Senath City Council enacts emergency burn ban, provides details into Breast Cancer Walk

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Mayor Joe Lane discusses with Council members the emergency burn ban enacted by the city. (Staff photo by Lecia Forester)

Mayor Joe Lane and the Senath City Council voted on Monday evening to enact and emergency burn ban in the city until further notice.

Due to the dry weather the area has been experiencing lately, Lane and Council members suggested that it would be in the city's best interest, before there was a fire that got out of control.

One incident that led to this decision was a fire that occurred several weeks ago. According to Fire Chief Kent Montgomery, a farmer was burning off a bean field on P Highway between Senath and Caruth, when the fire started burning out of control. Montgomery told the Council that the fire spread to the road ditch, and jumped the highway to the road ditch on the other side. He added that the smoke was so thick that it was hard to see across the road.

As a result, city officials decided that for safety's sake, a ban was necessary.

In other matters of business discussed at Monday's meeting was the decision of the city to switch from AT&T Communications to New Wave Communications for their telephone and computer needs.

Currently, the monthly bill for these services run around $445.82. With New Wave Communications, the bill would come to $279.99. Lane told the Council that the savings for switching carriers would be around $165.

Mike Burns, general manager of New Wave Communications and Amy Hargrave, sales representative with New Wave, informed Council members that the three lines, phones and computers, that would first be switched over would be Kathy Morgan, city collector, Jeana Lewis, city clerk, and Mayor Lane.

At this time, other departments will not be switched until the city sees how the new carrier will work out.

Burns noted that the Police Department's phone line will not be one of those that is switched over, but the department's computer will be switched since it is connected with Morgan, Lewis and Lane's lines.

Burns and Hargrave informed the Council that no disruption of service should happen when switching over the system adding that the engineering department from New Wave would come out and look at the system. Once New Wave learns which phone equipment will be needed, a date for the switch over will be coordinated with the city.

Also under discussion were plans for the Breast Cancer Walk, sponsored by the Women's Club of Senath. Patsy Davis, council member informed the Council that the event will be held at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Davis noted that there are 325 registered walkers, according to city officials. Plans are to block off Main, North Main and Commercial Streets with the help of the Senath Police Department.

According to Davis, the city will plant a tree in Williamson Park that day in honor of anyone who has fought the battle. She added that there will also be a survivor's plaque.

In general matters concerning city departments, Chief of Police Omar Karnes informed the Council that the city had received 144 calls in the city for the month of September. Among those reported to the Council included 41 traffic stops and 11 animal complaints.

Upon hearing of the animal complaints, Lane told the Council that the city is in dire need of a dog pound. He requested permission from the Council for the city to build it themselves, funds permitting. He added that he is aware of what the state requirements are and they would be met. All members voted and approved the measure.

After approval from the Council concerning the dog pound, Montgomery, fire chief, told the Council that the city had received six calls including two first responders, one vehicle fire, two grass fires and one nuisance fire. He noted that the fire department would be getting a new fire truck around the first of the year, paid for from funds through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

Before adjourning for the evening, three more matters were brought before the Council. They include:

* Obtaining approval for a new central heating and air unit in the water pump building. The cost will be $2700 and will be paid for from the Utility Fund.

* Blacktopping of State and three blocks of Caneer Streets will begin next week by ASA Company of Advance.

* An expression of thanks from Mayor Lane to all who participated in October Fest. He said that he was unsure of the dollar amount raised but termed the event "a success with a large crowd."

The next City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m., Nov. 8, 2010.

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