Council considers fire department fees for industry
by Emily McLain
Dec 16, 2013 | 595 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a City Council work session Monday night, Sylacauga Fire Chief Matt Missildine presented the council with a fee list for fire services as the city considers implementing response contracts with industries outside the city limits.

“The industries expect us right now, but we don’t have anything on paper saying we should go,” Missildine said. “So we’re in that gray area, and we’re doing the best we can, but the time will come that they’re either in or they’re out with a contract.”

With many local industries outside city limits, Missildine said the fire department needs assurance that it should or should not respond to a fire or other emergency incident at these locations. Otherwise, he said major costs could be incurred by the city with no way to recoup those costs.

The fee list Missildine provided details costs per hour of use for itemized fire department resources. For example, a fire engine costs $150 an hour to operate, a heavy rescue truck is $100 an hour and personnel ranges from $150 to $35 an hour.

“Contract talk will be another talk when the time comes, but this is basically what we would charge should we respond to calls, mainly hazmat calls, and it doesn’t have to be answered tonight, but we need to look at the amounts and decide when we’re going to make these charges,” Missildine said.

Some questions Missildine asked councilmen to consider are what type of calls the fire department should answer, if the fees should apply to industries or businesses within the city limits, and if so, at what point would the fees kick in.

Council President Rocky Lucas asked Missildine to compose a draft of an industrial contract based on his opinions and recommendations to the city.

In other business, the council:

O Discussed clearing obstructions from either side of the airport runway before Jan. 6, which is when the Federal Aviation Administration will begin reviewing and auditing airports, for a maximum estimated cost of about $6,000. If the runway is not cleared, the city will be penalized by FAA.

O Heard Rocky Lucas say that the Planning Commission is looking at potential sportsplex locations to make a recommendation to the council. The commission is also considering updates to the subdivision regulations. If updated, the document would have to be published in a newspaper.

O Discussed a citizen’s offer to purchase 2.3 acres of city-owned land at Lake Louise.

O Heard a financial update from accounting manager Karen Beane. Beane said revenues for November were $1.1 million ($182,000 more than that month last year), and expenses were just over $1 million. The city is at a $16,000 deficit so far this year, she said.

The council meets tonight at 6 at City Hall.

Contact Emily McLain at