Council approves loan for fire truck

Published 1:20 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Demopolis City Council gave its approval during a meeting on Monday, May 23, that allows the Demopolis Fire Department to move forward with a loan for a new fire truck.
Originally, the fire department was eyeing a USDA loan for the truck, but due to the time required to submit the paperwork and get it approved, the city decided to look to local banks for a matching loan agreement.
In asking for bids from local banks, Trustmark Bank returned the lowest loan rate of 2.75 percent on a 10-year loan, and was approved by the council.
The fire truck is expected to cost about $500,000 and will include the equipment needed, according to DFD Chief Vernon Waters.
The truck to be replaced has cost the fire department about $20,000 in repairs over the past year, officials said.
“It’s gotten to the point that we are throwing good money after bad,” said Mayor Mike Grayson.
The new engine will replace a 1992 model and Waters said it will take about 10 months for the department to take delivery of the new truck.
Other items discussed by the council included:
• discussing obtaining bids for repairs to a ditch on Decatur Street. No action was taken.
• approving the placement of speed bumps on Rainbow Circle. Police Chief Tommie Reese said his department has received numerous complaints of speeding on that street. The council approved the placement of at least five speed bumps.
• approving the placement of a digital billboard sign at 1327 Hwy. 80 East. With the council’s approval, the measure goes to the city’s board of adjustments for its approval.
• approving a measure that allows the DPD to apply for a forensic cell phone grant. The grant would provide over $7,000 while the department will provide matching funds of almost $5,000.
• approving to go into executive session at the request of members of the Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital Board to discuss financial matters related to an ongoing project of remodeling a portion of the hospital for an adult psychology unit.
“This is a process we’ve been going through since August 2015 and we want to discuss where we are in relation to that,” said BWWMH CEO Arthur Evans prior to the council going into executive session.