Harpersville hires fire chief, approves budget

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Harpersville recently hired a new fire chief and approved 2004-05 budgets for the town and police department.

The Town Council unanimously hired Philip Hamrick, shift assistant chief of the Childersburg Fire Department to serve as its new fire chief at a recent meeting. Hamrick said he would do his best to make the department one the current council and the next administration will be proud of.

Hamrick has 26 years experience in fire service. He is a certified fire officer three, a certified fire instructor three and a paramedic with degrees in emergency medical service, fire scene and fire service management.

He became fire chief effective Aug. 16 but officially began duties in Harpersville just last Wednesday.

&uot;I look forward to being a part of a department that will grow along with the city. As the city reaches its growth potential, I want the fire department to do the same,&uot; Hamrick said.

With the additional money anticipated for the fire department, Hamrick said he will be able to cover operating expenses and payroll and only have to move three firefighter positions from 24 to 12 hours. He also said funds are expected to be provided to put the transport unit back in service.

The department now has 30 personnel including paid and volunteers with 10 paid firefighter positions including Hamrick.

Hamrick said immediate goals include getting the transport unit back in service, setting the budget and exploring the creation of a fire district for the town and surrounding area.

The council also unanimously approved a town budget with projected revenues of $482,000 and expenses of $407,230 and a police department budget with projected revenues of $500,000 and expenses of $378,466.

In another matter, the council voted unanimously to allow City Clerk Joyce Robertson to participate in the state retirement program.

Robertson will pay some $3,065 and the town will pay some $5,032 into the retirement system to make Robertson current in the program.

The council approved a resolution to rezone property owned by Brett and Stacey Weatherby at Kelley Hill Road and Church Street from Agriculture to R-1 with R-2 dimensions. That means mobile homes and apartments will not be allowed but lots will be limited to 1,500 feet in size.

Terry White abstained from the vote, expressing concerns over giving exceptions in zoning such as the changing the dimensions on an R-1 zone. But Councilmember Theoangelo Perkins pointed out that the R-2 dimensions were a compromise