By Dewain E. Peek,
Answering the recent spotlight on manpower deficiency at Livingston Fire Department, Livingston City Council took action Tuesday, Sept. 8 to hire two firefighters.
In last week’s Livingston Mayor and Board of Aldermen regular monthly meeting, Livingston Fire Chief Rocky Dial presented a list of jobs his firefighters do.
“A lot of these things we don’t do every day,” Chief Dial said, “but we were asked to get a list up of things that we do outside of fighting fire.
“The square up there at the courthouse, we go up there in the summer when it’s dry, water the grass. The reason we do that is to save taxpayers money from having to call somebody from the parks or rec area to come and do it.”
He said they will turn off the splash pad if a storm comes in at night.
He listed traffic light repair and maintenance, hydrant repair and maintenance, and medical calls.
“We run a lot of medical calls,” Chief Dial said.
Other duties include escorting the trash truck when Livingston police are busy on other calls, temperature checks of city employees, traffic control for funerals if police do not have enough personnel on duty, traffic control for vehicle accidents, installing smoke alarms, checking for carbon monoxide when residents ask, fire extinguisher training, checking on animals when requested and animal rescue if needed, and debris removal from roads when it storms.
“Our guys go out and help them try to get the roads clear and opened up as quick as possible,” Chief Dial said.
LFD personnel also perform helipad runs where they will block the street if the police are busy.
After presenting the list of duties, he recommended hiring Jason Huggins and Robert Holt, which were unanimously approved.
In other business, Second and final reading of Ordinance 2020-8-1 was approved.
City Attorney John Meadows explained that the changes made to the property maintenance regulations include limiting the scope of Property Maintenance Advisory Board’s review of cases and eliminates the requirement that the codes enforcement officer take the case before the advisory board for review, and it makes convening of the advisory board on an “as needed” basis.
Vice Mayor Ken Dodson made the motion to approve the final reading, and Alderman Rex Dale seconded. On the vote, all aldermen voted yes except Alderman David Langford, who has opposed the institution of the Property Maintenance Advisory Board.
A need for the water intake at Butler’s Landing was brought to the aldermen’s attention by Greg Davenport, of J.R. Wauford & Co., attending via Zoom, who explained that the two control valves are beginning to malfunction.
So far, operators have been able to manually manipulate the valves when they have failed to function as designed, but if both were to fail, then water would have to be taken from the City Lake intake once more.
“The city has budgeted for the potential for something like this to arise over the last few years,” Davenport said.
The Butler’s Landing intake has been in operation for 11 years.
Davenport said, that once ordered, the new valves will be delivered in 7 to 8 months.
He also suggested purchasing a manual bypass operator to be installed on one of the valves. That part can be delivered within 12 weeks.
“We’ll get it on one valve, which should mitigate the total failure option,” Davenport said.
He estimated to total cost at $114,050, which does not include installation costs.
“There will be additional costs for replacing the valves,” Davenport said.
Alderman Chris Speck asked if the old valves could be rebuilt and stored until needed, and Davenport said that would be the plan.
Mayor Curtis Hayes said the money is in the budget for the project.
Alderman Dale made a motion to go ahead with the project, and Alderman John Clough seconded the motion. On the vote, all aldermen voted yes.
Livingston Police Chief Greg Etheredge was given permission to rehire Tracy Dishman as a dispatcher to replace Adrianna Wattenbarger, who has decided to go into another line of work, and to hire Max Goodpasture, who has almost 32 years experience in law enforcement, to replace Jordan Danner, who has been accepted by Tennessee Highway Patrol, and also to hire a dispatcher to replace another dispatcher who has given notice of intent to leave the department soon.
Andrew Mansell was hired as water plant operator, as recommended by Water Plant Supervisor Jack Parrott.
Water Department Supervisor Jerry Dale Kennedy was given permission to hire three employees to fill vacancies in his department.
Street Department Supervisor Wayne Peek was given permission to hire two employees.
Mayor Hayes clarified, “These are not new positions.”
Alderman Clough was appointed to the Planning Commission.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Shannon Cantrell was appointed to the Downtown Revitalization Committee to replace former Chamber Executive Director Greg McDonald, who has retired.
Cantrell informed the Board of Aldermen that Livingston has received an Arts Builds Communities grant of $1,195, which will be used for two murals and requires a 50/50 match.
“That gives us enough to work with to allow for two murals to be painted in our downtown area,” Cantrell said.
The murals must promote tourism and promote the local history, and the business owner receiving the mural would pay the match.
“The first two murals will have to be some sort of historic nature,” Cantrell said.
The project has until June 15, 2021, to be completed.
Resolution 2020-9-1 was approved to adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Street paving bids from the Rogers Group, at $92 per ton, were approved.
“This is a two-month contract,” Mayor Hayes said.
The contract will run from September 9 to November 9.
First reading of amendments to the sign ordinance was approved to allow for “sandwich board” signs in the downtown area, where allowed for ADA compliance.
According to Mayor Hayes, compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act will still limit the signs to only some areas along Church Street where 5 feet of pathway would still be accessible with a sign on the sidewalk.
State Form CT-0253 was approved.
Will Taylor, regional manager of United Systems and Software Inc., gave a presentation on automated meter reading systems. The cost would be an estimated $1.8 million.
The meeting adjourned.