Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Glade Sun

April 3, 2014

Fire Department requests $50K from county

CROSSVILLE — Fairfield Glade Fire Chief Howard Robb and Jim Etzel recently put together a letter to Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey and the county commission requesting $50,000 in appropriations for Fairfield Glade. The letter also reportedly explains why Fairfield Glade should get more money on a regular basis instead of only when there is a special project.

"One of the things that's been aggravating me for quite some time is how much money we spend paying our property taxes to the county, and trying to get some of that money back to help run our fire department is, uh, difficult. Over my 15 years, I can remember probably three instances where we actually got something of significant value out of the county," said Etzel.

"If you take the number of houses there are in Fairfield Glade, we're asking for $10 per house to help provide fire services. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me," he continued.

"It takes a lot of money to run the fire department," said Etzel. "The labor cost is extremely low, but all that equipment costs us a lot of money, keeping the buildings heated and things like that, it's all paid for by Fairfield Glade. You've already paid for your fire protection services in your county property tax. So we wrote this letter. What we're going to do next is try to show up at the finance subcommittee meeting and at the full commission meeting where this letter is considered. We're going to try to take as many firefighters as we can get down there, some of the board members here, and we would welcome any of you who would like to come and help represent Fairfield Glade. One of the best ways to get the vote in your favor is to flood the meeting rooms where they have these things."

The exact date for the budget committee meeting has not been set, but it will be held around April 24, according to John Kinnunen, District 9 county commissioner.

Etzel also reported that the fire department would soon be up for inspection by the insurance services officer.

"Usually they come every 10-15 years, but they've changed their policy where they're going to come visit with us every 3-5 years. The last time we had this was 2010, so he's coming next month," Etzel said. 

Additionally, it is hydrant inspection season starting in April.

"If you see the hydrant inspection vehicle out there, these guys always work in two- man teams, kind of like deer, if you see one there's another close by," said Etzel. "Please be aware that there are two people you have to dodge, or they have to dodge you. Usually these guys are our older firefighters who don't physically fight fires anymore but they still take care of the hydrants. They're slower than they used to be," he joked. 

Community Club President Phil Gover welcomed Everett Bolin, general manager of Crab Orchard Utility District (COUD), to address the audience at the March 27 board meeting.

"The Crab Orchard Utility District provides water to Fairfield Glade and the surrounding area. It is the largest utility district in Cumberland County, with approximately 7,800 active customers, approximately 400 miles of water lines, and $14.5 million in assets," said Gover.

COUD will be updating the infrastructure in and around Fairfield Glade this summer. Residents should expect road construction and digging in the area, which could cause some traffic delays.

"Our challenges right now are to reduce water loss and finding a water supply for the future of our region," said Bolin.

Bolin expects to be approved by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for a water supply that will provide an additional 5 million gallons per day within the next year.

Plans for the new Dorchester Clubhouse have been on the website for 30 days and have received several comments and questions from the membership. Among those questions are how the project will be funded. Gover reported the funds would come from the amenity reserve fund as well as being augmented with a bank loan. The announcement of the proposed loan was cause for concern from some of the members in attendance. However, Regina Welch from the finance committee was able to explain to the audience that there was no real cause for concern due to the financial strength of the club.

"When the auditors come up and they're able to benchmark us against other communities of similar size and equity, we are significantly under on our debt ratio. The club is very strong there and with interest rates being as low as they are, this is really a good time for us to be doing some of these improvements," said Welch. "We haven't borrowed any money since the Community Center," she continued.

Welch reported the club is on target for the first two months with revenue at $2.3 million and expenses at $2.5 million. And while there was a $226,239 shortfall, overall the club is coming in under the yearly budget.

The plans for the new clubhouse are said to provide accommodations for more diners and provide an overall better golf experience. The project will begin in September 2014 and is scheduled to be completed by April 2015, just in time for next year's golf season. The comment period is open until April 18, and the board welcomes member input.

The truss work and framing of the Druid Hills pool project have been completed. The roof and siding project work on the Multi-Purpose Building has been completed. All the new docks have been installed at St. George Marina. Both marinas are now open for business seven days a week. There is still no news from the Postal Service.

There have been 14 single family detached homes approved this year, versus 15 last year. Additionally, there are 71 new homes under construction, and 56 miscellaneous projects that have been approved.

Golf rounds for February were 73 over budget, but 409 rounds less than last year due to arctic weather. Still, around 2,500 players were serviced, which is the equivalent of 1,693 18-hole rounds.

Reservations for Easter lunch at Legends can be made at 707-2068, and should be made as soon as possible. The club is expecting 500-600 people for lunch.

There were four appropriation requests approved this month:

Facilities maintenance – $64,000

Druid Hills pool repair – $20,000

Case 4x4 backhoe – $81,234

E-Z-Go golf carts for Heatherhurst – $162,725

Finally, Harry Price will be heading a new committee that has been formed to document the history of the Community Club.

"Our charge is to assemble, display, and preserve a complete history of the Fairfield Glade Community Club," said Price. "We want to gather all that information and assemble it in such a fashion that it can be displayed and shared with everybody."

If anyone is interested in participating in this new committee they can contact Price through the Community Club. 

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