City accepts firefighter grant
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – The City Council unanimously approved a Department of Homeland Security grant of up to $173,240 for firefighter equipment at its meeting Wednesday morning.

Fire Chief Matt Missildine previously said the funds will supply firefighters with 20 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, worn to provide clean air in a dangerous environment. The new SCBAs, or airpacks, will be the most recent model made in 2007 and will replace numerous airpacks from the 1990s, which no longer meet National Fire Protection Association standards.

The grant requires a 5 percent local share of $8,662 and also a 5 percent grant writer fee. The award is under appeal for an increase from $149,049 to $173,240 to include funding for a turnout gear washer. If the appeal is denied, the total award amount will be $149,040, with the same percentages for the match and fee.

The council also authorized August 2-4 as the 2013 Back-to-School sales tax holiday weekend. The eighth annual holiday for school-related items begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight Sunday.

State and local tax will be waived for clothing items less than $100 each, computers and related software made in a single purchase of $750 or less, and school supplies costing less than $50 each.

In other business, the council:

• Authorized an estimated $1,845 for street repairs on Lake Howard Road caused by a wet-weather spring and $2,209 to correct drainage issues on Noble Street. The Noble Street repairs were not a budgeted expense.

• Approved a $55.50 refund to Cross Heating and Air, LLC, for overpayment of 2012 business license fees, and a $50 refund to VP2, LLC, and $66 refund to CFI Insulation for overpayment of 2013 license fees.

• Authorized refunds of $1,000 cash bonds to Brittani Roberts and Terri Gilder.

• Approved expenses for: Fire Inspector Joe Hassell, Lt. Jon Williams and Lt. Tim Epperson to attend Live Fire Instructor class May 14-16 in Chelsea, no registration fee; Lt. Chris Wallis to attend the ICS 300 and 400 required training courses Mar 22-24 and June 20-21 in Opelika, no registration fee; and for Hassell to attend Permitting Requirements for Pyrotechnic Displays training July 24-25 in Auburn, no fee.

• Authorized $67,587.97 for accounts payable invoices for April.

• Heard Mayor Doug Murphree read proclamations recognizing: the 90th birthday of former Sylacauga resident Opal Lovett; May 12-18 as National Nursing Home week; and May 5-11 as Municipal Clerk’s week.

• Heard Chamber of Commerce Director Carol Bates announce the Children’s Fishing Derby at Lake Howard on May 12 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Chamber’s Joe Duck Society Chairman Jon Hall also said 60 people participated in their April Walking Tours of Sylacauga.

• Heard I Can Achieve Ministries President Mary Hicks compliment each of the councilmen, the mayor and police chief for their work. “It’s like Martin Luther King said, ‘I’ve been to the mountaintop, and I’ve seen the glory,’” Hicks said. “I’ve seen what you can do and what you have done for the last six months here, and I know you’re going to carry on and be fine working together with I Can Achieve, because I have confidence in the city of Sylacauga.”

• Heard Citizen Jim Green thank the city for its assistance during the annual Frosty Inn Reunion last weekend.

• Heard Councilman Shannon Darby announce a May 10 food bank giveaway to families in need. Darby also asked citizens to be on the lookout for people littering.

The next regular council meeting is May 22 at 9 a.m. at City Hall.

Contact Emily Adams at eadams@dailyhome.com.

© 2013