Discussion was held on Fire Department Budget Request at Council Meeting

By Aaron Eberle
On Tuesday, August 16, at 7 p.m. Edgemont’s City Council held a regular meeting at City Hall.
At the previous meeting in August, different entities submitted forms to make their budget requests to the City. At the time the Fire Department had submitted a request for $75,000, when in the past, they had received $13,000.
At the current meeting, discussion was held about the reasons behind an increase in the Fire Department’s request.
One of the reasons behind the request was new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for each individual. This could cost anywhere from $2,210 to $2,810. The department is looking at replacing the Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) as well, which could cost $1,000 a piece.
This would include all of the volunteers in the department, but Fire Chief Lane Ostenson thought that eight to ten per year would be a more realistic number. Ostenson said that they have not applied for any grants for PPE’s in the past year.
According to former fire chief, Jerry Dibble, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires that bunkers be replaced every nine or ten years.
Mayor Carl Shaw asked if any grants had been applied for. Ostenson stated that he had applied for and received some grants for communications, which provided the department with new radios. Ostenson has not looked into grants for new bunker gear.
In 2015, the fire department responded to 17 rural fires and five City calls. They also responded to two Signal 1 (car accidents), two Cheyenne River Flood Watch at the Highway 18 bridge, one storm watch and one vehicle fire.

The Fire received $9,198.83 from the rural district or the county. If the department gets paid for a fire they put the money in the rural account. In 2015, they received $13,222.29 and $13,000 of it was transferred to the city account to make a payment on the Unit #31 pumper. The rest was used for fuel or repairs.

Volunteers can be paid $15 per hour on contracted fires. The rural fire department has contracts with the State of South Dakota Department of Ag and the National Grasslands. In 2015, volunteers were paid for 157 hours at a cost of $2,364.90. Volunteers are not paid for any city fires, therefore it would not be reflected in the city financials.
The department has an annual loan payment of $16,038.85 each year on Unit #31. 2016 marks the last year of the loan. $8,785.88 was spent last year on fuel and repairs.
The department used to receive around $22,000 when the city collected $2 on the monthly water statements from the residents of Edgemont. When the loan for Unit #31 was set up, the department was receiving more dollars than it is currently receiving.
The department is currently looking at replacing a chassis on a 1968 military truck this fall with another surplus 2002 military truck, using monies from the rural account. They are also looking at replacing a chassis on a 1968 military truck this fall with another surplus 2002 military truck. This would also be using funds from the rural account.
In 2017, they will be looking at replacing a 1968 brush truck as well, also using dollars from the rural account.
Repairs will also need to be made on the building, which would be the City’s responsibility. The City is currently paying for utilities, etc. Nate Cortney stated that there is several leaks in the roof. Several ceiling tiles are ruined and there is mold in certain areas.
Councilwoman Sandra Woodward wondered what the thermostat was set on at the fire hall. She believes the City is paying a large amount in propane bills. Cortney responded that it was set on 55 throughout the winter, except in the meeting room portion. They do turn that thermostat up some when they hold meetings.
The council has a fire board for better communication with the fire department. It was suggested by some council members that the department could schedule a meeting between both parties, as well as the rural fire district, before final decisions were made.
In other news:
The City approved to renew Shaun Hylle’s contract for water testing at the same rate.
Hi-D-Way Oil and Gas provided three fuel tank quotes for a bulk gas tank and a bulk diesel tank. The difference in price quotes depended on the base that the tanks would set on. Council approved the quote with the concrete base for $4,471.60.
The first reading of ordinance 2016-09-16 (agreement with Golden West Cablevison occurred.’
More progress is being made on the new water system.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, September 6 at 7 p.m.

Fall River County Herald Star

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