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City Implements Zoning Commission

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Heather Grabin

Editor

The Murfreesboro City Council met Monday, June 8 and gave approval to the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a truck and equipment.

Murfreesboro Fire Chief Alan Walls explained to the Council that the truck the department wished to purchase would replace one that the department had used since 2001. The existing truck was provided as federal surplus property and has been showing signs of wear for three years.  Once the department purchases a replacement truck the current one will be transferred back to the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

Walls explained that the truck the department was interested in purchasing is a 2010 International with 175,000 miles with a base price of $52,900. He said the department wanted to spend an additional $7,000 to purchase a water cannon for the truck and that additional items needed such as emergency lighting, siren and graphics/lettering would cost $3,000. The total investment in the vehicle would be $62,900.

Walls noted that the department would use some existing equipment on the truck including a mobile radio, hose reel, portable 2,500 gallon water tank and smaller tools.

Walls said that it was his recommendation to purchase the truck citing more and more homes being built outside of the city limits with no water access. Walls said the department provides coverage to 150-square miles in the county. He said that the truck would be a “dual-use purpose truck”. It will be used for water shuttle operations and double as a wildland/grass fire fighting apparatus.

Walls said that he felt this truck would last at least 20 years with the miles that it will cover and that a new truck would cost the city around $150,000.

He also pointed out that the department provided their own maintenance on the equipment and that the rest of the fire department’s fleet was in “good shape” at this time.

The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

In other Council news:

Pike County Director of the Office of Emergency Management Austen Walls told the Countil that FEMA will be reimbursing the fuel and clean-up bills acquired by the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department and the Murfreesboro Police Department after the storm that damaged the area on May 11.

Mayor Rodney Fagan told the Council that the city had received permission from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to burn the brush from the May 11 storm. All burning must be completed by September 1 and that he will be asking the Murfreesboro Volunteer Fire Department to help with this project.

Mayor Fagan told the Council that the city had not received an answer about changing the passing lane on Highway 27 South to a no passing zone from the Arkansas State Highway Department.

Mayor Fagan told the Council that one more temporary speed bump on Kelley Street had been replaced with a permanent one, and that the street department is continuing debris and spring trimming removal around town with the help of two trustees from the Pike County Detention Facility.

Mayor Fagan told Street Committee members Jason Allmon and Jeff Walls that the Pike County Judge Dewight Mack said that the county was behind on paving and it will be at least the end of July or the first of August before paving can begin for the city. This will allow more time for the committee to design detailed plans for the roads that need improvement.

Mayor Fagan said that the original plat of the city of Murfreesboro had been found and that he, the street committee and landowner Jimmy Cherry will speak in regards to closing a platted, unpaved portion of Pine Street.

Mayor Fagan also said that the city was “making progress” with the Zoning Commission. Councilmember Jeff Walls had expressed his interest in serving on the committee several months ago. Councilmember Debbie Shukers had volunteered her services last month, but has since asked to be replaced. Her replacement will be Councilmember Dana Stone. Two citizens have expressed interest in serving on the Zoning Commission, but one more is still needed to fill all slots of the Zoning Commission.

Mayor Fagan told the Council that the city will know if the Murfreesboro City Park received the grant for improvements to the walking trail by this fall.

City Recorder/Treasurer Penny Lamb told the Council that Murfreesboro has been asked to host the City Clerk District Meeting this year. The event will be August 20-21 and around 30 members of the City Clerk, Recorder, Treasurer Association will be in Murfreesboro.

Lamb told the Council that the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce will help host the meeting and that the University of Arkansas provides funding for the event. She explained that anything not covered by the U of A has been given as donation and there will be no cost to the city.fire hat