Imari Scarbrough email@example.com
March 4, 2014
The Wadesboro Town Council had a full agenda on Monday evening, swearing in a new fire chief, discussing trash pickup options and hearing State of the Department reports from department heads.
The council swore in new Fire Chief Marc Sessions. He is replacing former Chief Jimmy Burns, who is retiring.
State of Department reports
Hugh James, town public services director, said there are several items the town needs that have been put off for some time due to budget concerns. James said that the public services department has an outdated medium-duty truck. The department has needed new trucks for awhile, but has not requested any due to the budget crisis, James said.
Additionally, the department is short on employees, particularly in the street department, but has done without due to the lack of funds. If the town decides to keep doing the trash service in-house with a new method, James said he will need to purchase a new truck, equipment and trash cans.
The department will also need a new vehicle lift, as its current one is over 20 years old. James also said the town’s water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure is outdated and needs work.
Police Chief Thedis Spencer said that the police department needs a computer hardware and software update. This is the most critical part of its needs list, as failure to update could cause a cybersecurity risk as current software will no longer be supported by Microsoft, Spencer said. The department also needs tasers and taser training, new interview space and equipment, and other supplies. He estimated that the full list of requests will cost $30,958.62.
Spencer also said that the department has made several efforts to save money in 2013. He is planning other ways to save, such as having officers share vehicles and selling spare cars. He stressed that although the department has made several efforts, it can’t take many more hits.
Sessions said that the fire department has also made several efforts to reign in costs. He informed the council that the department was ranked one of the top five departments in North Carolina in 2013 for fire protection. He said that the fire department has made several efforts to save money and has had success gaining grant money.
The department is mandated by the NFPA to keep its gear updated. Sessions said that he hopes to begin replacing some of the gear now before they are all due to be replaced at once. He hopes to find grant money to help replace some of the equipment and to replace IT technology if funding is received.
In other matters:
The council’s next meeting will be held on April 7 at 5 p.m.