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Miner searches for full-time fire chief

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MINER -- Miner is once again looking for a full-time fire chief.

Miner Board of Aldermen members were slated to make a decision on a part-time fire chief during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

When Mayor Mitch Thompson asked for a motion from the Board to appoint interim fire chief Jack Tucker as the city's part-time fire chief, several board members and city residents expressed their wish for the city to have someone in the position full time.

"We really do want a full-time fire chief," said Sharon Smith, a resident of Miner. "We would all feel safer if we had a full-time fire chief."

Asked why the city removed Randy Allen as its full-time fire chief, Thompson said Allen was not qualified.

While there is no mandatory certification for fire fighters in Missouri, many cities in the state require Fire Fighter I and Fire Fighter II certification through the state Fire Marshal's office, according to Greg Landwehr, training technician for the Fire Marshal's office.

Allen does not have these certificates.

Board members agreed to keep Tucker, who already has a full-time job elsewhere, as the interim fire chief while they seek a full-time fire chief with the qualifications they are looking for.

In other city business related to the fire department, board members approved paying $212 per month for a short-term disability plan for the city's volunteer fire fighters.

The premium covers the entire department. If a fire fighter is injured at the fire station, at a fire, or while traveling to or from a fire and is rendered unable to work, a $500 per-week benefit will be paid while they are under a doctor's care, according to city officials.

In other business during Tuesday's meeting:

* The formation of a park search committee was approved by the Board.

Kim Foster, board member, said the committee should include a lawyer, a planning and zoning expert and an engineer.

Board members agreed the committee should also have representation from each of the city's two wards.

Individuals interested in serving should contact Foster or City Hall.

* Martin Potashnick asked the Board to consider the idea of putting in a new street on the east side of Interstate 55 running from Malone Avenue south about .8 of a mile to where Aufdenberg Equipment Co. is located.

Potashnick said it would make business in that area more accessible and open up southeast Miner to development. He said there is already a utility easement and there are no structures along the route he and the other business owners have in mind.

* Board members accepted a bid of $2,250 from ESI in Sikeston for a security camera system for the Miner Police Department.

While this bid was not the lowest bid, it was the only bid which included installation, according to Police Chief Roger Moore.

The system includes a monitor, three interior cameras and one exterior camera along with system training, Moore said.

* Board members approved paying annuals dues of $1,000 to the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce and $316 to the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission.

* A decision on establishing a noise ordinance was tabled to give city officials time to compare it with the city's nuisance ordinance.

"I don't think we need it," said Deloris Smith, board member. "We already have a nuisance ordinance."

* The Board approved seeking bids on a computer and scanner to back up the city's documents as suggested by Thompson.

"That should have been done a long time ago," Smith said.

* Thompson said the city needs two advisory board members for the Convention and Visitor's Board and that interested individuals should contact City Clerk Janet Tuttle at City Hall.

The CVB meets monthly.