Pendleton Fire Department getting up grade of equipment

  • Fire truck
    Fire truck

    In a special meeting before the caucus on October 6, 2020, Falmouth City Council held the first reading of an ordinance that is required by the state for the city to get a loan for item such as the fire truck that the fire department is buying from Piner. Mayor Ron Stinson explained to Council that he had received word from Kentucky Senator Wil Schroder that this was required, so with that explanation, the first reading was held. While the ordinance speaks of a lease agreement, the department would actually get a loan from Heritage Bank, and the ordinance was required to complete the purchase. Council held the first reading and agreed to another special meeting on Thursday, October 8, 2020, to hold the second reading so that the ordinance could be passed, and the purchase could take place. That meeting took place with a quorum in attendance—Joyce Carson, Dave Klaber, Amy Hurst, and Shannon Johnson—and the four voted unanimously after the second reading to approve the ordinance so that the loan could go through and the truck could be purchased.
    Dave Marquardt, Falmouth Fire Department chief, was grateful to both the city and the county who also had to work to approve the purchase. Marquardt said, “[I] would like to thank our city and county governments for working together in this process of purchasing this fire truck. It’s always nice working with the two entities to keep our equipment updated.
    “The addition of this apparatus will enhance the department’s response time to some of the more rural areas. Plans are being made to determine the utilization of the truck either for structure fire fighting or for vehicle rescue.”
    Along with the purchase of the fire truck, Council also unanimously approved the mayor to execute an addendum in the agreement with the Pendleton County Fiscal Court concerning fire protection.
    Tuesday’s special meeting also addressed a shortfall in funding for the planned retention basin that falls under the sewer and water rehabilitation project. Bill Mitchell, Director of Economic Development, explained that the bid for the project created a shortfall of $526,000. Mitchell said that the council could authorize the mayor to approve an additional loan of $395,000 and as well as a grant of $131,000 that would cover the shortfall. The council would also approve the improvement contract with Currens Construction and Judy Construction. Mitchell said anticipated costs for the project have increased due to the pandemic and the rise in material costs.
    Council Person Dave Klaber asked if the council would be better off waiting till spring to bid out the project. Mitchell advised the council not to rebid. “For one thing, everything is going to go up, including the RD interest rate.” He explained that the loan at this time is practically at a zero interest rate.
    Council Person Luke Price stated, “I think we need to push forward. If we wait till spring, we’ll have higher interest rates, and it will cost more in the end. I don’t think we will benefit by waiting.”
    Klaber asked how much the utilities would increase due to this bump in costs. Mitchell stated with the 3% contingency that is being taken now, he felt the extra costs could be absorbed, but he admitted that he has not seen the city’s budget. He also stated, “You’ve been very responsible with your money.”
    The council unanimously approved the resolution that allows the mayor to accept the recommendation to award the contracts and to secure additional funding.
    Council discussed a resolution to purchase a lot on Park Street from Dennis and Sheila Gosney for $18,000. The city plans to convert the lot so that Rumpke can dump the leachate aid there. They currently dump across from the old Camp Northward site. Klaber asked Director of Maintenance Gary Lea how much money will be needed to convert the lot for this purpose, and Lea stated that the cost would be minimal. Price asked about liability for spills, and Lea stated that the liability would fall on Rumpke. Council unanimously approved the purchase of the lot for this purpose.
    During the caucus meeting, Fire Chief Marquardt and Mayor Stinson discussed putting a truck into surplus now that the new truck has been approved for purchase. Marquardt also reported that the training involving the new extrication equipment (the jaws of life) had gone well, and the department now has three sets of equipment, two of which are hydraulic and the new one that is battery-operated.
    Police Chief Shannon Clem stated that his department was trying to get everyone in the city to comply with the code. Council Person Amy Hurst stated that the Nuisance Committee was looking at the ordinances regarding the code, and she stated that the committee needed help from City Attorney Brandon Voelker to bring it into order. Council Person Price stated that the ordinance needed to have something in place for habitual offenders.
    Lea stated that his department had two openings, including one for a CDL driver. The department plans to begin leaf pickup on November 1.
    Water and Wastewater Supervisor Andy Richie said his department would test the pump on Reservoir Hill the following day.
    Shelly Wright, Administrative Assistant to the City Clerk, reported that tax bills would go out the week of October 12, 2020. She also reported that Marsh had completed the renovations and remodeling to city hall, but no one had come as of Friday, October 2, to begin the repairs to the building as had been scheduled. She also thanked Joyce Carson and the National Honor Society for their work in cleaning and decorating the sign at the corner of 27 and Shelby.
    Council Person Price and Mayor Stinson had met with Anthony Wright the morning of Tuesday, October 6, regarding the lighting in the city buildings as well as the city streets. The estimates, they said, would be in their hands the week of October 12.
    The next regular meeting of Falmouth City Council will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.