November 18, 2009


The Mecosta-Austin Fire Board meeting was called to order at 7:02 pm by John Boyd Jr.


Pledge to the flag was given.


Roll Call-John Boyd, Jr., Greg Babbit, Arturo Pierera, John Johnson, Elizabeth Carr, and Carolyn Towsley were present.


Additions to the Agenda- No additions were presented.


Approval of the Agenda- Greg Babbitt moved that the Agenda be approved supported by Carolyn Towsley. Motion carried.


Approval of the Minutes- Greg Babbitt moved the minutes as submitted be approved supported by Arturo Pierera. Motion carried


Treasurers report and bills-Firemen Checking $47,695.88– Firemen Fund $949.97   Independent Bank $14,846.08   Jaws $600.00   Total Assets $64,091.93.

First Responders Checking $7,361.93   Independent Bank $5,094.34   Total Assets  $12,456.27.  

The above information was supported by the following reports:  financial snapshot; balance sheets, profit and loss – budget vs. actual; cash transactions and transactions detailed by account.  It was discussed that some line items are over their budget; however, all that is important is that the bottom line balances in the end.  This report will provide information to form next year’s budget.  Promotion funds have been received from Ice Mountain and Trans Canada Pipeline.  Ice Mountain will give another $750 in January and a request for next year’s promotion expenses needs to be submitted to Ice Mountain earlier in the year.   Report was accepted as given.  Elizabeth Carr reminded everyone that their I-9 forms need to be submitted as soon as possible.


Old Business

ISO Update –A problem occurred that a fill and dump time report was not filed.  It is a 52 page report that the fire department is completing.  This report was not included in the original package.  It has taken 3 weeks to find the information that is needed in this report.  Ron Palmer is working on it and should have it completed and ready for John Boyd’s signature the first of next week. 


New Business

Discussion was brought up that the Fire Chief should have a credit card available for miscellaneous expenses.  Some companies that the fire department works with do not have a billing system for the fire department and employees are putting out personal money to cover those expenses.  John Johnson made the motion that we get a credit card for the fire chief to use.  Expenses over $200 must have John Boyd’s approval.  Fire Chief must reconcile statements and attached original bills to the statements.  Motion supported by Arturo Pierera.  Vote was taken:  John Boyd, Jr, Yes, Greg Babbit Yes, Arturo Pierera Yes, John Johnson Yes, Elizabeth Carr Yes, and Carolyn Towsley Yes.  It was suggested that we check with Chemical Bank first and Carolyn Towsley, Treasurer of Austin Township will probably have to co-sign.


Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG) – John Boyd, Jr. reported that the proposed change to the SOG is not an unfair labor practice.  However, the attorney would like to see the exact wording before we approve the change.  Under NEW MEMBERS the new b) section will read as follows.  b) Probationary pay for a non-certified firefighter shall be $4.00 per hour less than pay given to Certified Firefighters until they have obtained Firefighters I Certification and have completed the 90 days after certification as stated in a).  After this amendment is made to the SOG, it was suggested that CDs be generated to give to firefighters and a paper copy given to each Township and each Fire Board member.  The acceptance of this amendment will be carried over to the January meeting.


Fire Chief’s Report-See attached report. 

Countywide Battery Exchange – Marv Bell reported that there was no interest among the other fire departments to have a countywide battery exchange program.  Mecosta-Austin Fire Department handed out more batteries this year than before.  40 people took advantage of the program (25 Morton Township, 11 Austin/Mecosta Townships and 1 outside the area).  They had purchased 229 batteries for the program which costs about 79 cents apiece.  Wal-Mart had a grant in the past where they provided the department smoke detectors to hand out.  Many fliers were sent to all the schools in our area.  Since we are the only fire department doing this program, it was suggested that we look into how to advertise it wider to bring in more people to take advantage of the worthwhile program and to expand it on our own.


Missing Pager.  It has been determined that insurance will cover the cost.  Marv Bell is working on getting a quote of the replacement cost.


New Personnel:  A 17 year old young lady is interested in joining the department but must be 18 to join.  She will then have 2 years to get her Firefighter I certification.


Safety and Training Report-See attached report.

CPR instruction has been completed.  This was funded through the Rescue Department.  There was an injury at the 10/12/09 house fire.  Mike Owen was taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.  This is being reviewed by Liberty Insurance for coverage of hospital expenses that were incurred.


Maintenance Report- There will be a need to purchase some hose replacements.  There is currently enough hose on the trucks, but no backups.  Will see what is available in budget to replace these hoses in January.  One engine needs a new taillight and that will be completed this weekend.  All other vehicles are running smoothly.  Pump tests went well and the cost for the tests were shared with Morton Township.  The first truck costs $250 and each additional truck is $150.  Mecosta-Austin Township Fire Department cost should be about $350.  All the yearly tests have been completed.


MF Fire Report – New countywide incident report will be put into effect after it is reviewed at the next fire employees’ meeting.  The county is Region 6 for this report.  The report must be on the truck and filled out after the incident.  A new battery was purchased for the Automated Emergency Defibrillator (AED) and infant and adult pads were replaced also.  Two sets of adult pads were purchased because they needed to return one to Morton Township that they had to borrow.


Other – Fire Supper will be Wednesday, December 9.  Cost is $15.00 per person.  Time is 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m.  Utterly Delicious from Morley will be catering and checks need to be made payable to them.  Payments need to be made in advance.  It was mentioned that Sam’s will be coming to make a pitch for memberships at $40.  But the Fire Department currently has a membership.


Brief Public Comment – John Boyd, Jr. mentioned that Mecosta Township retrieved the emergency siren from Roger Heights and it is now at the Township Hall.  He questioned whether the one in Stanwood was still working.  Marv Bell said that about 1 ½ years ago a new one was put up and was wired with central dispatch.  The old one may still work.  It was discussed whether it would be worth looking into having it rewired or purchasing a new one and put it on the back of the fire hall or on Ice Mountain.  We will look into this further and get literature. 


John Boyd, Jr. mentioned that there is a need for better communication amongst the Fire Department and the Fire Board. 


The next meeting will be January 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Firehall


Adjournment -8:16 pm   Motion to adjourn by Greg Babbit and seconded by John Johnson.


Submitted by




Carolyn Towsley, Secretary