Statesville Council supports acquisition of new ladder truck for SFD

Posted at 11:27 PM on May 12, 2019



Faced with spending more than $340,000 to repair an aging ladder truck, the Statesville City Council instead decided to spend upwards of $1.1 million to acquire a new truck for the Statesville Fire Department.

City Manager Ron Smith and Fire Chief Spencer Lee asked the council to approve repairs to the 23-year-old truck at Monday's council meeting and authorize the SFD to spend another $36,000 to rent a ladder truck while the truck was being repaired.

The ladder truck has been out of service for several months and the city has been relying on nearby departments to provide a ladder truck when the need arises. Repairs were expected to take four to six months.

Councilman John Staford recommended purchasing a new ladder truck or entering a lease-purchase agreement for a demo truck.

"Every day we go without a ladder truck we're putting our citizens at risk," he said.

The council voted unanimously to direct the city manager to do just that, but did no designate the funding source. The truck should be in service by July or August, Smith said.

The council did not approve funding for a short-term rental, but will consider doing so at the May 20 meeting.

Council approves additional paid holiday for city employees

The Statesville City Council voted 6-2 on Monday to add Veterans Day as a paid holiday for city employees.

Councilman William Morgan championed the effort during the council's last retreat and made the motion to approve the additional paid holiday.

Councilmen John Staford and C.O. "Jap" Johnson voted against the proposal.

Administrators said overtime and other costs associated with the additional holiday would be negligible.

Eight of the ten municipalities in North Carolina with a similar population as Statesville have 11 or 12 paid holidays for their employees. Statesville currently has 10 paid holidays.

Council, mayor vote to proceed with rerouting Bethlehem Road

Mayor Costi Kutteh cast the decisive vote Monday to forge ahead with plans to reoute part of Bethlehem after the council debated the fiscal prudence of spending $2.55 million on the project.

The project will make Statesville Regional Airport more accessible from Old Mountain Road. The N.C. Department of Transportation will contribute $2.55 million to the project.

Funding was included in the city's 2018-2019 budget.

Councilman Steve Johnson expressed reservations about the actual cost of project, and the DOT's contribution will not exceed $2.55 million regardless of the ultimate cost.

Councilmembers Steve Johnson, C.O. Johnson, John Staford and Doris Allison voted against funding the project.


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