2023-04-13 Minutes

Board of Trustees                                April 13, 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 April 13, 2023, the meeting was opened at 6:00 PM by Marty Stover, Chair, with prayer by Jamie Huffstutler.  All trustees were present, plus Clay Jones, Assist. Fire Chief, Melissa Thomas, Treasurer, and Stacy Quinn and Christie Moore, Billing Managers.  Five guests signed attendance sheet.         

The minutes of the March 9, 2023 meeting were accepted on motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler.

Financial report – The operating balance for March 2023 was $459,698.33.  Total income was $135,224.65, with dues of $133,172.30.  Total expenses were $58,395.26 with payroll of $27,792.96, and repair and maintenance of $6,317.85.  Known expenses coming up included insurance payments of $1,545.25 and $3,797.25 due on May 6.  The financial report was accepted on motion by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Mark Giddy.      

Chief’s Report

Total calls for March were 140, including 4 out-of-area (2 – Mt. High / Ricetown; 0 – Bangor; 0  – Nectar; 2 – Locust Fort / Cleveland): 79 medical, 3 structure fire, 13 auto accident, 7 fire alarm, 2 vehicle fire, 18 public service, 6 wild fire, 1 fire other, 7 tree down.  Breakdown by station = Sta. 1 Hayden, 59; Sta. 2 Smoke Rise, 61; Sta. 3 Sugar Creek, 11; Sta. 4 Nyota, 5.

The following was also reported:
    Awarded a Fire House grant of $38,755 to purchase Hurst-E-Draulic Extrication Equipment.  Should take delivery before end of this month.  Fire House awards these grants four times a year, this is the eighth year of applying.
    Engine 1953 has algae in fuel tank, still being worked on. 
    Storage building for Sta. 2 was purchased for $3,295.  The old carport at Sta. 2 is in the process of being moved to Sta. 1. 
    A lawn mower was purchased from West Blount Lawn & Tractor for $3,900.  

The Chief’s report was accepted on motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Danny Smith.

Old Business

Billing Update – The attorneys at the end of March had a total of 231 accounts, eight were paid in full.  There was a check received from MSN (Massey, Stotser, & Nicholas) in the amount of $6,064.30 for March collections with totals of $8,608.81 collected in 2023, and $180,617.92 since first turned over to MSN.   Three new accounts were added in March.  There were 43 exemptions approved and three denied in March, making total exemptions for this year of 85 approved, representing dues of $13,000.  Fire dues received in March was $106,580.79 in checks or cash, $26,795 Credit/Debit card and $936.93 fees, plus $210 assessment fees, and other income of $1,072.77 (which included $425 Blount County Revenue, $492 reimbursement, the rest donations).  Total collected for March was $135,595.14 [income from 2022 was $135,396.24] and for 2023 is $358,375.68.  There are 1,123 accounts in the system with a balance totaling $403,366.65 as of April 11, 2023, which includes all outstanding dues from the beginning.  So far this year, there is 69% participation of dues payment.  As of the end of March there were 2,448 accounts paid in full, 1,123 with a balance.  
West Blount Fire Board – April 13, 2023                            Page 2

There are currently 226 accounts listed as inactive.  The status of these accounts will be investigated to see if there has been any change.

New Subdivisions – There are new subdivisions going in on Deans Ferry, Chaly Springs and Holt Circle, which will definitely increase the number of structures to be covered for our area.  With the increase of population and new structures, it would be very helpful if developers would consider the installation of fire hydrants, which would greatly assist the department with water issues.  Right now there are no ordinances that require developers to put proper size water lines and hydrants in the new subdivisions.  Access and amount of water available play a part in all ISO inspections and points earned.

Blount Springs – There was a meeting involving two engineers at the Village on April 12.  Within three hours the problem had been solved; with the equipment the engineers used, starting at the entrance to the Village, they found a leak in the pipe under the creek.  With the water going directly into the creek, there was no visible evidence on the ground of any water leaking.  It was estimated that 350,000 gallons of water was leaking every month. 

Facebook – Thanks to Courtney Huffstutler, there has been increased traffic and attention to the departments Facebook page.  The additional posts, along with pictures, have added to the interest shown.   

Water Issues – The issue of sufficient water, within our department’s coverage area, available for fighting fires will be added to the agenda each month under Old Business. 

New Business

Flag Etiquette – It was pointed out by Mark Giddy that our department is in violation of US Flag code.  The flag at Station One is flown in the dark without illumination, which is against code. Dolores Fort made a motion, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler, to purchase a light for the flag at Station One.  Motion passed. 

Board Attorney – Whitney Eiland, who has established her office in Roy Johnson’s former office on Hwy. 160, had indicated her interest to work with us when needed, with no retainer fee.  She will be invited to the next board meeting. 

Online Billing – Currently our fee for the program allowing us to use credit/debit cards is $9.95 per month.  For an additional $5 per month we will be able to offer payment online with a link on our website and Facebook page, and QR Code on our invoices that will link back to our Facebook page for payment.  Jamie Huffstutler made a motion, seconded by Dolores Fort, to proceed with this program at a cost of $14.95 per month.  Motion passed.  

Announcements – The next Board meeting will be Thursday, May 11, 2023, 6:00 PM at Fire Station No. 1.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM on motion by Mark Giddy.


West Blount Fire Board – April 13, 2023                                Page 3

Present            Guests                                 
Dolores Fort            Cynthia Berry            
Mark Giddy            Billy Giddy
Jamie Huffstutler        Warren & Susan Stewart
Danny Smith            Allan Tucker    
Marty Stover
Clay Jones 
Melissa Thomas                    
Stacy Quinn
Christie Moore    
Courtney Huffstutler 

                        Dolores Fort