Luverne VFD receives #036;25K in grant funds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Luverne Volunteer Fire Department has been notified of a $25,631 grant that came through the third round of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which comes through the Department of Homeland Security funds, according to Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport. Sport told the Luverne City Council at its regular meeting Jan. 8 that the volunteer fire department would have a five percent match of $1,349. In a written report, Asst. Fire Chief W. A. Neal said that he had already ordered slightly over $12,000 in equipment for the fire department and that he would order the remainder by Feb. 1.

Also, a fire pump test was performed at S.M.A.R.T., LLC, on Dec. 27. No problems were detected, and the system was found to be working as designed. This annual testing is required by the Fire Code and by the Fire Marshall's office.

In other business, the South Place Apartments were reported as being nearly finished, with sidewalks and landscaping still needing to be completed.

n Travis Reynolds resigned from the Luverne Police Department effective Dec. 7.

n Officer Charlie Brundidge was honored with the &#8220Police Officer of the Year” award for his performance during 2006 on Dec. 22.

n A grant for the LPD is being sought for the purpose of obtaining bulletproof vests for all of the officers. This may be awarded on a 50-50 cost expenditure. These vests have a life expectancy of five years. The current vests used by the LPD are six years old, according to a report by Luverne Police Chief Paul Allen.

n E-911 Director Ben Pynes had reported earlier that E-911 would begin to move into the new portion of the EMA building by the middle of January, and that the department expected to be out of the police department building completely by the end of January. Pynes also reported that the repeater that the LPD operates on at this time would be removed and that the department would no longer be able to count on this device which boosts the transmission of their private frequency.

n Council member Dr. Pat Walker said that the Luverne Public Library had received a grant for approximately $3,600 with a $908 local match from the city. Library Director Rene Lester would like to put in a children's computer center to enhance the children's word processing skills. Walker said it could include programs for children as young as two to three years of age. Walker reported that Lester also wanted to put in an honor wall to replace what is currently there.

n Mayor Sport said that Buddy Harper of Harper Farms in Covington County had requested that his livestock cattle and wagon train be allowed to come through Highway 29 and Highway 331 on its way to Montgomery on March 3. Harper asked to camp at the Tom Harbin Ag Center on its way to Montgomery. The wagon train would include covered horses and longhorn steers. The council discussed the request but took no action.

n In earlier business, Sport had recommended that speed bumps be installed on the following streets in Luverne: 1st Street, 6th Street, 9th Street, Jeffcoat Street, Hawkins Ave., and Woodford Ave. The council unanimously agreed to the motion.

n The council approved a motion to send a letter to business owners along South Forest Avenue of city ordinances concerning banners and signs. This notice prohibits signs and banners on city sidewalks and right-of-ways effective Jan. 1.

n Sport said at the Jan. 8 meeting that the city's sales tax report had come in at $10,000 above the amount reported at this time last year. This amount is still approximately $3,180 less in sales taxes than the amount brought in this time last year.

The next regular Luverne City Council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.