2023-03-09 Minutes

Board of Trustees                                March 9, 2023 
West Blount Fire & EMS District 
The Board of Trustees for West Blount Fire and Emergency Medical Services District met at Fire Station No. 1 on March 9, 2023, the meeting was opened at 6:00 PM by Marty Stover, Chair, with prayer by Danny Smith.  All trustees were present, plus JJ Ivey, Fire Chief, Melissa Thomas, Treasurer, and Stacy Quinn and Christie Moore, Billing Managers and Courtney Huffstutler, Social Media Consultant.  Five guests signed attendance sheet.         

The minutes of the February 9, 2023 meeting were accepted on motion by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Danny Smith.

Financial report – The operating balance for January 2023 was $382,868.94.  Total income was $98,724.73, with dues of $89,183.01.  Total expenses were $46,711.18 with payroll of $30,269.02, and repair and maintenance of $2,687.59.  The financial report was accepted on motion by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Danny Smith.      

Chief’s Report

Total calls for January were 118, including 5 out-of-area (2 – Mt. High / Ricetown; 1 – Bangor; 1  – Nectar; 1 – Locust Fort / Cleveland): 70 medical, 7 structure fire, 4 auto accident, 7 fire alarm, 0 vehicle fire, 13 public service, 7 wild fire, 2 fire other, 3 tree down.  Breakdown by station = Sta. 1 Hayden, 56; Sta. 2 Smoke Rise, 48; Sta. 3 Sugar Creek, 7; Sta. 4 Nyota, 2.

The following was also reported:
    Pump test was completed 
    Engine 1953 was in the shop with fuel injector issues
    Purchasing of some of the budgeted items will begin

The City of Birmingham is offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus and will send all new recruits to school for fire fighter and EMT training at no cost to the recruit.  Surrounding smaller stations do not have the resources to compete with these types of programs from the bigger departments in the area, which is another reason for us to consider working on increasing the dues. 
The Chief’s report was accepted on motion by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Danny Smith.

Old Business

Billing Update – The attorneys at the end of February had a total of 239 accounts, five were paid in full.  There was a check received from MSN (Massey, Stotser, & Nicholas) in the amount of $2,544.51 for February collections with totals of $2,544.51 collected in 2023, and $174.553.62 since first turned over to MSN.   Two new accounts were added in February.  There were 20 exemptions approved and two denied in February.  Fire dues received in February was $82,710.01 checks, $6,084.99 Credit/Debit card and $212.01 fees, plus $75 assessment fees, and other income of $10,525.77 (which included a $250 donation, $5,997.82 Blount County Revenue, $150 attorney refund, $4,127.95 Grant).  Total collected for February was $99,607.78 [income from 2022 was $83,091.61] and for 2023 is $221,780.54.  There are 2,214 accounts in the system with a balance totaling $593,578.93 at the end of February, which includes all outstanding dues from the beginning.  So far this year, there is 38% participation of dues payment.  As of February 28 there were 1,356 accounts paid in full, 2,214 with a balance.  
Stacy and Christie have started the process of obtaining their notary license. 
West Blount Fire Board – March 9, 2023                            Page 2

Facebook – Courtney Huffstutler explained her plans for the utilization of our department’s Facebook page.  She wants to show the value of the department to the community, and elicit community engagement.  Clay Jones, Assistant Chief, will be her contact with the department.  She will work monthly with Clay to enhance the work and importance of the department.   

Blount Springs – The meeting set for February 16 will take place at The Village.  Jamie is waiting for a time, he will contact the board when everything is arranged.   

New Business

Personnel – Christie Moore was introduced.  She is joining Stacy Quinn as Billing Manager. 
She was hired, after background checks were completed, on February 15, 2023.

Community Concern – There was a house fire in the Stewart Chapel community with the house completely consumed.   There were five residents of the community at the meeting who raised concerns about the fire hydrants in their community.  Our firefighters were at the scene along with assistance from surrounding departments.  All involved with fighting the fire were definitely not happy with the way everything turned out.  Their goal is always to save people and property.  Fortunately no one was hurt, but the house was a total loss.  The fire hydrant in that community was not working properly, there is not enough water going through, the main is too small and there is low pressure.  The pumpers were unable to get enough water to properly fight the fire. There are four water departments that supply water to our area: Blount Water Authority, Town of Hayden Water, Town of Nectar Water, and Blount Springs Water.  The hydrant in question is owned by Blount Water Authority.  

The residents present thanked the board for hearing their complaints and concerns, and said that their questions were answered and they better understood the situation.  They were thanked for their attendance and invited to come to all the board meetings, which are always open to the public. 

Announcements – The next Board meeting will be Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:00 PM at Fire Station No. 1.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM on motion by Jamie Huffstutler.
Present            Guests                                 
Dolores Fort            Freddy & Cindy Berry            
Mark Giddy            Ollis Ireland
Jamie Huffstutler        Warren Stewart
Danny Smith            Rick Works    
Marty Stover
JJ Ivey 
Melissa Thomas                    
Stacy Quinn
Christie Moore    
Courtney Huffstutler 

                        Dolores Fort