County commissioners meet to discuss fire department grants, new sweeper bid

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023

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The Decatur County commissioners met on Tuesday morning for their first scheduled meeting of the month. Before getting into the meeting agenda, a member of the public, Willie Sapp, briefly addressed the commissioners about what he perceived as a need for better road and ditch maintenance in the county, specifically dirt roads.

After Sapp’s address, the first business item on the commissioner’s agenda was an update on Decatur County Fire and Rescue grants, presented by Jamie Earp. One of these grants, the Fireworks Tax Grant, will go towards turnout gear for DCFR (things such as pants, coats, gloves, boots, and helmets, as well as a protective bag for the gear, to reduce wear and tear.) The other grant, the ACCG grant, which goes toward purchases recommended by risk management groups. In this case, the grant money would be used for  a drone kit, including thermal high-intensity lights and a speaker.

“The benefit to this system,” Earp explained, “would allow us to go into the communities where our brave men and women are putting their selves in danger, we could put a drone, at like a semi rollover, to identify the hazards before we put our rescuers into that hazardous area.” Earp further elaborated that the speaker could also allow rescue crews the ability to find and speak with stranded or lost individuals.

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According to Earp, the fire department also finished several other grants, the funding from one going to funding the local EMT class, repairing and replacing class equipment; another, a Golden Triangle grant, will also go towards funding classes, specifically towards internet and computer equipment expenses; and lastly, the Assistant Firefighter Grant, at approximately $55,000, will replace rescue equipment on the department’s primary rescue truck.

Following Earp’s update, the commissioners asked several questions about the department’s EMT classes.

After this, county administrator Alan Thomas provided the commissioners with a notification about a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which allotted $1,694,586 for “street and drainage improvements in the Breedlove Road area”. According to Thomas, this was presented purely to be informative; the commissioners will follow up on the contracts and agreements relating to this at a later date.

Next, the commissioners heard a bid for a new street sweeper to replace the current one. The recommended bid was priced at $78,800. The commissioners approved the bid.

Lastly, the commissioners entered an executive session to discuss litigation; no action was taken.

The commissioner’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 23, 7:00 PM.