Council sees plan to build fire station
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@cherokeetribune.com
September 08, 2012 12:31 AM | 1430 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — In the face of questions about the legality of a proposed fire district for the city, a more refined five-year fire protection plan was formally unveiled to the Canton City Council on Thursday.

The plan, mostly put together by Councilman John Beresford, calls for the city to build Station 28, located in west Canton within the Laurel Canyon subdivision.

The plan was unveiled at the council’s work session. Council member Bill Bryan was not present.

The station is expected to be about 5,000 square feet and includes living quarters and a fire bay.

The city is expected to break ground on the station in 2013.

Beresford said the construction cost for the second fire station, to be located along Commerce Boulevard near the new Northside Hospital-Cherokee facility, was not listed because the city has yet to get the land set aside by the hospital for the new facility.

He also said there hasn’t been a concrete measure to collect the fees needed to build and maintain the fire stations.

“There will be a fee and it will be very reasonable and it will be for all citizens of Canton,” he added.

Councilman Bob Rush, who helped Beresford develop the plan, noted they have not fine tuned how the fee would be assessed.

Mayor Gene Hobgood on Thursday appointed a committee, which includes Beresford and council members Glen Cummins and Hooky Huffman.

Hobgood said the committee will come up with a longer range fire protection plan for the city.

Hobgood noted he believes it’s time for the city “go back to the drawing board” and start from scratch.

The mayor added he would be in favor of a bond referendum for voters to consider.

The revenue from the bond, he added, would be used to build the stations.

Cummins, who will chair the committee, described Beresford’s plan as “basic,” and noted the city needs to consider implementing the recommendations put forth from a consultant hired earlier this year.

The consultant outlined how the city could shore up its fire services and described several items it can do to maintain its Insurance Service Office rating of 4.

Cummins added he also would be in favor of a bond referendum, which he said would “spread the cost of the capital expenditures over a longer period of time.”

The Canton City Council also:

* Mayor Gene Hobgood read a proclamation declaring Sept. 23-30 as firefighter appreciation week;

* Hobgood appointed a committee of council members Glen Cummins, Hooky Huffman and Jack Goodwin to review proposed pension plans;

* Reviewed a proposal from AMEC to draft a master plan for Heritage Park;

* Reviewed garbage rates for senior citizens and those who are permanently disabled; staff is proposing to increase the rate from $7.50 per month to $11, which has already been budgeted;

* Reviewed a proposal to rename Commerce Boulevard to Northside-Cherokee Boulevard;

* Reviewed a request from Clifford Gene Payne to consider abandoning Cochran Lane at 9181 Knox Bridge Highway;

* Reviewed proposals to restructure the city’s long-term debt; the council directed staff to bring back one recommendation to consider.

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