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New Bildad Primitive Baptist to Celebrate 200 Years

June 15, 2009
Dwayne Page
New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church

It's one of the oldest churches in DeKalb County and this week, the congregation of the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church is celebrating 200 years of service to the Lord.

Elder Ricky Arnold, pastor of the church, invites everyone to join them. "Starting this Thursday night, June 18th, the New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church celebrates it's 200th anniversary. The church was constituted in June 1809. It lettered from the Brush Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which is still in existence."

"The New Bildad Primitive Baptist Church has been in the Seven Springs-Keltonburg community for 200 years now. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate and to thank God for His amazing Grace. In 200 years, the church has probably touched the lives of a lot of people and families that are here in DeKalb County. We'd love for those folks to come back and visit us."

"The church divided in 1854 and the church that became known as Old Bildad changed their original church covenant but the church that became known as New Bildad still holds the church covenant and the Articles of Faith from 1809 and we still practice and worship as they did 200 years ago. We have a rich history and we want to thank God for that."

Arnold says services will be Thursday and Friday nights starting with supper at 5:30 p.m. followed by services at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday morning service at 10:00 a.m. with lunch to follow; Saturday night supper at 5:30 p.m. followed by the service at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday morning service at 10:30 a.m. followed by lunch. The invited speakers are Elders Michael Gowens, Ronald Lawrence, and Jeff Winfrey.

Amy Hollars Appointed Circuit Judge in 13th Judicial District

June 14, 2009
Dwayne Page
Judge David Patterson Administers Oath to Newly Appointed Judge Amy Hollars

Governor Phil Bredesen on Friday appointed Amy V. Hollars of Livingston to the Tennessee Circuit Court for the 13th Judicial District. Hollars will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of her father Judge John A. Turnbull. The 13th Judicial District is composed of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties.

"Amy Hollars has developed extensive civil trial experience in her career, and I'm confident her skills, education, and practice experience will serve her well in this capacity," said Bredesen. "I am pleased to appoint Amy to this seat, and I appreciate her willingness to serve the citizens of the 13th Judicial District."

Hollars previously served as a solo practitioner in Overton County as well as attorney for the City of Livingston from October 2007 through October 2008. She is a former partner in the Knoxville firm Hodges, Doughty, and Carson.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and appreciate the confidence Governor Bredesen has shown in me," Hollars said. "I look forward to working with the litigants, attorneys, and the public at large, and I will endeavor to do the work of a trial judge with integrity, fairness, and diligence."

Hollars was appointed as special circuit court judge for the 13th Judicial District by Governor Bredesen in October, 2008 after Judge Turnbull, submitted a notice of physical disability. Tennessee law provides a process for the appointment of a special temporary judge in the event sickness or disability prevents a state judge from carrying out his or her duties.

Turnbull, who has held the position since 1989, is stepping down from the bench, effective June 15th. He was last elected in 2006 and his term expires in 2014.

Hollars was one of three persons who applied for the position. The other two were Algood attorney Wesley Thomas Bray and Cookeville attorney and former Criminal Court Judge Lillie Ann Sells.

Hollars will serve until the next regular election, which is in 2010. The person elected then will serve out the remainder of Turnbull's term through 2014.

Hollars, 42, holds degrees from the university of the South and Vanderbilt University and received her Doctor of Juridpridence from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She previously served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. She and her husband James Hollars have three children.

A look at the Tennessee Legislature

June 14, 2009
Terri Lynn Weaver
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

Greetings Folks of the Fortieth…
Well, summer is finally here and I for one am very excited! I am really looking forward to returning home and getting the opportunity to spend some quality time with the fabulous folks of the fortieth!

House passes legislation to encourage energy efficiency
This week the House considered legislation that would require international building codes be met for new home construction. The legislation would not affect every county in the state, as some counties already have more stringent requirements than what is stipulated in the bill. In addition to traditional building codes, the legislation also includes required energy conservation standards that would apply to new home construction.

We debated the bill at length on the House floor, where we shared concerns ranging from increasing the cost of new homes to taking away from the autonomy of local governments. Proponents of the measure said the legislation would make homes safer and more energy efficient, which would ultimately result in cost savings.

After several hours of debate, the legislation was amended to allow for local governments to opt out of the requirements. Each time a new county commission is installed the body will have to pass a resolution by two-thirds in order to opt out. The final version of Senate Bill 2300 passed with an 82 to 12 vote.

House to consider constitutional amendment giving Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish
House Joint Resolution 149 was read for the second time this week in the House, meaning it will be up for final consideration by the House next week. If passed by a 2/3 majority of the General Assembly, the constitutional amendment will appear on the ballot in a 2010 voter referendum. The constitutional amendment gives Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish.

The resolution states that, “hunting and fishing are a vital part of this state's heritage and economy and should be preserved and protected.” The sponsor has said that Tennessee has always enjoyed hunting and fishing as a leisure activity, and the amendment was necessary to clarify that Tennesseans have a constitutional right to pursue wild game that cannot be infringed upon the legislature, courts, or local authorities.

House, Senate pass menu labeling pre-emption
A bill that would bar some local entities from requiring nutritional labeling on menus has passed both the House and Senate. The legislation comes as other states, municipalities and cities are passing or considering laws that mandate chain restaurants put calories and other nutritional information on menus.

Lawmakers arguing in favor of the bill said that mandating chain restaurants to put certain nutritional information on menus places an unnecessary burden on restaurant owners in an already struggling economy and creates an atmosphere that is unfriendly to business owners. They also said that often, the laws are selective, targeting only large restaurant chains.

The legislation was amended to prohibit non-elected bodies from making the decision to require nutritional information on menus. It also specifies that if the federal government passes legislation requiring menu labeling and the federal action specifically authorizes state departments to enforce such action, then the Tennessee Department of Health will be the department that is primarily responsible for the implementation and supervision of the new requirements.

Also this week…
Two new nominees to the State Election Commission were confirmed on Wednesday in a joint legislative session of the General Assembly. The move to place the two members, Kent Younce of LaFollette and Judy Blackburn of Morristown, on the Commission honors a long-standing state law to give the majority party in the Tennessee General Assembly a one vote edge on the State Election Commission.

House Bill 250 passed the House this week, and creates an offense for any owner, occupant, or other person having a lawful right to the exclusive use of property to knowingly allow an underage adult to consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer on such property.

House Bill 804 seeks to allow a parent that has been granted court-ordered visitation with their minor child or children who has been called to active duty military service, to petition the court for the temporary assignment of that parent’s visitation rights to a legal or biological relative or relatives. The petition must state the relative that the parent is requesting to maintain contact with the child during the parent’s absence and shall include a proposed visitation schedule with such relative. The bill, having now passed both the Senate and the House, is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.

In closing…
As the Senate remained in session on Friday, June 12 to take up budgetary matters, the House Budget Subcommittee is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to begin their discussions. Although we are hopeful session will adjourn for the year next week, both parties acknowledge that with an unprecedented budget shortfall wrapping up session next week may not be possible.

As always, I am so honored to represent each and every one of you! Please continue to keep me and the rest of the Legislature in your thoughts and prayers. Hope to see you all very soon! Blessings!

DeKalb Little League All Stars Announced

June 14, 2009
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's 2009 Little League All-Star teams and season award winners were announced during a special ceremony Saturday at the Little League Field.

Lance Ball received the Carter Braswell Most Valuable Player award for the Little League division, while Quenton Cook and Lee Randolph each won the award in Junior League and Minor League, respectively. Lane Ball won the Josh Reece Memorial Gold Glove award in Little League, while Brady Hughes won it in the Minor League division. Evan Curtis won the Josh Reece award in Junior League.

Braxton Howell received the Mike Williams Memorial Batting Champion award in Little League, as he hit .805 for the season. Casey Taylor won the Mike Williams award for the best average in Minor League, with a .587 average, while Dillon Roller, who hit .714 for the season, was the Junior League recipient.

The Eric Midgett Memorial Sportsmanship Awards went to Liberty State Bank in Junior League, Baker's Body Shop in Little League, and Love-Cantrell got the award in Minor League..

Southern Landscape & Supply won the Minor League championship for 2009 with a record of 15-0, while Rice's Tigers at 14-2 and DeKalb Community Bank at 10-6 won the league championships in Little League and Junior League, respectively. Taking second place were DTC Communications in Minor League, Center Hill Nursery in Little League, and DeKalb County Kiwanis Club in Junior League.

Named to the 9-10 year-old Minor League All-Star team were: Dylan Stover, Matthew Poss, Gentry Harpole, Lane Poss, Seth Whaley, Jordon Whitehead, Christian Pruitt, Adam Ferrell, Chandler Vinson, Brady Hughes, Casey Taylor, and Lee Randolph. The manager is Tim Jared and the coach is Ryan Hughes.

Members of the 10-11 year-old All-Star team include: Lane Davenport, A.J. Mooneyham, Jacob Washer, Sam McMillen, Cason Oakley, Noah Parsley, Matthew Judkins, Charlie Young, Austin Brown, and Caleb Stanley. The manager is Paul Rowland and Anthony Mooneyham is the coach.

DeKalb County will have two 10-under machine-pitch tournament teams. One team will consist of Jacob Lee Parker, Marshal Evins, Isaiah Jones, Derek Fish, Tyree Cripps, Tanner Poss, Brayden Hart, Noah Gill, Derek Young, Colter Norris, Logan Cornelius, Austin Johnson, and Luke Bryant. The manager is Jonathan Norris.

The other local machine-pitch tournament team is made up of David Herriott, Zach Stover, Luke Oliver, James Stephens, Grayson Redmon, Ethan Martin, Hunter Jennings, Cameron Usrey, Matthew Agee, Joshua Carton, Justin Washer, and Devin Zaderiko. The manager is Russell Oliver.

The 11-12 year-old All-Stars include: Lance Ball, Lane Ball, Corey Ferrell, Hunter Parkhurst, Trey Guinn, Ty Curtis, Justin Bone, Braxton Howell, Joe Driver, Aaron Patterson, John Roller, Nicholas Parsley, and Joey Moon. The manager is Joey Howell and the coaches are Ricky Guinn and Sherman Murphy.

The 13-14 year-old Junior League All-Star team consists of Steven Page, Stephen Howell, Evan Curtis, Evan Cripps, Deshon Reeder, Devin Summers, Jordan Huling, Dustin Cook, Seth Stanley, Nick Linder, Cody Harrell, Chase Hoke, and Brittany Murphy. The manager is David Summers and the coaches are Steve Page and Freddie Curtis.

The 15 & 16 year old All-Star team is made up of Jesse Sutton, Dalton Fish, Matthew Giles, Tyler Kent, McCullough Wallace, Tyler Caldwell, Lance Bennett, Casey Rowland, Destry Wiggins, Quenton Cook, Christopher Powell, Jacob Cripps, and Daniel Stanley. The manager is Donnie Rowland.

Omega Apparel Recognized for 15 Years in DeKalb County

June 13, 2009
Dwayne Page
Omega Apparel Recognized for 15 Years in DeKalb County
Omega Apparel Receives Chamber Milestone Award

Omega Apparel commemorated their 15th anniversary in DeKalb County Thursday during a luncheon at the 303 building downtown, Smithville.

County Mayor Mike Foster and Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson presented an appreciation plaque to company officials of Omega Apparel on behalf of the county and city governments.

Foster said "We really appreciate the industries that are here in DeKalb County, the jobs that they provide, and the strength they add to our local economy."

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce presented a Milestone Award to Omega Apparel.

Suzanne Williams, Executive Director, says "The Chamber would like to offer our appreciation
for the many jobs you provide. Congratulations, Omega!"

Omega Apparel produces military uniforms.

Top Picture: Smithville Mayor Taft Hendrixson, City of Smithville ; Richard Chase, Omega
President; Brian Roberge, Omega Chief Financial Officer; County Mayor
Mike Foster

Bottom Picture from Left:Suzanne Williams, Chamber Director; Richard Chase, Omega President; 15 Year Employees -- Jed Goodman, Mary Harris, Connie Jolley, Jean Shehane,
Margaret Parker (Patsy Goodman - not pictured); Brian Roberge, Omega Chief
Financial Officer

Webb Competes in Triathlon

June 12, 2009
Bryan Webb

Bryan Webb, grandson of Carl Lee and Ann Webb and Joe and Oleda Stone of Smithville, recently competed in his first Triathlon.

The Mach Tenn Triathlon was held on Saturday, June 6th at the Woods Reservoir Recreation Area at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma. The athletic competition consisted of a 0.6 mile swim, a 16 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. He completed the three challenging events in 2 hours and 54 seconds.

Bryan is the 24 year old son of Rick and Joanna Webb and is a Test Engineer with Aerospace Testing Alliance at the Arnold Engineering Development Center. He is currently a student at Tennessee Tech University pursuing his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Thermal Sciences.

School Board Approves Construction of New DCHS Football Field House

June 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education Thursday night granted approval for the construction of a new field house for the high school football program.

Plans are to break ground in late fall or early winter on the new field house, which will be built with high school football and Jr. Pro funds.

Concerns arose late last month when Director of Schools Mark Willoughby received a legal opinion from an attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association warning against possible violations of the federal Title IX law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

The major issue was whether building a new field house for the high school football program, even without school system funds, would constitute a violation of Title IX when there is no similar facility for girls soccer, for example.

Willoughby later contacted Cagle again for his legal opinion as to whether the school system would be in compliance with Title IX by allowing the girls soccer, middle school football, and Jr. Pro football programs to share use of the existing football field house during the fall sports seasons. Since neither of the teams play at the same time, each one could use the facility on their particular game day. Willoughby gave Cagle's response during Thursday night's meeting. "I was asked to get back in touch with our attorney and find out about the use of the old facility (field house) and if that could be used as a ladies soccer locker room, should that be necessary. The answer was yes. There would be a problem with it also being used with the middle school football and the girls soccer team, but that's the information you asked me to find out about and I found out about it. One thing I would just advise us to do is to make sure that all local, state, and federal guidelines are followed and to cross all T's and dot all I's with insurance, engineering, stamps of approval from the fire marshal and all that. I felt obligated to bring it to your attention on the Title IX issue and should that come up in a year or two years we'll end up dealing with it."

The board gave approval for the construction with some conditions. Darrell Gill of the Junior Pro Program said all those conditions will be met."One of the issues was moving the scoreboard. We will definitely move the scoreboard to the other end of the field where we feel like is best suited."

A couple of the others are making sure that we're up to codes with the fire alarms and that kind of stuff. Mr. Hart has already been in contact with the State Fire Marshal's Office and we're going to get our permits pulled through them and we'll be working with them on that and again Hall and Hart Construction will take care of that for us."

"The agreed upon start date? There's a lot of red tape. After you talk to the fire marshal, you talk to our local inspector, and he's been great to work with but there's things we've got to do locally. Mr. Hart has been speaking with the State Fire Marshal's Office, the architects, and stuff like that, so the time frame is going to be probably six to eight weeks out before all the red tape is taken care of, all the permits, and everything we need to even start breaking ground."

If it is approved tonight, our agreed upon start date would be a date in December, I hope, which would be our last football game because I plan on winning the state championship this year. No pressure! We need to focus on the football team instead of building this project right in the middle of the season. By the time we got our permits pulled, they'd be starting fall practice by the time we'd be breaking ground. Then we would have a construction site with thousands of people out there on Friday nights. That's not a good situation. So it would seem to be the best of everybody's interest if we postpone the breaking ground date until the end of the season. By October 1st, we should have all the permits pulled, we'll have the architect to sign off (on the project). We hope we could be in the building by spring practice, but we're planning for June 1st, to give us some cushion."

The new fieldhouse, a 50 x 70 foot block exterior structure with a metal roof, would be located near the existing facility between the practice field and playing field. It would be for the Tiger football program complete with a dressing room area, locker room, training room, utility room, showers and bathrooms, an office for the coach, and two dry storage areas, one of which would be for the youth football league.

In other business, Director of Schools Willoughby updated the board on personnel moves since last month.

Ashley Barnes, Guidance at DeKalb Middle School
Benita Byars, School Nurse
Heather Cornelius, Educational Assistant at Northside Elementary School
Pat Barnes, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School (retired)
Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12 (retired)

Leave of Absence:
Candice Scarbro, Teacher at DeKalb Middle School, as requested

Employed for 2009-2010:
Suzanne Williams, substitute bus driver

In other business, the board, at the request of Director Willoughby, voted to create a half time teaching position in health occupations at the high school in the proposed tentative budget for 2009-2010. Willoughby says the school system currently has a health occupations teacher but there is a need to expand the program. "In our health occupations (program), there has been an over abundance of requests for classes in the next school year." Willoughby says funds are available in the tentative budget for this positon.

The board, also at Willoughby's request, voted to change the special education secretary from an 11 month to a 12 month position. Willoughby says there are funds available in the federal programs portion of the budget to make this change.

Meanwhile, sealed bids are still being accepted for the sale of a new house, recently constructed by students in the DCHS Carpentry Class.

The original deadline for submitting sealed bids was Thursday, June 11th but no bids were received. The board, Thursday night, voted to extend the deadline to the next meeting date of Thursday, July 9th. A date for an open house will also be scheduled.

The house, located at 140 Evergreen Lane, Smithville, has approximately 1,652 square feet of living area with an attached 528 square foot 2-car garage, master bedroom with master bath and walk-in closet, utility room with half bath, kitchen with eating area, and downstairs den area. The upstairs includes two bedrooms, sitting room, and full bath, 12 x 20 deck, 2 central heat and air gas units, gas hot water heater, 5' x 22' front porch, concrete driveway, hardwood flooring in the living room and den area, tile in the bathrooms and kitchen, and carpet in the bedrooms.

The minimum bid is $140,000. Bids are to be mailed or delivered to the DeKalb County Board of Education,110 South Public Square, Smithville in a sealed envelope clearly marked as a "Bid" and will be received until 4:00 p.m. July 9th. The house can be viewed by appointment. Call the Board of Education to request a viewing at 615-597-4084.

The sealed bids will be opened at the next school board meeting at 7:00 p.m. on July 9th.

Early Voting for City Election Draws Large Turnout

June 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

A total of 593 people voted in the Smithville Municipal Election between May 27th and June 11th, the second highest early voting turnout on record for a Smithville election.

The new record was set last year when 684 people voted early, up from the previous record of 555 in 2007.

One hundred and two people showed up Thursday on the last day of early voting, more by far than any other day during the two week voting period.

The daily voting totals are as follows:
Wednesday, May 27th- 51
Thursday, May 28th-48
Friday, May 29th-50
Saturday, May 30th-38
Monday, June 1st-25
Tuesday, June 2nd-38
Wednesday, June 3rd- 18
Thursday, June 4th-54
Friday, June 5th-29
Saturday, June 6th-21
Monday, June 8th-35
Tuesday, June 9th-37
Wednesday, June 10th-35
Thursday, June 11th-102

Election day is Tuesday, June 16th. Voting will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the basement courtroom of the courthouse. WJLE will have LIVE election return coverage and LIVE audio streaming at www.wjle.com.

Three aldermen will be elected, each to serve a two year term beginning July 1st.

The candidates are incumbents Jerry Hutchins, Sr., Tonya Sullivan and Willie Thomas. Challengers are Gary Durham, Shawn Jacobs, Aaron Meeks, W.J. (Dub) White,and Todd Van Dyne.

Smithville Aldermen Working to Hold Down Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Hike

June 11, 2009
Dwayne Page

The proposed 2009-2010 budget for the City of Smithville includes an overall increase in water and sewer rates of 37%.

Some aldermen believe that is too much.

The mayor and aldermen held a workshop Wednesday night to discuss the budget with the city's financial consultant Janice Plemmons Jackson.

Ms. Jackson says the city has not raised it's water and sewer rates in several years and revenues haven't kept up with increasing costs.

And while the city ended the 2007-08 fiscal year in the black by $330,384 in the water and sewer department, this year the city could be at a break even point or in the red. The actual net income or loss for the year apparently won't be known until after June 30th.

Jackson says the proposed 37% rate increase would help the city catch up "In looking at 2008-09 revenues, the revenues are actually going to be a little bit lower this year than they were last year. It looks like usage is down. You have not increased your water rates since 1999. You've not had an increase in any water rates in eleven years. Sewer rates have not changed during that same period except in 2005, they did go up like 30 cents per thousand for the usage above a thousand gallons. In a comparison between 1999 and 2009 in a span of that ten year differential, you see that your income or your revenues in water and sewer have gone up in round numbers by 28%. It went from $1,382,922 to $1,766,315. But then you look at the comparison of costs in that ten year span and you can see that all of the different categories have averaged an almost 77% increase from where they were ten years ago, yet your revenues have gone up 28%. So you see how the shortfall has come to play. Basically to keep you at break even or just pretty close to that, I feel like these increases need to be put in what we have worked into the budget."

Jackson says if the water and sewer fund operates in the red for two years in a row, the state could force the city to raise rates to make the utility self supporting.

Aldermen Tonya Sullivan and Cecil Burger indicated they might support a smaller or gradual increase but Sullivan said she felt a 37% increase was too much, especially since the city doesn't know for certain if the water and sewer fund will actually be in the red this year. "I think we almost feel like it's price gouging at this point even though maybe we should have been going up over a period of time. We know there has to be some increase. I think half of that increase would be easier to stand in increments than it would be to hit all at once. With economic times, jobs could change, people might could withstand a little bit more the following year. I'm a little disappointed that over a period of time we haven't gone up gradually so that we're not hit as hard. So I would be more in favor of a gradual, a slight increase versus a drastic increase. That's just my opinion. "

Alderman Steve White said he is concerned that if the city doesn't address the issue now, it will have to be revisited again next year. "Although it's a hard decision and nobody ever wants a higher bill, when we know we're barely breaking even, I think we need to catch up. There's no need in trying to catch up over the next few years, especially if we know and are being told that all of our expenses are going to keep rising. It's just putting it off for another time."

Since it was only a workshop, the aldermen could not vote Wednesday night, but indicated they wanted Jackson to figure the proposed overall rate increase at about 18% so they could make a cost comparison.

The cost comparison from 1999 to 2009 in the water and sewer department is as follows:

Personnel Service: $349,488 (1999), $548,922 (projected 2009) 57% increase

Chemicals and Supplies: $66,331 (1999), $143,500 (projected 2009) 116 % increase

Utilities: $171,788 (1999), $415,000 (projected 2009) 141% increase

Repairs & Maintenance: $69,815 (1999) $166,000 (projected 2009) 137% increase

Insurance: $43,214 (1999) $117,000 (projected 2009) 170% increase

Other Overhead Expenses: $62,166 (1999) $201,779 (projected 2009) 224% increase

Employees Benefits: $57,379 (1999) $134,058 (projected 2009) 133% increase

Total Operating Expenses: $1,191,102 (1999) $2,106,259 (projected 2009) 76.8% increase.

Meanwhile, Fire Chief Charlie Parker made another appeal for more funding for his department, but was told that the big ticket items he was making a request for would not be funded this year, including a full time or combination department, or a ladder truck.

Parker asked that funds be budgeted to pay the firefighters a minimum wage for their time spent training and the extra work they must do to maintain the current ISO rating; that the firefighters rate of pay per call be increased from fifteen dollars to twenty dollars if it does not affect the department's equipment budgets; that more money be included for repairs and maintenance because both fire engines are in need of some repairs and diagnostic work; that each firefighter have a uniform allowance; that more money be allocated for supplies and vehicle operations; that half the cost of a new ladder truck be set aside in the budget; and that funds be budgeted to purchase a vehicle for the department possibly from state surplus to transport equipment, so that the firefighters don't have to use their personal vehicles.

Mayor Taft Hendrixson said if the aldermen were to approve Parker's request, then a large property tax increase would be needed to fund it. Alderman Sullivan explained to Parker that the full time department and ladder truck were not included in the proposed budget, but that the spending plan for the fire department is being increased from $91,000 last year to $112,500 in the new budget, including an additional $5,000 in payments to firefighters for the year based on their calls.

The proposed 2009-2010 budget for the fire department compared to 2008-09 budget is as follows:

Junior Firefighter Program: $2,500 (2009), $2,000 (2010)
Payments to Volunteers: $35,000 (2009), $40,000 (2010)
Payroll Taxes: $3,500 (2009) $4,000 (2010)
Telephone: $3,000 (2009), $3,500 (2010)
Repairs & Maintenance $2,000 (2009), $3,500 (2010)
Miscellaneous: $1,500 (2009), $2,000 (2010)
Supplies: $12,000 (2009), $15,000 (2010)
Vehicle Operations: $4,000 (2009), $6,000 (2010)
Insurance: $15,000 (2009), $18,500 (2010)
Utilities: $2,500 (2009), $3,000 (2010)
Capital Outlay: $10,000 (2009), $15,000 (2010)

Meanwhile, the aldermen are considering giving city employees a one or two percent increase in the form of a one time bonus this year, since the proposed budget includes no cost of living raise.

All aldermen were present for the meeting except Jerry Hutchins, Sr. who had to be absent due to his wife's illness.

The mayor and aldermen will meet Monday night, June 15th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall possibly to consider passage of the new budget on first reading. WJLE plans LIVE coverage.

Local Business Receives Roof Damage from High Winds

June 11, 2009
Dwayne Page
High Winds Tear Roof from Doc's Detail

High winds from a severe thunderstorm today (Thursday) tore part of the roof off at Doc's Detail or Custom on East Bryant Street.

Danny Washer, owner and operator of the business, said he was inside working on a car when the storm hit. "I'd been listening to the radio and I knew there was bad weather coming. It started blowing in a little bit of rain and I was fixing to wax a car so to keep it dry I started to pull the (garage) doors down and just as I pulled them down I heard a strange sound, that's when the roof went off. Tiles then started falling. That's about it. In less than thirty seconds it was gone. It was weird because it didn't touch nothing else around here. It just got this building right here."

Although the building received significant roof damage, Washer, who was there alone at the time, was not injured.


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