Board Meeting 11-1-11: On Fire and Sirens

The meeting last night of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen was relatively short, but had a lot of punch. Here are some highlights from one perspective:

Marina and Christian Deason – the mother and daughter who lost their house to a fire last Monday morning – were there with the emergency first responders AND with Connie & Derek Oeser who called 911 and jumped fences to get to the family.  Channel 2 was there, as well, and ran a great story about the family. Wishing we had a link to the video (it was powerful), but here’s the story itself.  17-year old Christian was recognized with a standing ovation as the hero she was for getting her Mom and a family friend out of the house after the baby doll woke her up.  Not all eyes in the crowd were dry after watching the presentation to the Oesers and seeing the family choke up.

So far a handful of clothes have been donated by city workers and neighbors, $100 to the bank fund, and that’s all.  Not even the Red Cross has stepped in and given them vouchers.   If you want to help, the always kind A+ Storage on Murfreesboro Road (next to Tiger Mart at Fergus Road) has donated a storage unit for one month (and discounted after that first month).  They are accepting furniture and household items for the family (see manager Kathy).  OR you can donate money at any First Tennessee Bank for the Deason Family Fire Fund.  They did have insurance, but the challenge now is just having to buy every meal out (they are staying in a hotel), clothes (winter is coming), shoes, toiletries, etc. Any help would be appreciated.

The other interesting item from last night was the vote on the warning system.  Vice Mayor Chris Farmer moved to approve the bid from McCord Communications, but there was no second so the motion failed.  Mayor Senna Mosley then opened the floor for a motion to deny the bid.  Alderman Tom Broeker made the motion to deny the bid, which was seconded by Alderman Dennis Waldron.

The discussion was similar to that of the workshop in that the city WANTS the warning system, but because there is potential funding through grant applications, that MUST be explored first.  My sources tell me that the mayor was told no grant funding was available but she wants to actually try for them – with written, formal applications – first.

To qualify for a grant – even to apply for one – you cannot show on the budget that money is available to pay for something in which a grant is needed.  At the NEXT meeting, it is anticipated that the Siren Warning System will be removed from the ten-year plan. After it is removed, then the city grant writer can begin her task of submitting grants.

Also important to point out, the vote was FOUR to one to deny the McCord bid.  Count it…. one, two, three, FOUR.  We want to thank Chris Farmer for his passion in seeing to the safety of citizens.  We also want to thank ALL board members who voted to hold off on spending that kind of money without first seeking out other funding sources.  So thank you to SENNA MOSLEY, Tom Broeker, Sherry Green, and Dennis Waldron for considering all sides of the warning system issue.  We do hope to get one in the next year that covers the entire town, but truly appreciate you exploring all possible scenarios for funding it.

Finally, at the next meeting the board expects to continue their discussion about a lightning detection alert for Veterans Memorial Park so that people who are outdoors without cell phones (on the field playing ball) will have some warning should severe weather approach.

This is LaVergne… giving proper credit where credit is due.

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