2024-01-11 Minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Board of Trustees                                                                                        January 11, 2024

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 January 11, 2024, the meeting was opened at 6:00 PM by Marty Stover, Chair, with prayer by Jamie Huffstutler.  Four trustees were present, plus JJ Ivey, Chief, Melissa Thomas, Treasurer, and Stacey Quinn and Christie Moore, Billing Managers, Whitney Eiland,  plus Clay Jones and Zac Williams.  There were no guests.          


The minutes of the November 8, 2023 meeting were accepted on motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler. 


Financial report – The operating balance for November 2023 was $215,647.20.  Total income was $15,199.20, with dues of $11,025.99.  Total expenses were $47,672.47 with payroll of $29,206.05, repair and maintenance of $7,807.63.  The operating balance for December 2023 was $179,393.12.  Total income was $14,331.15, with dues of 13,350.03.  Total expenses were $50,585.23, with payroll of $29,335.04, repair and maintenance of $3,974.32.       

     The financial report was accepted on motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler.      


Chief’s Report – Total calls for December were 139, including 21 out-of-area (6 – Mt.  High/Ricetown; 10 – Bangor;  5 – Nectar/Cleveland): 89 medical, 3 structure fire, 14 auto accident, 7 fire alarm, 3 vehicle fire, 10 public service, 11 wild fire, 8 fire other, 0 tree down.  Breakdown by station = Sta. 1 Hayden, 64; Sta. 2 Smoke Rise, 67; Sta. 3 Sugar Creek, 6; Sta. 4, Nyota, 2.


The following was also reported:

  • Apparatus update
  • 1961 tanker got 10 new tires for $6200
  • Service truck has gotten a complete paint job thanks to Jamie Huffstutler
  • Brakes on 1991 were done in house to save on labor cost
  • Tire was repaired on 1952
  • Water leaks fixed on 1953 and 1964
  • The 5-year old dishwasher at Sta. 1 had to be replaced
  • The department was hit hard with the flu
  • The ice machine at Sta. 1 was repaired in house
  • There was one worker’s comp injury:  smoke inhalation from a woods fire 
  • Wanted to give a shout-out to the office ladies for doing such a great job in getting the bills out
  • There were two promotions to Lieutenant
  • A volunteer drive is ongoing to get more volunteers, currently we have one
  • A request was made to have an executive meeting to discuss certain items


     Christmas Parade Breakdown for 2023

  • Light towers (15) $3000
  • Security (10)                                   $1200 (paid for by Chief Ivey)
  • Signs (6) $  250
  • WBFD Personnel $1000
  • Total cost of parade $5450


West Blount Fire Board – January 11, 2024                                                                               Page 2


     The Town of Hayden contributed $2500.  We get light towers free from Hydra Service (1), Blount County (4), Town of Hayden (2), and Amy Hall, West Blount Tractor, (1).  Next year Thompson Tractor has pledged to give us half off the rental fee of light towers, which should save us $1500.

     Next year we will try to get sponsors.  The request for donations from entrants did not work, with the exception of one lady who decorated her car advertising her business.  The idea of having an entry fee for each float was also suggested.

     A 2024 proposed budget in the amount of $531,000 was presented.  This will be voted on at the next monthly meeting.

     A listing of apparatus inventory as of December 2023 was presented showing a total of 15 units all in service, location of unit, type of unit, how it was acquired and year of model. 


The Chief’s report was accepted on motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler.


Items for Discussion


Tax exemption – We are tax exempt and do have an exemption number.  Whenever anyone buys materials for reimbursement, they should first get the number to be able to show the vender so that tax is not charged.  Reimbursement from the Treasurer will only be for the amount not including the tax.


Christmas Dinner – There were several issues brought up about the dinner.  For next year local area food providers will be contacted for menu and cost.  


Social Media Marketing – On motion by Mark Giddy, seconded by Jamie Huffstutler, the Social Media Marketing contract will be discontinued for now.


Old Business


Billing Update – The attorneys at the end of December had a total of 269 accounts totaling $173,442.49 for collection, with 5 accounts paid in full.  There was a check received from MSN

(Massey, Stotser, & Nicholas) in the amount of $5,246.51 for November and $2,126.02 for December collections with totals of $32,507.97 collected in 2023, and $218,163.55 since first turned over to MSN.   There were 2 new accounts added, making a total 23 for the year.  There were 98 applications for exemptions mailed out in December, 25 applications are ready for review by the board at the January meeting.  Fire dues received in December was $11,350.03 in checks or cash, $1,675 03 Credit/Debit card plus $200 assessment fees, $455.52 insurance reimbursement and donations of $625. Total collected for December was $14,305.61 [income from 2022 was $310,542.96] and total income for 2023 is $576,286.52.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

     There are 581 accounts in the system with a balance totaling $285,776.30 as of December 31, 2023, which includes all outstanding dues from the beginning.  So far this year there is 84% participation of dues payment.  As of the end of December there were 3,007 accounts paid in full, 581 with a balance and 3,588 billed to date.

     There were 3,568 invoices sent out for 2024 Fire Dues totaling $546,000, which includes any outstanding balance,.

     The Billing Managers are working with Clay Jones and Zac Williams on assessing properties listed as vacant, as well as a list of possible new properties to confirm the status.  Work is in progress to put together new policies for vacancy claims and multi-unit properties for the 2025 fiscal year.    

West Blount Fire Board – January 11, 2024                                                                               Page 3


     The business office will have extended hours a few days a week during the first quarter in order to be more available for the community to pay fire dues in the office.  This will be done by having one office member come in from 8:00 to 2:00 and the other 10:00 to 4:00 on certain days



Third Party Billing – Funds received in 2023 were $4,300.  There are some of the incidents where the drivers are uninsured, which means there is no insurance company to bill, and there are some insurance companies who refuse to pay.


Blount Springs – Some of the meters have been replaced, there are seven more that need to be changed to get the pressure up, right now the meters are blowing up, with the change this is expected to fix the situation.  


New Business


ALEA Grant – This will come up in May and will be applied for to purchase needed equipment. 


A motion was made by Mark Giddy, seconded by Dolores Fort, to reimburse JJ Ivey $1,200 for the security he paid for the Christmas Parade.  Motion passed


The Chief announced that the explorer program will start next year for 14-year-olds.  


The next Board meeting will be Thursday, February 8, 2024, 6:00 PM at Fire Station No. 1.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM on motion by Jamie Huffstutler


Present                                  Not Present                                      

Dolores Fort                          Danny Smith (conflict)                  

Mark Giddy                           

Jamie Huffstutler                                                                

Marty Stover                                    

JJ Ivey

Melissa Thomas

Stacy Quinn

Christie Moore

Whitney Eiland

Clay Jones

Zac Williams



Dolores Fort