September 17, 2018 - Fire Planning Committee Meeting

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018
6:00 P.M.
6:00 P.M. – CALL TO ORDER – by Chairperson Tom Hilliard
Mike Schwab, Mayor
Dale Fox, Council Member                          
Chuck Hawk, Council Member                   Andrew Hess, Council Member
Tom Hilliard, Council Member                    Sydney Radich, Council Member                              
Kris King, Clerk-Treasurer                             Michael L. Miller, Village Administrator 
Also in attendance: Fire Chief Chris Colucy and Resident Ray Heitger
Chairman Tom Hilliard opened the meeting by saying there is a list of needs and Council needs to find a means to achieve that list.  He met with the Officers of the Fire Department.  He stated they had just ordered their dinner and had to leave on a call.  He asked the Officers present why they do this.  Out of the answers he received he stated that they live in Brewster, their family and friends live in Brewster.  They do it for the community.  He is planning another meeting.
Councilman Hilliard compiled the following list of items in the order of priority:
  • Air packs – May be eligible for a grant
  • Showers – Need to wash the carcinogens off their bodies
  • Diesel Exhaust System – Remove the fumes from the station
  • Two new bays three vehicles deep
  • New Pumper to replace the 25-year-old Pumper
  • Sauna in a locker room to detox after fires
  • New Turn-out Gear – Current Gear expires in the next three-years
The Fire Department would like a new building, but Councilman Hilliard would rather see an addition.
The Clerk answered questions concerning the property tax.  In 2018, the department received $108,000 from the current 4 mil property tax.
The Chief discussed the contracts with Sugarcreek Township and Tuscarawas Township.
Councilwoman Radich asked the Chief if his priorities were the same as Councilman Hilliards.  Chief Colucy stated they were close.
Chief Colucy posed the question is it smarter to dump money into an old building or build a new one.  Put 2 million on an old building or build a new one for 5 to 10 million?
Chief Colucy discussed how it has been proven that the residue from fires is going to kill them.  They are told not to touch their helmets and such.  BWC is now covering cancer claims for firemen. 
The Chief recently toured the Canton Station #4, they were discussing detoxing after the fires.  Canton has showers.  Councilman Fox asked if they were special showers and the Chief replied they are normal showers.  Councilman Hilliard stated he heard there were grants out there.  Chief Colucy stated there are grants for equipment, trucks, and building modifications.  VA Miller discussed a 90% grant for a diesel exhaust system.  Councilman Godwin offered that a system would probably run around $15,000.
The discussion went on to the building.  Councilman Hilliard stated the modifications and addition would require 2 million minimum.  He discussed getting a loan at 2%.  The Mayor stated that would be $67,000 a year for 30 years without the interest added in.  He reminded everyone that you have to have the money to pay back the loan.  Councilman Hilliard asked what a mil in property tax would bring in.  The Mayor stated about $27,000 a year.  Councilman Hilliard stated the department would need 4 to 5 mils to accomplish their goals.  He asked about FEMA Grants.  Chief Colucy stated the grants are drying out.
Chief Colucy stated there has been discussions on a Fire District.  He stated that is not the answer here.  2 out of the 3 entities that would be in the district would not agree to it.  There are a lot of logistics to consider.  Council needs to understand that this is a service-based entity.  Air packs are the current priority.  They must be bought all at once in order to get grants for all of them and make them interchangeable.  It will cost about $120,000 for 15 air packs.  Councilman Hawk asked how other Fire Departments are funded.  The Chief stated levies and fund raisers.  VA Miller brought up income tax.  That would make it more equitable because the people that work in Brewster get just as much benefit as the residents receive from the Fire Department.  Councilman Godwin likes the income tax idea better than the property tax.
Chief Colucy stated the number one priority is air packs followed by showers.
Meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.
Kris King, Clerk-Treasurer