Fire Chief Vern Guffy told Loyall City Council at a recent meeting that fire departments across the county are “hurting” for volunteer firefighters.
“We desperately need firefighter volunteers,” said Guffy. “I’m trying to get volunteers in or near the city so that they can get to a fire quickly. A house can go down really fast and, if a firefighter has to come a long distance, the best you can do is save the house next door. It’s not just here in Loyall, but all the departments across the county are hurting.”
Advising everyone to check their smoke detectors to insure they are working, Guffy said a lot of fires occur during the fall and winter months when the weather turns cold.
“I’ve put in a request for hand-held radios, boots and windows for the fire station from the $5,335 coal severance funds allotted from Harlan County Fiscal Court,” said Guffy. “I went over a little with the estimates with everything we needed.”
Mayor Clarence Longworth said money is budgeted for the fire department to cover the cost overage.
Hoping to add more playground equipment to the city’s 840 park, Longworth said enough donations have been received to purchase one spring-loaded rocking horse. He said plans were to purchase two of the rocking horses, but funding is short.
“Would the council like to purchase the other one,” asked Longworth.
Then, a member of the audience, asked Longworth to give him an opportunity to find enough money to purchase the other rocking horse for the park.
“I won’t argue with that one bit,” said Longworth. “And, we thank you.”
In other action, council approved the purchase of 500 portable breathalyzer test mouthpieces. At a cost of $100, the mouthpieces will be used by the police department. Police Chief Mike Lunsford said the department had received a federal Highway Safety Grant totaling $6,100, which included $5,000 for overtime worked, $500 for travel and $600 for the purchase of two portable breathalyzer testers. He said the grant does not pay for mouth pieces.
“We also received our first reimbursement this past week for the arrests Chief Lunsford made after some of them have appeared in court,” said Longworth. “In House Bill 413, the city receives a fee from court costs collected on arrests made. The money is distributed to police departments quarterly. This time, we have already received almost $2,000. When you see our police out stopping people, we do get something out of that. It eventually works its way back to us.”
In other action, council:
*Had first reading of the city Ordinance 2012-061 which is the establishment of compensated holidays for all full-time employees. A second reading will be held at the next scheduled meeting of the council;
*Noted plumber Jim Shoemaker had completed work on Mapother, Chad and Cedar streets to eliminate water drainage problems;
*Noted they hope to have county officials assist the city in the cleaning out of the water intake area of the lagoon;
*Purchased a trash pump and 16-foot ladder for the sewer plant to replace the ones recently stolen;
*Approved the city’s 2009/2010 audit.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org