Mecosta Austin Fire Board


November 17, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman John Boyd.


Pledge to the flag was given.


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


Additions to the Agenda – Under New Business: 7) Newaygo County Mutual Aid Request.


Approval of Agenda – Elizabeth Carr moved that the Agenda be approved as amended.  Supported by Arturo Pierera.  Motion carried.


Approval of Minutes – Arturo Pierera moved the minutes be approved as submitted.  Supported by Elizabeth Carr.  Motion carried.


Treasurer’s Report – Elizabeth Carr noted that the Profit & Loss Budget vs Actual for the First Responders isn’t balanced.  It has something to do with the funds put in for the First Responders’ new vehicle and the expenses for it.  This was not in the budget line and is throwing the balance off.  Elizabeth also needed to determine how the fire department wanted to handle the payment of withholding taxes since they cannot be paid with a paper coupon.  It was agreed to have the withholding taxes withdrawn from the Fire Department and First Responder’s checking accounts.  She will call in the withdrawals when due.  Elizabeth also read information from our CPA that 1099s may be  required to be submitted to all of our vendors by 2013.  More information will be forthcoming.


Firemen Checking $47,882.28– Firemen Fund $967.97   Independent Bank $10,144.24   Total Assets $58,994.49.  As of October 31, 2010.


First Responders Checking $15,864.92   Independent Bank $113.39   Total Assets $15,978.31.   As of October 31, 2010.


John Boyd said the report would be accepted as presented.


Greg Boyd moved to approve the bills.  Arturo Pierera seconded.  Motion carried.


Public Comment – None.


Old Business

ISO Update – Nothing has been heard to date.  Trying to contact representative to get a status report.


High Speed Internet Update –Tucker Communications was unable to get a signal.  They had to go up about 70 ft. before they got a decent signal.  Tucker Communications is a radio frequency and there seems to be something interfering with the signal.  They are still trying to work at getting the service connected.  Hughes Net is an another option, however the cost for a business is quite high.  If the service were to be put in someone’s name and withdraw payments from a credit card, the rate is very reasonable.  Carolyn Towsley made the motion to pay Net Port for three months while other options are being reviewed.  Seconded by Arturo Pierera.  Roll Call:  John Boyd – yea; Arturo Pierera – yea; Greg Babbitt – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea.  Motion carried. 


First Responders Rescue Truck – Everything is here except the generator.  The fire department tried to get an article and picture in the Pioneer, but it hasn’t happened yet.  They will be working on it.


Tanker Truck Status No status.  Marv Bell is working on this subject. 


James Jackson Incident – Our insurance company is working with client on this.  There is nothing further we need to do.


New Business

Payment and Approval of Bills – Carolyn Towsley submitted a proposal to have the Fire Board meeting on the odd months to approve bills.  She is concerned that there is no policy regarding this topic.  At this time Austin Township approves the bills, pays the bills, and submits a copy of the approved bills to Mecosta Township.  Bills should be approved by the Fire Board.  Carolyn Towsley made a motion to have a resolution prepared for January Board meeting to allow approval to spend up to $500 for an expenditure with mutual agreement with the Fire Board Chairperson and Fire Chief  Seconded by Arturo Pierera.  Motion carried.


New Sign – TransCanada approached the fire department that they would like to recognize a deceased employee.  They have submitted a letter of intent to commit $6,000 towards this project.  It has been suggested that it be a new fire department sign.  Proposed costs have been $3,472 for stonework, $500 wiring, $1,650 Fire Department sign, and $300 for the memorial plaque to be hopefully included in the stonework.  Greg Babbitt moved to approve a memorial sign for Mecosta Austin Fire Department at a cost of $6,000 and Mecosta Austin Fire Board will not incur any additional expense in the sign.  Seconded by Elizabeth Carr. Roll Call:  John Boyd – yea; Arturo Pierera – yea; Greg Babbitt – yea; Elizabeth Carr – yea; Carolyn Towsley – yea.  Motion carried.   


Fire Chief’s Report – Need physicals and not sure enough money in budget.  John Boyd will find out what Occupational Wellness is proposing to for the Big Rapids Townships physicals and see if it is reasonable.  After this information is relayed to Marv Bell, he is to schedule the physicals. 


Mecosta Township has given the Fire Department an old computer.  It will cost $75 to have information transferred from the Fire Department’s old computer to the new one.  The issue was put on hold.


Fire Department payroll budget will be about $4,000-$5,000 over budget.  The calls are 18 more than last year and there has been good attendance at fire calls, which reduces the amount of time on a call.


Air compressor which is 15 years old is not working.  The department currently has one on loan to them that they are working with.  A new compressor will cost over $800.  Ron Palmer volunteered to take the old compressor apart and see what it may cost to repair it or to rebuild it.


Safety Report – There have been no reported injuries. 


Maintenance Report – Repaired positive pressure fan on engine 3-12 at no charge.


First Responders Report – Jill Buse has resigned from the Fire Department and First Responders.  Another person is working on his license. Half of the staff has completed their continuing ed credits.  The other half will be done soon.  There have been no dropped calls by Morton Township.


Newaygo County Mutual Aid – The agreement request we received was for the entire Newaygo County.  We will hold off on signing an agreement until we see one for a Department aid.


Brief Public Comment – Marv Bell informed us that the Christmas Party will be December 8.  Cost is $15 and RSVPs need to be in by November 24.  This is the same night as the Fire Department’s meeting.


Announcements – None.


Correspondence – Mike said the fire display at the school went well.


The next meeting will be January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fire Hall.


Adjournment - At 8:48 p.m. John Boyd declared the meeting closed.


Submitted by,




Carolyn Towsley, Secretary