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Verona fire chief addresses aldermen

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's not quite business as usual for the Verona Fire Department as new Chief Tony Hinkle takes the helm and tries to determine what is working and what needs repairs.

Hinkle addressed Verona aldermen at their November meeting concerning his efforts to get a complete inventory of equipment that belongs to the city and what repairs are needed to get fire trucks operational.

"We have 11 firefighters, and three unaccounted for," Hinkle said. "We have a former firefighter who is supposed to return her gear.

"I'm still getting pricing on getting our primary trucks, two pumpers, a rescue van and a brush truck operational," Hinkle said. "We have two tankers that need quite a bit of work to get them up and going."

Hinkle also reported to aldermen the need to get fire truck pumps tested as a requirement for the city's ISO rating.

Based on that information, aldermen will consider continuing talks with Aurora Rural Fire Department to provide fire coverage for the City of Verona as opposed to maintaining a city-managed fire department.

Two new applicants, Cole Henbest and Cameron Hall, were approved by aldermen to join the ranks of volunteers on the fire department.

In other business, aldermen appointed Peggy Paynter and Barbara Smith to be co-representatives on the Southwest Solid Waste District. They will attend quarterly meetings and spearhead the city's recycling efforts.

Paynter said that she and Allen would be opening the recycling trailer from 9 a.m. until noon on the third Saturday of each month for local residents use. Acceptable materials include #1 and #2 plastics, tin cans with labels removed and aluminum cans. All materials must be rinsed. No glass or paper will be accepted at the recycling bin.

Aldermen also approved a police training contract with Missouri Southern State University, which will allow members of the entire department to receive additional training required by the state.

"With their offerings and available resources, others can't match what Southern has to offer," said Police Chief Dan Head. "This is not only something the state requires, it's a measure of liability control."

Head also noted there was no standard operating procedure manual for the department.

"That is your biggest source of internal lawsuit," Head said. "It's a high priority item. Once I get the initial draft to the new city attorney, I hope to have something to present to council by Jan. 1, 2011.

"I've also spent some time on the Crime Star software and currently, there are eight months of records piled into the system," Head continued. "I am still in negotiations with the company on adjusting the price of the software and hope to have more information in December."

Head said his overall goal was to get as many bugs in the department figured out and fixed, as well as determine what the city owns.

"I have to have a complete inventory of items that belongs to the city," Head told aldermen. "I also have some concerns about evidence management and want a complete inventory of items logged in as evidence."

Head also recommended the council adopt ordinances covering disturbance of religious services and disorderly conduct.

"That will at least assure those people from Kansas that we are hearing about don't have the opportunity to disrupt someone's funeral," Head explained. "The disorderly conduct ordinance covers everything that doesn't fall under assault or other statutes."

Aldermen unanimously approved adding the recommended ordinances to the city's code book.

In his report to the board, Ron Greenwood presented a new service agreement to the city granting Clean Stream Environmental a raise of $100 per month.

The service agreement replaces Clean Stream Environmental's expired contract with the city and allows the agreement to continue in perpetuity. Either party may terminate the service agreement with 90 days notice.

A smoke test of approximately 11,000 feet of wastewater lines revealed five major sources of inflow and infiltration, as well as over a dozen smaller sources.

Greenwood said there were five major holes found near the park that need to be repaired, and that corrective action needed to be taken in one area where a drainage ditch was flowing straight into the sewer.

Finally, aldermen approved an ordinance calling for a general election in April 2011. Seats up for election will include the mayor, two aldermen at large for a period of two years and one alderman at large for a period of one year.

Filing starts Dec. 14 and continues until Jan. 18, 2011 during normal business hours at City Hall.

The next meeting of the Verona City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21 at City Hall.

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