Council voted 4-0, with council member Mark Caruso absent, to approve the Fire Department’s recommended list of officers presented by Fire Chief Todd Lagow. Steve McElroy will be the 2019-2020 assistant operations chief and Buddy Cash the assistant administrative chief.
Marty Hagy will take over as the department’s safety and public education captain. Billy Mays is the captain for special operations and Stephen McElroy is the captain for grants and training.
Department lieutenants include Skipper Dorton for equipment and training, Tim Couch for apparatus and training, Greg Mays for law enforcement liaison and training and Paul Wheatley for facilities and training.
Lagow told council that the department members now average more than 17 years’ experience, and the department’s typical response time to fire and other calls runs at 30 seconds. He said he is striving for department members to increase an already significant dual membership between the fire department and Norton Rescue Squad to strengthen department capabilities.
City Manager Fred Ramey said he and city staff will be presenting a series of recommendations in coming months to update the city code regarding the fire department. Those recommendations, he said, will reflect changes in the department’s role and duties from the original city ordinances.
Ramey also told council that the city’s reservoir total storage now stands at 66.5 million gallons — about 54 percent of the reservoir’s maximum capacity. The upper reservoir has about 27.7 million gallons and the lower 38.8 million. He said the city is buying water from the Wise County Public Service Authority under existing agreements and that the city could see some relief as the fall rain season approaches.
In other business, Ramey said the city will host Halloween Bash in the Park at Norton City Park on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 4 — 7 p.m. Free activities, music and costume contests for store-bought and homemade costumes will begin at 4 p.m., and concessions will be available for purchases.