Three additional firefighter positions were approved for Shelbyville Fire Department at Shelbyville City Council’s meeting Thursday night.
The need for more firefighters is due to the city’s population growth and the opening of a new fire station at Shelbyville Municipal Airport, Deputy Fire Chief Eric Smith told the council.
Even with the added positions, the department will remain understaffed by 6 positions, Smith said.
“We need these men. We’re really short,” Smith said. “This has been a long time coming.”
Council member Marilyn Ewing asked why a federal grant request, which would have funded more positions, was turned down. Smith said many departments around the nation had made requests and the available money simply ran out before Shelbyville’s request was reached.
Budget impact will be no higher than $105,000, the council agenda said.
This item, and all others discussed Thursday, passed by 4-0 votes. Council members Henry Feldhaus and Stephanie Isaacs were absent.
Flood pump plans
City staff will enter into negotiations with engineer Will Owen of engineering firm Griggs & Maloney to expand the scope of services provided for an engineering study to establish a phased plan for repairs or upgrades to Shelbyville’s flood pumps and flume system.
Cost is estimated at $150,000-$200,000.
The flood pumps will receive initial priority. The three pumps, installed in the early 1960s are obsolete, functioning at less than capacity, and were too small at the time they were purchased, the council was told at a previous study session. Replacements are expected to cost $1 million apiece but will be sized for the city’s current and anticipated future needs. They will be automated, eliminating the need for Shelbyville Fire Department to manually start them under dangerous conditions, Mayor Randy Carroll said.
The city will accept offers for removal and demolition of three metal building on H.V. Griffin Park property. The buildings are on property formerly owned by a lumber mill and vinyl record/cassette tape manufacturing facility.
Soccer fields are to be built on the land in the next few years.
Council members Bobby Turnbow and William Christie have asked in this and previous meetings if the city could profit from sales of the buildings. The council was told Thursday they must approve all proposals before acceptance.
Authorization of the Shelbyville Parks & Recreation Department to pursue a state recreation grant was deferred by the council until more input from the public on possible uses is received.
The initial motion was made by Ewing, who indicated she’s not against the grant but thinks more opinions should be heard on uses for the money.
The grant’s uses will be funded 50-50 by the state and city. Recreation Director Mike Alsup suggested applying for more money than the city actually needs to make sure enough funds are made available for proposed projects.
•City Attorney Ginger Bobo Shofner will file an injunctive lawsuit concerning property at 751 North Main St. owned by Lee Roy and Elizabeth Cunningham following the council’s approval Thursday.
•The city’s $7,500 portion of the joint Shelbyville-Bedford County July 4 fireworks display was approved. Pyro Shows Inc. handles the fireworks each year.
•City staff was given permission to initiate the bid process for drainage work on North Brittain Street.
•Requests for contract proposals for internet/telephone/television services for all city departments will be sought following council approval.
•City members were named to a Shelbyville Airport Board subcommittee which will consult with Middle Tennessee State University and Shelbyville Power, Water, and Sewage System officials on infrastructure issues involving the school’s plans for its proposed programs at the airport.
Turnbow, who is an Airport Board member, current board member Kelly Wilson, Mayor Randy Carroll, City Manager Scott Collins, and Airport Director Paul Perry will serve.
•Public Works Director Buck Vallad was appointed to a 6-year term on the Interlocal Solid Waste Authority. This was described by City Recorder Lisa Smith as a “routine” appointment.
The ISWA is made up of public works directors, and those holding similar positions, from southern Middle Tennessee.
•Appointments were made to the Shelbyville-Bedford County Homeless Task Force.
The city’s appointments are Jimmy West, pastor of Edgemont Baptist Church; Misty Pellar, operator of There Is Hope, a women’s ministry; police officer Letisia Diaz, who maintains a list and photos of all homeless people in Shelbyville; Shelbyville Codes & Zoning Director Bryan Stevens; and council members Isaacs and Gary Haile.