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2020-08-13 Minutes

Board of Trustees                                August 13, 2020
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 August 13, 2020, the meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Greg Reid, Chair.  All Trustees were present plus JJ Ivey, Fire Chief, Melissa Thomas, Treasurer, and Diane Cox, Billing Manager.      

The minutes of the July 9, 2020 meeting were accepted on motion by Annette Cox, seconded by Billy Giddy.

Financial report – The operating balance for July was $388,828.89.  Total receipts were $33,410.41, including dues of $31,863.49.  Total expenses were $36,882.66, including payroll of $24,917.78 and building maintenance and repair of $4,833.22.  Upcoming known large expenses due November 6 are insurance premiums of $3,166.50 and $1,220.50.   

The Financial Report was accepted on motion by Annette Cox, seconded by Fort.

Chief’s Report

Total calls for June were 127 (plus 5 out-of-area calls:  2 Mt. High/Ricetown; 1 Bangor; 1 Locust Fort/Dallas Selfville; 1 Oneonta): 75 medical, 5 structure fire, 8 auto accidents, 0 fire alarms, 3 vehicle fires, 25 public service, 0 wild fire, 11 fire other, 0 911 hang-up.  Breakdown by fire station:  Sta. 1 – 60; Sta. 2, Smoke Rise – 58; Sta. 3, Sugar Creek 3; Sta. 4, Nyota – 3.  The assist to Oneonta occurred during the funeral of one of Oneonta’s fire fighters.

Other items reported include:
    2 grants applied for $10,500 and $160,000 for 3 new CPR devices and monitors  
    A Homeland Security grant in the amount of $50,000 has been applied for to cover the cost of new radios for each vehicle required by the 911 Board for the new VHF Digital radio system to take effect in October.  The cost for 17 needed vehicle radios is $2700 each, and handheld is $2200 each.  The reception and effectiveness of the new system will be much better than the current system.  The initial cost is expensive, and will be completed over a period of time; hand held units will be purchased first with the vehicle units being purchased as funds become available.
    The Forestry grant in the amount of $1,235 has been received.  A request was made to use those funds to purchase a skid unit for the ATV, which was granted on motion by Marty Stover, seconded by Annette Cox.   
    The ladder truck has a hydraulic leak
    1991 Rescue truck is getting warranty work done
    The old Explorer service truck declined by Bangor, does not need to be classified as surplus, will be sold as is on motion by Dolores Fort, seconded by Annette Cox.     

The Chief’s report was accepted on motion by Annette Cox, seconded by Marty Stover .

Old Business

Billing Update – At the end of July there were 18 total CLA’s (conditional lien agreements) on file, 3 were paid in full.  The attorneys have a total of 235 accounts, 6 paid in full, 13 with payment plans with MSN, 5 others on payment plan with no liens. 222 accounts have liens, and 8 being worked on.  We received a check from MSN (Massey, Stotser, & Nicholas) for
Fire District Board of Trustees – August 13, 2020                        page 2

$2,666.99 in July, total collected so far in 2020 $19,323.23, making total collected from MSN since 2018 of $64,317.27.   There were 22 new accounts added in July. There was 1 new exemption approved, making total exemptions for the year of 121, and 5 denied for the year.  Fire dues received was $31,863.49, plus $255 assessment fees, and $1,241.76 other, totaling $33,360.25 (2019 total at the same time was $29,894.15).  [Total collected for 2020 is $457,893.66.]  There are 883 accounts in the system with a balance totaling $313,349.39,
which includes all outstanding dues from the beginning. There are 3,705 total accounts in the system.  So far this year there has been 76% participation for payment of fire dues.  Office hours will be 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

New Business –

Exhaust Fan – A quote was received from Ernie Swindle for the installation of an exhaust fan at Station 1 for $1,485 and for Station 2 for $1,285.  Both fans are needed for health protection of our fire fighters to remove vehicle exhaust and excess heat from the stations. On motion by Annette Cox, seconded by Billy Giddy, this project will proceed.

Social Media – Concerns were raised about negative comments about the fire department that have recently been seen on Facebook. The comments could have been avoided if the individual who made them had attended a board meeting or contacted the office or one of the board members. All of the board meetings are open to the public, but there is seldom anyone present, with the exception of one individual.  Marty Stover publically thanked her for her attendance and support for the department.  All of the work that is done by the board and the department is available to anyone who has questions.  The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, the office number is 205-647-4566.

Board of Trustees – Three of the current board members have served since first elected to the Provisional Board in 2012, and have served in their current office for the same time, the other two have served several five-year terms.  Concerns were raised when it got to the point that some of these board members would not be able to serve again because of age or health.  With the lack of community attendance, and apparent interest, new board members with an interest in the department might prove to be difficult to fill the five-member board and keep the board providing the needed leadership to continue the forward momentum it has experienced since 2012.  It is hoped that more members of the community will consider attending the board meetings to learn what the board does and its responsibilities.  The terms of the board are staggered so that there will not be an all new board at one time thereby keeping experience and knowledge each year.   As of now, all board members have agreed to fulfill their commitments and possibly stay another term but did see a need at some point in the future to step down from their position.  The board and end of term is listed below:

    Annette Cox – term ends 11/30/2020
    Greg Reid – terms ends 11/30/21, current chair
    Dolores Fort – term ends 11/30/22, current secretary
    Billy Giddy – term ends 11/30/23
    Marty Stover – term ends 11/30/24, current vice-chair  


The next meeting will be September 9, 2020, 7:00 PM at Fire Station 1.
Fire District Board of Trustees – August 13, 2020                        page 3

The meeting was adjourned on motion by Annette Cox at 7:40 PM.

Present            Not Present                            
Annette Cox            Lisa Morgan        
Dolores Fort
Billy Giddy            
Greg Reid            
Marty Stover
JJ Ivey
Melissa Thomas
Diane Cox                        

7 guests signed attendance
     (5 were firefighters)

                    Respectfully submitted,
Dolores Fort