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More information needed before purchasing 'Jaws'

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Miner Board of Aldermen

MINER -- City officials have questions that need to be answered before buying any emergency equipment from the Scott County First Responders.

As Randy Allen, the city's fire chief and president of the First Responders, was unavailable, Miner Board of Aldermen members tabled their decision on the equipment purchases during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

During the regular September Board of Aldermen meeting, Allen offered to sell the Jaws of Life purchased by the First Responders to the city. He advised then that the vehicle extrication device is still in new condition.

Janet Tuttle, city clerk, recalled the tools were purchased by the group in March 2005.

"I do know the tools are very important," Alderman Frank Tatum said.

City Attorney Joe Fuchs said the city needs to have documentation showing the current state of the financing on the equipment.

Peggy Holman, board member, said there is also the question of whether some of those tools being offered were taken from the fire department and may already belong to the city.

"If we're going to buy equipment, I think we should buy it new," Holman later added. "They bought them; let them keep them."

Tatum said the group would need to show ownership before they consider buying the equipment.

"There should be an invoice or a bill of sale showing a transfer from whoever they bought it from to whoever owns it," Fuchs said.

Mayor Betty Barnes said she would like to see all the paperwork on the equipment's purchase before asking the Board to vote on buying it.

"The loan is still in my name on those," Allen said in a phone interview following the meeting. "We've offered a heck of a deal on them."

In other business during Tuesday's meeting:

* Roy Morton, purchasing manager for Steward Steel, asked if his company's structural division located out of the city limits can be hooked to city water and sewer.

"I'd like you to consider that and see if its feasible," Morton said. "We just want to move forward and get the process started formally."

Morton explained the division has outgrown its well and septic tank system. "All of you have seen the growth we've had over the years," he said.

Steward Steel would obtain all the necessary easements, Morton said.

Barnes said she would like to have the city's engineer, Norman Lambert, look into the impact it would have on the city's systems.

* Tuttle said it is time to advertise for bids on the city's solid waste contract. The contract typically is awarded for a three-year period.

Tatum asked if twice-per-week pickup is really necessary, suggesting that the city could keep the price increase down by changing to a single weekly pickup.

Other board members said, however, that they and other city residents either have enough trash that two pickups are needed or sometimes forget to put their trash out on one of the pickup days.

"I think the people are used to it," Barnes said of the twice-weekly arrangement.

* Board members discussed advertising to give away water treatment equipment at the old treatment plant to a small city or water district if they come pick it up on a first come, first served basis.