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RBS Hires First Full-Time Fireman

L-R: RBS Fireman Michael Duffer and RBS Fire Chief Randall Bray

By Misty Green

The Red Boiling Springs City Council met on Thursday, August 10th and approved hiring the first full time fireman, Michael Duffer, who is scheduled to begin his position on August 21. Duffer has been employed with the Lafayette Fire Department for 29 years, twelve of those years as a part-time employee. 

“I plan to continue to work for Lafayette part-time on weekends or whenever I am available,” Duffer said. At the meeting, Duffer informed the council that he has a New Orleans wedding anniversary trip planned for his lovely wife of 25 years on October 15, and would need time off for that.

Hollis then explained that Michael Duffer does not have the qualifications at this time to be hired for the full-time fireman position. “Duffer will be hired part-time until we can get him squared away in pump school, then he will be on full-time,” Hollis explained.

Fire Department Chief Randall Bray told the council that with the hiring of Brandon Hagan and Todd Gentry, there will now be 16 members in the fire department, noting there are some more people that have expressed their interest in the job.

The first item of business was approving the meeting minutes from July 13, which passed unanimously.

Council members approved the $1 yearly raise for Tammy Bray.

Leann McCall was hired to fill the vacant deputy clerk position, with a pay rate of $17 per hour. McCall was a formerly a secretary for Dorman Products.

In the police department section of the agenda, the RBS City Council accepted the resignation of J.B. Killmon as police chief, as well as the resignation of Justin Bergdorff as part-time patrolman. 

“We have had to put a pay scale together for the police department,” Hollis stated, continuing, “and we have come up with a lieutenant position, which we have never had before. We have put in an assistant chief and chief, and then you have got your patrolman.” 

In order to be a competitive employer, Hollis explained, “we have raised the patrolman salary a little bit from where they are starting at now because everywhere around is paying more money. We have had to look at our budget to see if we could pay more money and it will still work with what we are paying. But getting patrolmen and everything is a problem, because every time you turn around, everybody leaves.”

The council voted to approve the $1 yearly raise for Chris Keen, as well as promoting interim Chris Keen to Assistant Chief, starting at $22.33 per hour. “This is just until we decide who we want,” Mayor Kenneth Hollis said. “He doesn’t want to be chief?,” one council woman asked. “He has another job in Nashville and lives on the other side of Smyrna… just a combination of stuff.” Keen is still getting chief pay until we find who we want, then he will step down into the assistant chief position. So it may be a little bit before they do. I have had a call come in this afternoon, and some applications have been turned in.”

Council members also approved to hire Jeffery Maynard as Lieutenant, starting at $20.25 per hour.

In the gas department, the council voted to promote Eric Sadler to gas supervisor, with a pay rate of $24.94 per hour.

In the water department section of the agenda, Mayor Kenneth Hollis stated he received a call from Jeff Halliburton who is employed with the City of Lafayette’s Water Department and they were discussing the dangers of going out to after hour service calls. “Halliburton was asking me if we went out to service calls after hours. And I said, yeah, we do. He said, you don’t need to. The way people are now days, if you have to come and shut off somebody’s water at night are they going to try to shoot at you. It’s very dangerous. They don’t do after hour calls and we need to do away with them too. Turn ons and offs will not be done after 2:30 in the evening, it will have to be a next day thing… for safety reasons. I know it is dangerous because I got a cussing last week.” Hollis said, erupting the crowd with laughter. The council agreed unanimously.

In the sanitation department, it was reported that the city has ordered several trash cans after being bombarded with trash service requests. The council accepted a motion to purchase a skid steer and street sweeper.

There was a recent visit from BlueCross to look at the new park and they were very complimentary. George McCrary mentioned the past winter has claimed several plants and ferns around the parks and it was mentioned there could be grant funding available to replace them.

The 3-Star Beautification state program has named the following people to the Red Boiling Springs Beautification Committee: George McCrary, Crystal Justice, and Laura Merlo.

The council accepted a motion to allow Adrian Powell to donate some land, extending the cemetery. Powell plans to log the property he owns beside the cemetery and would square off about an acre of land after logging, to be donated to the city. Hollis said, “we could have it surveyed and sell lots.” Hollis explained that the city was stuck with owning and upkeep of the cemetery property and it is filling up fast. Cremation takes up less land, so we might look at selling plots for that. Hollis told the council he received a few calls from Nashville and he doesn’t agree with what they are asking and Wayne doesn’t agree with it, but they are asking if he would consider double stacking caskets. “It is happening in other places,” George McCrary stated. “It is in Nashville, they double stack all the time,” Hollis replied, and I told them no we wouldn’t do that.”

The fire department reported servicing three fire calls last month, two were false alarms, and one had a truck on fire.

Present for the meeting was council members: Linda Carver, Helen Gregory, Donna Grisham, George McCrary, Michael Rich and Laurie Flatt.