Mecosta Austin Fire Board


September 19, 2012 POSTPONED

September 25, 2012


September 19, 2012 meeting was postponed to September 25, 2012 due to a lack of a quorum.


Chairman John Boyd called the September 25 meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Pledge to the flag was given.


Roll Call: John Boyd; Greg Babbitt; Phil Hanford; Elizabeth G. Carr; and Carolyn Towsley.  Absent Arturo Pierera.

Additions to the Agenda – None.


Approval of Agenda – Phil Hanford moved that the Agenda be approved as presented.  Supported by Greg Babbitt.  Motion carried.


Approval of Minutes – Phil Hanford moved the minutes be approved as presented.  Supported by Elizabeth Carr.  Motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report –Elizabeth Carr noted that three of the firemen’s expense accounts are over budget at this time (336-728 Postage and Freight; 336-735 Firefighers’ Expense; and 336-940 Hall expense).  The cost incurred for the burners should come out of Capital Outlay and that will change the budget cost of a couple of the above mentioned accounts.  Firemen Checking $45,656.81– Firemen Fund $921.23   Independent Bank $14,727.45.  Total Assets $61,305.49.  As of September 19, 2012.  First Responders Checking $10,894.25  as of September 19, 2012.  John Boyd said the report would be accepted as presented.

Greg Babbitt  moved to approve the bills: Fire Department checks #4637-4660 and EFT Payment and tonight’s bills to Central Michigan Mechanical $395.00 for the labor cost of installing the burners, Frontier (phone and internet) $114.64 and Douglas Safety for SCBA $145.00 and First Responders checks #1310-1313.  Phil Hanford seconded.  Roll Call: Greg Babbitt – yea; Phil Hanford – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea; and John Boyd – yea.  Motion carried.


Old Business

New 6X6 – Still out of commission.  Pump parts will cost about $1,800 to fix it.  Palmers will do the repair with no labor costs.  Phil Hanford moved that we spend up to $2,000 to fix pump.  Greg Babbitt seconded.  Roll Call: Greg Babbitt – yea; Phil Hanford – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea; and John Boyd – yea.  Motion carried.


Parking Lot – One bid to concrete the parking lot was obtained and after reviewing the amount it would cost to do only one-fourth of the parking lot ($15,000) this issue will deterred to a later time.


Commercial Site Visits –Alan Brennan informed the Board that there are 37+ farms that will need to be visited.  10-15 of those visits will involve 30 hours with two people.  The board asked Alan to bring a rough guess on total hours that the visits will take and to bring it to the Board’s November meeting.  The Fire Department should add this to their budget and split the visits over a three year period and have these estimates for the Joint Townships meeting in January.


Vent – No bids have been provided for the cost.  One verbal bid was $750.  Contact will be made with some other local contractors.  This issue needs to be completed before the first snow fall.  Phil Hanford moved to authorize John Boyd and Marv Bell to approve a bid spending up to $1,000 to repair the ridge cap and valley so as to get work done soon.  The bidding period will end October 5, 2012.  Greg Babbitt seconded.  Roll Call: Greg Babbitt – yea; Phil Hanford – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea; and John Boyd – yea.  Motion carried.


Compliancy Chart – NIMS Training – Scott Schroeder is the new Emergency Management Coordinator and will not be working out of the Sherriff’s Department.  He will be putting together a flow chart of requirements for the completion of training. NIMS (Incident Command System) 300 and 400 training will be on October 25-26 and November 8-9 respectively in Big Rapids.  Both classes need to be taken in order to take the test and to be certified.


Providing Water Standard – Nothing has been done.  More research needs to be done on this to determine appropriate legalities. 





New Business


Crystal Flash – Electronic Payment – Crystal Flash is offering a 1% discount for customers who will switch over to an electronic payment to pay monthly bills.  The Board felt that 1% will not be worth the uncertainty of how much would be deducted monthly from the checking account.  The issue died.


Frontier Visa Prepaid Card – As part of their promotion after we signed up to use their service a $250 prepaid Visa card was received.  The board decided to have it applied to the Frontier account as a credit.  Elizabeth Carr will take care of this.


Mutual Aid Agreement with Morton Township – Alan Brennan contacted John Shipman of ISO.  Mr. Shipman said that if Morton Township gets a rating that is equal to 7A or less, those living 5 road miles from their station will receive the Austin Township rating of 7.  Even if Morton Township was to receive a better rating, those in Austin Township still receive the Mecosta-Austin Fire Department’s rating of 7 (within 5 road miles). 


Fire Board Future – Carolyn Towsley said that the November Fire Board meeting needs to be changed due to a possible change in Township officers after the November election.  Since the meeting in November is on the 21st and newly elected township officers are sworn in on November 20, we need to change the November meeting date.  The date was changed to Wednesday, November 7, 2012.


Fire Chief’s Report – Marv Bell reported the heaters are up and working.  New batteries were purchased for the firemen’s radios and they are working much better (the old batteries were 5 years old).  Four more need to be purchased for the rescuers’ radios.  Marv asked that the old radios and headsets be donated to the water rescue team.  They will not interfere with the new radios, but will allow better shore to base communication.  The Board felt this was a good use for the old radios and headsets.  There were 14 fire runs since last meeting.  One was responded to three times in Morton Township and another was a mock disaster with Trans Canada.  One employee has not passed the firefighters test twice and will possibly be trying again.  If they do not register to take the test by January or fails it again by April they will no longer be with the fire department. 


Safety Report - Alan Brennan reported there were no injuries.  Kyle Vredenburg and Charlie Welch have completed pump training and drivers training and are authorized to operate engines/tanker and all other equipment.  SCBA training and victim removal has been completed and Firefighter 1 & 2 classes start October 4.


Maintenance Report – Steve Cook reported Engines 3-12 and 3-11 pump tests have been completed and passed.  Engine 3-11 will require power steering fluid flush and a new pump cap.  A brake canister was replaced on Engine 3-12.  Prices for a seal and actuator for PTO on Engine 3-11 were requested.  It turns out that this is a complicated repair and needs to be done professionally.  $763 was a quote from West Shore Fire Company.  Phil Hanford moved to spend $763 and have West Shore Fire Company install the part.    Greg Babbitt seconded.  Roll Call: Greg Babbitt – yea; Phil Hanford – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea; and John Boyd – yea.  Motion carried.


MFR Report –Runs:  July 15; August 7; and September 10 to date.  County is currently using a fourth ambulance about 3 days a week, but will be putting it into use full time.  This will bring down the amount of funds our First Responders receive from the county.


Brief Public Comment – None.


Announcements – Pig Roast will be October 13 from 12-4 at the Fire Hall.


Correspondence – None.


The next meeting will be NOVEMBER 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fire Hall.


Adjournment - At 8:40 p.m. John Boyd declared the meeting closed.


Submitted by,




Carolyn Towsley, Secretary