Albany City Council met in regular session last Tuesday evening with all council members present and voted to help out the Albany Fire Department in purchasing much needed, and state required equipment.
Albany Fire Chief Robert Roeper presented the council with estimates for equipment needed by the volunteer department, including turnout gear in the amount of $42,816 and SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) at $76,000, plus $1,152 in other miscellaneous gear for a total of $119,868.00.
There are a total of 24 firefighters and the department has some of the equipment that is not outdated, but enough of the aforementioned units are needed to equip all of the firemen to meet state regulations.
Following a brief discussion, Councilman James “Smitty” Smith made the motion to authorize Mayor Nicky Smith to borrow up to $120,000 to purchase the equipment requested. The motion passed by unanimous vote.
Mayor Smith said he would check with local banks to try and get the best interest rates and also noted the equipment could be paid back with the extra fire membership dues that are being collected voluntarily on water bills from water customers who wish to receive fire protection.
The mayor said the total cost of the equipment price would amount to about 87 cents per each dollar collected from fire membership fees.
The fire chief also informed the council that the pumper truck was having to be repaired and eventually may have to be replaced but no action was taken on that aspect of equipment at last week’s meeting.
Also on a motion by Councilman Smith, members voted to declare some items as surplus property and sell via sealed bid, including a 1996 Ford Ranger, a Craftsman 18 hp 42” cut mower; two Cub Cadet 20 hp Kohler motors with a 42” cut and a Murray 20” cut 3.5 hp push mower.
Mayor Smith then recommended the city grant an easement for a natural gas line to run on some city property that would serve not only the Twin Lakes Family Wellness Center (in its project to convert from propane to natural gas) but also the new, soon to be constructed fire station and possibly the Emergency Management Services (EMS) building.
Councilman Frankie Stockton made the motion to grant the easement to the county to run the natural gas line with all members voting yes.
On a motion by Councilman Leland Hicks, the council voted to close off the regular streets in downtown Albany during the annual Foothills Festival the third week in October.
Councilwoman Tonya Thrasher then recommended the city once again have a “clean-up” day prior to the festival and ask for the city and other volunteers to help clean up around the downtown area prior to the event. A date for the clean-up was set for October 5.
Mayor Smith then complimented the Chamber of Commerce and park board for their efforts with the fireworks show and other events that took place August 31 at Mountain View Park, which also helped raise money for park playground equipment.
The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for October 1 at 5 p.m. at city hall and is open to the general public.