The Moscow MillsBoard of Aldermen meeting on Dec. 9 covered a multitude of items relevant to citizens, some of the most noteworthy included discussion about a new firehouse, on-call pay for city maintenance crews, sharing the courts and a dangerous building.

Lincoln County Fire Chief Dan Casey gave a presentation to the Board of Alderman about some preliminary inquiries into updating the current Moscow Mills fire hall, which is currently run by volunteers and has dated facilities and equipment. The county has started investigating if the current property could meet the standards to build a new facility large enough to house better equipment and a full time paid staff.

“In my employment, I want to be as proactive for the public as we possibly can. Our job is life safety number one, and property conservation,” Casey said. 

He reported that thus far the investigation was coming up with positive results, as the land was large enough to allow for a two-story facility with a kitchen, offices, and living room areas on the first floor while the top floor would have sleeping quarters and bathrooms. The land is also positioned in a good spot to allow a pull through double bay and far away from a blind curve on Highway C.

The presentation and meeting took place just a week and a half after a seven year-old boy lost his life in a house fire. Casey said that it took 12 minutes for the fire department to reach that accident, and that counselors have been at the firehouse this week for firefighters to talk to. 

“Two fatalities in one year in this area tells me a story. The story is we got to get there a little quicker, and we have a need. So this is number one on my priority list for this area is to get a fire house and then obviously staff it with some folks,” Casey said. 

Preliminary estimates put demolition and building costs at around $2.8 million, but Casey said that the entire idea is still very much in the inquiry stage and that dealing with official financial information for the project is still easily a year away. 

The next major thing on the docket was a discussion of paying city maintenance workers while they are on-call. Moscow Mills currently employs five maintenance workers, who all take turns every week being on-call after business hours and during the weekend. 

Being on-call requires the employee to be within 45 minutes of Moscow Mills and in a state of mind to respond to problems. 

Before the meeting, these on-call hours were not paid, and Donald Hopkins, superintendent of the Maintenance Department, reported that he had occasional issues with employees not responding to problems even if they were on-call. 

 To recognize the extra work that being on-call requires while also adding incentive to full fill those duties properly, the Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance mandating that maintenance workers would be paid a flat rate of $100 for a week of being on call.

The aldermen also passed approval on entering into a year-long contract with the city of Hawk Point that would allow the city to utilize Moscow Mills court system. The contract stipulates that Hawk Point will pay $1,200 a month to Moscow Mills, a number City Attorney Cynthia Davenport suggested the after estimating how much extra time court workers would put in to cover Hawk Point’s needs, most of which are traffic tickets. 

The Board of Aldermen also gave a 30-day notice pending proper paperwork to the Day family regarding a demolition permit so they can tear down a building that the board declared dangerous earlier in the year. The Day’s paperwork for the demolition permit was incomplete as it confirmed that gas and electric had been removed but did not specify if sewer and water had been discontinued. The family also needs a certified inspector to determine if the house has Asbestos. Hopkins confirmed that the house no longer had running water, so the Days only need to worry about sewer and Asbestos now.

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