Black oak Council OKs fire protection agreement

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Town Crier News Staff

The Black Oak City Council unanimously passed the Fire Protection Agreement between the cities of Monette and Black Oak at the regular council meeting held Monday, Jan. 21. Alderman Vernon "Cotton" Fisher was absent from the meeting.

The combined fire departments of the cities of Monette and Black Oak will provide fire and emergency services to the city of Black Oak. This entitles Black Oak to receive the same ISO rating as Monette, which is class five, the second best rating in Craighead County.

All the equipment housed at Black Oak Fire Station has been and shall continue to be owned and maintained by the City of Black Oak. No name change will take place. Each fireman now active with the Black Oak Fire Department shall be offered an opportunity to serve on the combined departments, if the fireman meets the requirements set forth by the Monette Fire Department, the State of Arkansas and the federal government. All new recruits must meet the same requirements.

The agreement was signed by Black Oak Mayor Norman Williams and city recorder Monda Hutchison, and Monette Mayor Jerry Qualls and city recorder Vickki Carroll, on Dec. 18, 2007.

Vaughn reported that he, Norman Williams and Johnny Williams attended National Incident Management System classes recently. The NIMS classes are required training for all department heads (mayors, police chiefs, firefighters, etc.).

"This is a form of cross training, using a chain of command in an emergency," Vaughn said. "Our Black Oak firemen meet the first Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. We are making progress. I was disappointed that our two new firemen (Eddie Spencer and Kevin Austin) did not attend their first fire meeting. I had thought about retiring myself, but decided not to because Mr. Fisher wanted me to."

The council approved the 2008 budget. The General Fund budget lists $101,372.58. The street fund balance is $8,350.76. A check for $16,767.87 was added to the Act 833 fire fund in December 2007, bringing the total of Act 833 funds to $48,809.44. The total general ledger of the Fire Fund including Act 833 money and Non-Act 833 money was listed at $69,282.32.

The council voted to open a separate account for the Act 833 funds, totaling $48,809.44.

"These two accounts for fire funds should have been done ten years ago," Fire Chief Vaughn said.

Recorder Hutchison presented to the council for consideration a draft listing requirements to address the council during regular council meetings.

Adjustments of the draft included only allowing two people five minutes each, per meeting, on two different subject matters. Anyone unruly will be asked to leave the meeting.

"I will need to know by noon on Thursday if I am going to get it on the Monday's agenda," Recorder Hutchison said. "We will have request forms to fill out at the Post Office, with Mayor Williams or myself."

The rules for addressing the council were approved with the changes listed above.

The council passed Resolution 2008-01 adopting the Multi-Jurisdiction Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for the City of Black Oak.

Two ordinance compliance letters have been sent to owners of yards that need to be cleaned up. Mayor Williams reported he had received a reply from one.

The council approved the addition of City Recorder Monda Hutchinson's name to signature card at the bank for all city accounts and CDs.

The council went into executive session to discuss employee discipline. After reconvening, no action was taken. City employees consist of the five-member council, mayor, recorder, three regular seasonal employees and two occasional contract laborers, and others as needed.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on Feb. 18, beginning at 6 p.m. at city hall.

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