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  • Fairbury News staff

Fire vehicle authorized

Members of the Fairbury City Council granted Fire Chief Josh Hoselton permission to purchase a fire vehicle to cost between $20,000 and $40,000.

Hoselton told the council Wednesday night that the department’s response model is changing with the recent retirement of former chief Martin Steidinger. In the past, Steidinger would respond to calls in his city vehicle but Hoselton doesn’t have one.

“We are looking at possibly a mid-sized SUV,” explained Hoselton.

Hoselton reminded the group his job is to see the bigger picture by keeping track of everyone and making decisions.

“If I can respond on my own, get out and be ahead of the apparatus, we are keeping that person in the front seat with that crew.”

The vehicle could also be used by someone in an acting officer role or even when firefighters travel to training sessions. The department decided to look into used vehicle options. Lettering and radios would have to be installed.

“I don’t foresee this as a vehicle that is going to get a ton of miles put on it,” added Hoselton.

Alderman Bill Schmidgall made the motion to grant approval to Hoselton to search for a vehicle within the price parameters.

In a separate matter Wednesday, the council amended the fee to request a Zoning Board of Appeals variance hearing from $300 to $500. City Superintendent Brett Ashburn explained the former $300 cost was before the city approved raising what board members are given per meeting, which is currently $50. Other costs are also involved for variance hearings.

The council approved the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 pay ordinance including contracts for the police chief and city superintendent. Similar to the past, this includes 1.5 to 3.5 percent raises based on performance reviews from their managers.

Superintendent Ashburn reported the concession window at the swimming pool has been completed and windows at the top of the Stafford Community Center will be replaced. The city is working on getting lights back up at the tennis courts.

Hoselton said the fire department was awarded a grant through the state fire marshal for $26,000. The department hopes to get five sets of new turnout gear with the funding.

“We just found out a few days ago,” Hoselton noted.

Deb Moran appeared before the council during public comment to present changes which need to be made to the city’s disaster plan. This adds new names for fire chief, assistant fire chief, street superintendent and a representative from the water department.

The consent agenda was approved, which includes April 3 meeting minutes, voucher invoice register listing the bills, treasurer’s cash report, check register and overtime report.

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