fire Department is not the only one getting a new fire truck.
The county commission Monday night voted to purchase a newer pumper for the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department, although it will not be a ladder truck like the city is getting.
The truck, a 2011 new chassis, comes with a one year chassis bumper to bumper warranty, six year pump warranty, and a five year warranty on the body and paint. The price is $184,746.
Two other bids were submitted, one for a 2012 truck at $187,859, and a 2011 chassis (demo) with 4,400 miles that comes with a one year chassis bumper to bumper warranty, two year pump warranty, and a ten year warranty on the body and paint. The price for that truck is $179,925.
While the truck the commission voted to buy is not the cheapest of the three bids submitted, County Fire Chief Donny Green said it better meets the department's needs and has a better warranty on the pump. "All three met minimum specs and some had optional standards. But the one that most closely matches what we need to meet minimal requirements plus what we would like to have to match our other trucks is the 2011 truck, priced at $184,746," he said
Green said the lowest priced truck among the three doesn't have the amount of storage capacity that the other truck does and it does not have the same warranty. Plus, it does not have a top mount pump on it.
The newer fire truck will replace the Midway engine which is a 1979 model. By doing this, Green said "we can take the 1975 model truck out of service at the Austin Bottom station and place the 1979 Midway truck at Austin Bottom. This station (Austin Bottom), he said has a low call volume and the 1979 truck should be adequate to "hold them over for a few more years".
Meanwhile, hours and fees have been set for the exercise room in the new county complex on South Congress Boulevard.
During Monday night's county commission meeting, County Mayor Mike Foster reported that the hours are Monday through Saturday from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. Closed from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Re-open from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
"The cost is $20.00 per month for an individual or $35.00 a month for a family," said Foster. " A family is considered children under 18 years of age that reside in the home. A mother, father, and children under age 18. Annual fees are $350 for a family and $220 for an individual. If someone just wants to come in for a visit, its three dollars," said Foster.
"We're going to put a portion of this money aside to replace the equipment so that we don't wind up with a bunch of equipment that's worn out. The key is maintaining the equipment in good condition. We would ask anybody that's coming there to bring a towel and when they get through exercising to wipe the machine down, and there will be disinfectant wipes there to go over the machines to take care of that. We want to keep it clean, functional and available for use," he said.
Foster stressed that the county is not trying to compete with local business owners offering similar services. "We want the other exercise people to be involved in it, to bring their patrons, families, and participants. They could bring them out there for some special event. We'd like to encourage them to come out there and do some training for us. We can play off of each other, rather than trying to be in competition with them. That's not what we're about out there. We don't want to be in competition with them," said Foster.
Meanwhile, Foster said efforts are underway to get the game room up and running in the new county complex "Most of the equipment has come in for the game room. I met with the people who are going to be putting in the arcade machines and they said they would have their part complete within two weeks. That was last week. The TV's and the games, wii and xboxes, are coming in a little bit each day. We'll be putting them up, trying to have that open within two weeks," he said.
The election commission, which works out of two small offices on the first floor of the courthouse, will be getting another room there to give them more space. "We have removed all of our stuff from the room next to the election commission and turned it over to them," said Foster. "They have shown me what they wanted to get painted (in that room). There are some scratches and cuts on the walls. We'll get those fixed. We want to get that done so that immediately following the city election, which they are involved in now, they will be able to move into that (room), so that (office) has been turned over to them," said Foster.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is expected to let bids this summer on a project to install caution lights at the intersection of Highways 70 and 83 near Kilgore's Restaurant.
County Mayor Foster said this project has been in the planning stages for months. The county had asked the state to fund it, but had heard nothing from it. Local officials thought that the county would have to take on the project, but later learned that the state would fund it after all. "We do have a map from TDOT. They have done the survey work and projections are that this will be bid sometime in the first quarter of the (fiscal) year that ends in June, 2013," said Foster. "Basically what that means is they should bid this between July and September, 2012. So hopefully, finally we will see some caution lights there. Part of the hold up was we thought the county was going to have to do it, but we applied for the state to do it. They actually accepted it, but they didn't notify us until we contracted with someone to do the work, then when they (contractors) started asking questions, the state said we are going to do that. We have notified Stansell Electric (contractor) that the state is going to do it we hope sometime between July and September," said Foster.
In other business, the county commission appointed Jim Hodges as a local member to the DeWhite Utility District. "This is basically a formality," said Foster. "We talked with the county mayor from White County. They had sent down three names to be approved. The one that was basically agreed upon was Jim Hodges, who is serving on that committee now. We would just want to ratify that," he said.
A resolution was adopted Monday night by the county commission to re-apply for a Community Development Block Grant through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development on behalf of the DeKalb Utility District. Funds from the grant would be used to erect a water tank to create more water storage and improve pressure in the northwestern portion of the county, particularly in the Henley Hollow, Dismal areas.
The county initially submitted an application for this project last year, but the grant funding was denied. " We got turned down for the first go round of that. We had to score 150 points. We scored 149. That grant is going to be re-done and re-submitted. This is a resolution to submit an application to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for community block grant funds. This is a 100% grant. There is no match and it is up to one million dollars," said Foster.
Amanda Maynard, who worked for UCDD at the time the grant application was submitted last year, has left the agency to work for herself. Since she had already done work on this project for the county, the commission Monday night voted transfer administration of this grant application from UCDD to Maynard
"Amanda has done our grants for seven years," said Foster. Amanda has left UCDD and has gone to work for herself. Since she has done the surveys and door to door contacts with people, helped to do the environmental impact, and all those things, we just feel like it is appropriate and in our best interest for us to transfer that grant to her and let her complete it because she has worked on it, off and on for two years. We'll still be a member and partner of UCDD, but we would like for her to serve as the administrator of the grant that she has prepared," said Foster.
Maynard explained that the county came very close to getting approved for the grant last year. "We applied for this grant last year but we missed it just by one point. It is for a water tank in the Henley Hollow area. The DUD buys its water from the City of Smithville, but their water was actually shut off during the floods of 2010. It caused a problem within the (Henley Hollow) community. There wasn't enough water in their tanks to supply the community. This grant would allow them to build another tank and provide more gallons of water for the communities. It (grant) is up to a million dollars. The project cost is actually $850,000. It (grant application) is going to be submitted June 15," said Maynard.
County Mayor Foster updated the commission on the results of the DeKalb County Clean-up day held earlier this month. "We had eighty seven volunteers who averaged three hours each. Litter collected, including tires, junk, etc amounted to 7,135 pounds. We cleaned up approximately twenty five miles of roads, some public land, and part of a dump. We've had four educational/information projects and distributed 1,700 litter bags and book bags in the school system. We also try to plant flowers around courthouse this time of year. I want to thank the boy scouts, cub scouts, beautification committee, sheriff's department, volunteers in the Belk community, Shiroki North America, Smithville Lions Club, DeKalb County Fair volunteers, and everyone else who participated. It's a good thing that we try to do twice a year. We'll still do our stream cleanups on Pine Creek, Dry Creek, and Smith Fork and we will work with the Corps when they do their lake cleanup in the fall," he said.