The city will hire a new firefighter. There’s no vacancy yet, but the mandatory Fire Training Academy for new firefighters begins March 1 and only happens once a year.
Mayor Ron Woodward said that there will be a vacancy soon. One firefighter will retire at the end of the year, while another has been out for a long time with a serious illness. In addition, he said 17 or 18 firefighters who have enough time in to retire are still working, but have built up plenty of vacation and compensatory days off.
The result is that the department is racking up plenty of overtime costs. A new firefighter, at the bottom of the pay and seniority scale, will hold down costs.
The police and fire departments are budgeted to spend about $1,900 a day for overtime in 2010.
Interviews for the position happened last week. Members of the Fulton Common Council approved the hiring.
In other recent action, the Council:
- Approved its annual contract with William Schleinitz, III for videotaping the Council’s meeting, which is then shown on public access cable TV and is available for viewing in City Hall. He received $160 for each meeting, with an hourly rate if the meeting lasts more than 2 hours. It’s rare for a meeting to last more than an hour.
- Approved Jerome Fire Equipment’s bid of $22,610 for personal escape systems for the Fire Department. Woodward said these systems are required by law. The winning bid was $600 less than the city had budgeted for the equipment, Woodward said.
- Received a letter of disclosure from firefighter Mike Burke, who disclosed that he is a part-time employee of Northern Fire Equipment of Watertown. Letters of disclosure are required when a city employee has outside employment with a company that may seek to do business with the city.
- Appointed Jerome Mirabito to the Fulton Public Library Board.
- Accepted Martisco Corporation’s bid of $35,158.60 for water piping materials. Martisco was the second lowest bidder, but the low bidder did not meet part of the bid specification, Woodward said. A grant given to the Fulton Community Development Agency for the Phillips St. project will pay for the project. It will replace old 4 inch water lines in the neighborhood with now-standard 8 inch lines. One current water line, Woodward said, is only a 1 inch pipe.
- Allowed the Mayor to sign a contract with Atlantic Testing Laboratories to test Ferric Chloride tanks at the Fulton Sewage Treatment Plant, costing $3,866.
- Approved writing off $338.49 as an uncollectable debt. The debt was incurred by Ace BBQ for city water, sewer and garbage service at the city-owned building at Bullhead Point which has so far been unable to keep a vendor. The building is vacant at present. Aldermen asked why the city didn’t use its normal procedures for collecting the money. Woodward explained that the main method — adding the amount to the property tax bill — doesn’t work because ther city owns the building. And the other method — hiring a collection firm — would cost more than was owed.