East Carbon Discusses BLM Grant, Upgrading City's Fire Department
At the first East Carbon council meeting of April, councilmembers discussed the recent donation from the United States Bureau of Land Management to the city's fire department.
The $10,000 received from the BLM will help the department in planning several major additions to the current firehouse.
Included will be the purchase of 12 new radios, valued at $300 apiece, gloves, goggles, helmets and other needed supplies for the city fire department. Also to be added to the list are two 12-volt batteries for an U.S. Army truck owned by the city.
The motion was brought up at the April 12 city council meeting and passed unanimously.
So far, East Carbon has spent $5821.35 of the grant revenue. The BLM expects the rest of the grant to be spent quickly in order for East Carbon to be reimbursed for the expenditures.
Next year, East Carbon expects to receive more money from the BLM than the federal agency allocated in 2005.
East Carbon may make an offer to obtain surplus items from Sunnyside's fire department that are not being used anymore.
East Carbon may agree to purchase the items in exchange for services, indicated the officials.
To assist in efforts to improve the condition of the firehouse, Frank's Glass Shop offered to help the East Carbon City Fire Department by supplying free materials.
The council approved a motion to purchase T-shirts with money from a recent prize drawing run by the fire department.
The raffle generated around $500 and the shirts will not be a part of the firefighters' uniforms, noted the officials.
Another means of fundraising for the fire department is the possibility of crushing cars donated to the city.
In order to proceed with the project, a place for the cars to be stored until they are to be crushed needs to be found.
If this is resolved they can have someone come and crush them all at once, which will make the Fire Department around $35 per car, but concerns were raised on how the cars would all be moved to this area, the city not able to pay a tow truck to move the vehicles. Mayor Dale Andrews brought up the idea of possibly being able to have the National Guard come down for a day and help the city by moving cars.
The city recently lost a firefighter when he resigned. East Carbon will be looking to replace the firefighter as soon as possible, pointing out how important all the firefighters are to the city.
Another important matter brought to attention by the council was the ongoing struggle with whether or not to close East Carbon High school, and send the students to Carbon High school. While the closing of the school is partly based on the low test scores, the students would have 28 students to one teacher, instead of having the 12 to one ratio they have now.
There are a number of East Carbon students who would like to have other options considered rather than closing the high school. The council is trying to raise support for the school, but no petitions were made to keep the school open, and only two complaints were made to the Carbon County board office. The council believes the moving of teenagers to Carbon High may be a mistake, and that instead of improving, scores will drop even lower.
Mayor Andrews believes that if the school is closed for a year it will not be reopened because of upgrading that will have to occur to the school before it can be used again, including a fire sprinkler system.
East Carbon also received a $459,520 grant and a $500,000 no-interest loan for the sewer project. The grant and loan will go to help the Carbon County community to upgrade its lagoon system, improving wastewater treatment, reducing seepage, and bringing the facilities into compliance with state regulations. A meeting between the city and all of the planning agencies will have to occur before anything is to be decided.