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Jamestown fire chief pushes for upgrade to city siren
In Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Reporter

JAMESTOWN - The City Council met for their first televised monthly meeting last week with the majority of their time being devoted to Fire Chief Tony Wright and volunteer fireman and local electrician Zack Burton as they discussed a prospective city siren upgrade as well as electrical problems at the fire department.

Wright said that the sirens in both Jamestown and Russell Springs were unlike the recently installed sirens around the county.

Chief Wright said a person must manually set the siren in Jamestown off, requiring a person to be there to do so unlike the new countywide siren system which can be set off at dispatch.

Because of this, Wright said that Emergency Management Director H.M. Bottom had been in contact with Federal Signal Corporation about updating the city's siren to where it, too, can be set off by dispatch during inclement weather or otherwise.

“As it has been explained to me, there are two or three different options on this that's available,” Wright said. Those options are one-way communication, two-way communication and battery back-up.

The one-way siren would receive from dispatch only while the two-way siren would transmit and receive to and from dispatch. The battery back-up would be placed on the siren to where it could run for five to six days on its own power.

Wright said that because the current siren runs off of AC power, that it will not run off of DC voltage. This means, if the city chooses that route, the siren would have to be replaced by one that would run of of ACDC voltage.

Wright presented the city leaders with pricing information on all three options, excluding site preparation, and asked the council take up the matter again in September. New sirens cost between $18,000 and $20,000, according to Wright. The battery back-up package would cost an additional $1,500 to $2,000.

Zack Burton, with Zack's Superior Service, talked about some repairs and modifications that he believed must be made to the fire department's electrical service, which has been problematic for the past few months.

Kentucky Utilities found that there was a loose connection in the meter base and made temporary repairs, but more work is needed to shore up the department's electrical service.

The loose connections was hindering the department from raising and closing the building's garage doors, according to Wright.

The council told Wright and Burton to go ahead get the fire department's power problem worked out in the coming month as it has highest priority. The council will then concentrate on what siren upgrade to go with, if any at all, at next month's meeting.

In other happenings at the meeting—

• Mayor Brooks Bates told the council about his meeting with the Lily Creek Homeowners Association several weeks ago about possible annexation.

He said he explained to them that city tax was 1.69 percent and he said their main concern was obtaining police protection. Bates also told them that, if annexed, they would receive street lights as well. The mayor said he had also received a call from Harbor Springs Homeowners Association about them wanting him, City Attorney Kevin Shearer and any members of the council to come meet with them at their next meeting about possible annexation and entering Jamestown's city limits.

“We know where we've got to start if we're going to annex, the question is how far do we want to go?” Bates said. Bates said talks with both homeowner associations would continue in the coming weeks.

Bates also mentioned the possibility of those outside the city limits having to pay a fire subscription rate to the fire department, like what Russell Springs has instituted, because of rising operational costs.

“If we are going to make some progress this is the route we need to be going,” Bates said.

• The council approved to amend the budget $3,500 to give to the county Dispatch center as “seed money” as the new fiscal year began. Bates said the county as well as the Russell Springs City Commission had given this amount as well as the Dispatch begins under new oversight of the ambulance service. Bates said the city is no longer in an Inter-Local 911 agreement with the county, Russell Springs and the ambulance service after the judges on the LINK-Board took themselves off the board due to a conflict of interest.

• The council gave Bates approval for a $100,000 South Kentucky RECC revolving loan to help with renovations of the Monin Building, where the new City Hall will be located. Bates has said the city hopes to be moved to their new home by the first of November.

“The percentage of the loan is 2.5 percent and it is over a 10-year period,” Bates said. “There is no hidden fees either.”

The council also gave Bates the permission to borrow whatever additional funds is needed to complete the renovation, but not to exceed what the city can back with CD's.

City leaders also heard an update on the Judicial Center with Mayor Bates unveiling two artist renderings of the $ 13 million building. Bates went over with the council what downtown will look like once the projects are completed.

• Chief Wright said that the volunteer fire department is looking to recruit new members and that citizens of Jamestown are welcome additions to the department, following certification.

• The council appointed Glenna Bertram to the vacant position on the city's cemetery board.

• City leaders heard the second reading of ordinance #2008-07, an ordinance declaring four streets located in Jamestown to be dedicated as public ways.

• The council formally congratulated the 14-year-old Russell County Babe Ruth All-Star team for winning the East Kentucky 14-year-old Babe Ruth tournament.

“We all proud of them,” Bates said. “And I think we need to remember all those that coached them and their dedication as well as all the parents.”
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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell Springs KY 42642
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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