Vincent council lowers employee insurance

The city of Vincent will save more than $8,000 on its employee insurance as a result of action taken at a recent meeting.

The council voted to join a group of state employees to enjoy a reduction in premiums. Both the new and old insurance policies are with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama.

The council also voted to contribute $150 toward the erection of a sign at the Vincent High School gym to honor the 2002 state 2A high school champion Yellow Jackets boys’ track team.

In addition to payment of invoices, the council also voted to pay the cost of paint for the volunteer fire department to paint fire hydrants.

Fire Chief Michael Smiley said hydrants will be color coded.

No action was taken concerning a rule sign at the park as no one appeared before the council to speak on that agenda item. Mayor Joe Thompson reported that the city is taking steps to get a piece of property cleaned up.

The mayor also reported on the status of lawn-cutting equipment owned by the city in various states of disrepair and necessary purchases to meet needs. Various lawn equipment purchased included a new five-foot mower at a cost of some $2,975 and a new mower to replace the one used to cut the cemetery.

However, it was reported that the town was paid $750 for a truck.

The council also heard a detailed report from Fire Chief Smiley on volunteer fire department equipment, personnel and current projects.

Smiley reported the Federal Emergency Management Agency has $360,000 available for grants. If the department purchases a 1990-’94 fire truck (hoses and all), he said, the cost would be about $90,000.

And, he said the department would then only need a match of about $9,000.

Smiley said if the city would agree to sign a loan to the volunteer fire department, its fund-raiser photography project could pay back up to $13,000 in two years.

Smiley also said the department would not need another pumper less than 20 years old until 2014.

The fire chief further reported that he is in the process of rewriting the mutual aid agreement with Harpersville.

He said all calls to the two departments are being responded to within four or five minutes from both cities.

Smiley said he had the stations standard operating procedures written in order for the department to qualify for

grants and that four persons have been trained for rapid intervention for the department.

In addition to cleaning around fire hydrants and painting, Smiley said he is working on an item-by-item inventory list.

Smiley said Vincent has a 5.9 ISO rating, but a 3 or 4 is possible. However, he said Vincent can no longer use a piece of Harpersville equipment to reduce its fire insurance rating.

Smiley said new members to the volunteer fire department include Gary Barnett, public information officer to help write grants; David Latimer, investigator and crime scene photographer; and Paul Layton.

Smiley said an air compressor was purchased for the fire station to air vehicle tires. However, he said

the compressor will also be used with a sander to

get the 1953 fire truck ready for parade use.

He said the 1953 truck is too small to help the town on its fire insurance rating.

And he said to have rubber cut to replace original leather parts on the truck would be expensive.

Smiley said he replaced lights and wiring on the 1972 fire truck with about $200 expense in lights.

He said the inverter is out of service and needs rewiring on the 1982 fire truck in order to operate scene lights. And he said he will redo the wiring on the 1987 fire truck.

He said runners have been cut and estimates completed for steps to a storage area for the fire station.

And he said he has been assured that anything done at the fire station will be up to Southern Building Code standards.

Smiley said the department will also strip and refinish floors in the fire station.

Mayor Thompson later said the city is waiting to hear on a $405,000 grant to upgrade the water system, he said work is progressing at Gorman Park.

Thompson said restrooms and grading are completed