Monthly Archives: February 2013

January 2013 Board Meeting Minutes


BOARD MEETING, January 22th, 2013

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum


Chairman Evans called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District station classroom, 2422 N. Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

Present:  Rick Evans, Chairman

              Ken Leffler, Clerk

              Jerry Hopper, Board member

              Wayne Lewis, Board member

              Mary Foote, Board member

              Peter Bidon, Fire Chief


It was determined a quorum existed with all five board members present.

Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for November 27th, 2012

Mary Foote made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved with four ayes one extension:

     Move to accept the public session minutes for November 27th, 2012, as presented.


Call to the Public


No members of the public wished to address the board.

Review, Discussion, and Possible Approval of Appointment of Wayne Lewis to Governing Board

Jerry Hopper made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved with four ayes.

     Move to appoint Wayne Lewis to the governing board for a four year term.

Review and Discussion – Consolidation of the PBW Fire District into the Whetstone Fire District


Chief Bidon stated personnel have been to PBW’s station one, have retrieved files and are in the process of going through paperwork. We have obtained pass words to get into the country treasury reports and have not found anything terrible in the files, so far. The embezzlement item has been paid in full according to paperwork. Karen has been contacted to do a financial audit and report for the board. Two items may be of issue: the insurance company money for volunteer fire pension was not done and it does not appear that 1099 forms were ever completed. Neither will be held against the Whetstone Fire District; there will be no tax liability or penalties. Inventory of station two has not been completed. The meeting for Whetstone residents will be rescheduled as late as May. Jerry Hopper asked if anyone has come forward with a disagreement from the meeting in PBW. Chief Bidon stated just the two from the meeting. Ken Leffler asked if the meeting open to the public will be for residents of both districts. Chief Bidon said it is only for Whetstone residents. Also, Ken Leffler wanted to know if there was an individual involved in the embezzlement and if that person can run for a future position on the fire board. Chief Bidon replied there was only one person convicted and required to pay restitution. The individual was convicted of a felony preventing future election to office. However, according to Ken Leffler over a period of time an individual with a felony can petition to have the felony removed. Rick Evans stated time served, restitution, and probation have to be completed prior to petitioning the courts for relief from disabilities. Chief Bidon said if an individual with a felony conviction applied for the board he/she would not have access to WFD finances. Ken Leffler wanted this discussion on record. Rick Evans wants the complete record on file. Chief Bidon stated we have all the records regarding the embezzlement. Jerry Hopper asked who would stop this person from running for a fire board position. Chief Bidon stated the election office would turn down the petition. Rick Evans reiterated that the meeting open to the public would be just for Whetstone residents. Chief Bidon said the meeting needs to be posted in the paper twice, ten days apart. Chief Bidon is also working with the district’s attorney, Terry, on Title 48 process. Jerry Hopper stated the meeting is open to the public; stating residents outside district may attend. Chief Bidon stated the board may want to ask individuals who want to speak at the meeting their address. Rick Evans stated the public should have to sign in prior to being called on to speak at the meeting. Chief Bidon said he will make the form. Ken Leffler does not want to start the meeting on a negative note with someone from PBW opposing the consolidation. Chief Bidon said that people from PBW would not be allowed to speak at the Whetstone meeting but would be informed of the opportunity to speak at a PBW meeting. Chief Bidon said there will be another meeting for final acceptance of the consolidation. County board of supervisors has ten days to review the final resolution. Jerry Hopper stated that anyone who speaks will have their name on the form. Rick Evans said the agenda item will list a call to Whetstone residents for questions or comments instead of call to the public with limitations. Rick Evans wants a brief letter with the information regarding the consolidation available for the public. Chief Bidon stated he will send out the letter with maps to every resident. Chief Bidon stated this is an informational item. Rick Evans stated that there is nothing being done secretly. Ken Leffler stated the amount of time this has taken has allowed anyone opposed to come forward. Chief Bidon stated the above was informational only; no vote required.

Review, Discussion of Vehicle Status


Chief Bidon stated approximately $5,000 has been spent on vehicle repairs since November. The next big issue is medic 321: the box needs to be refurbished and placed on a new chassis for approximately $75,000. This is informational. Chief 320 stopped running. Staff 321, the Tahoe, also has issues and needs to be replaced. Chief Bidon requests consideration of purchasing new ambulance and new command vehicles. State contract allows us ability to purchase new vehicles for considerably less. Four-wheel drive is required for our area. Jerry Hopper wants to know how many ambulances we have available and if is alright to continue using medic 321. Chief Bidon wants to replace medic 321 so we don’t have to borrow an ambulance from the City of Sierra Vista, again. Jerry Hopper also wants to know if we need to replace the two command vehicles with two vehicles when we no longer have an assistant chief. First side of tape ended. Jerry Hopper stated a pickup truck would be better for a command vehicle. Rick Evans stated that a full length versus a midsize SUV is preferred. Also, that a command vehicle is necessary for travel and support to prevent a first line emergency vehicle being taken out of service. Ken Leffler asked how much we paid for the new ambulance. Chief Bidon said, $78,800. Ken Leffler wants us to stop wasting time with refurbishing medic 321 and wants to proceed with purchasing a new ambulance. Chief Bidon said it will save us $4,000 to $5,000. Wayne Lewis confirmed the savings of refurbishing versus buying new would only be about $4,000 but we still have to drive the vehicle to Kansas. Rick Evans stated that if we have the money we should go ahead and buy better equipment. Wayne Lewis wants to know if we should proceed or wait for the grant results. Chief Bidon stated that if the board gives the approval to purchase a new unit an ambulance should be bought prior to the receiving the grant. If the grant is awarded it will be used to replace the 1999 ambulance, medic 322. Ken Leffler asked how much money we have. Chief Bidon stated that right now in our capital we have $297,245.13 minus the $58,350 we owe for the ambulance that is coming out. Our available balance is $238,895.13. That does not count what we are going to roll over in June which will probably be $100,000. Ken Leffler suggests that we don’t consider a command vehicle right now and wait for the outcome of the grant prior to purchasing a new ambulance. Wayne Lewis asked when we will know about the status of the grant. Chief Bidon says he does not know. Wayne asked when is the latest they would respond. Chief Bidon said probably March. Ken Leffler said we should know at the end of the new cycle. Chief Bidon asked Ken Leffler to confirm purchasing a new command vehicle and waiting on the ambulance until we get the grant. Ken Leffler said yes, we will get an ambulance with or without the grant and buy the command vehicle now because of the need. If we get the grant we can buy another command vehicle later. Wayne Lewis inquired about getting two at once because it is cheaper. Chief Bidon stated he shops around for the best deal possible and can get a Ford F-250 crew cab 4-wheel drive for $24,800 versus $42,000 from the dealer. Two of the same would be $49,000. Basically there is no savings in buying two at the same time. Ken Leffler stated there is no savings in buying two at one time; we can wait until June or when the grant is awarded and buy the second command vehicle. Jerry Hopper confirmed that we can buy one now at $24,000 and one in June at $24,000. Chief Bidon confirmed, using the state procurement contract we don’t have to go out RFP. Wayne Lewis asked if we buy a new ambulance would we sell the old one and how much would we get for it. Chief Bidon stated we would get maybe $500 to $1,000. Ken Leffler asked how long it will take to get a command vehicle. Chief Bidon answered three weeks to one month. Rick Evans wants the price on an F-350 Super Duty. For the command vehicle he wants Chief to look at Excursion with Diesel, as heavy as can get. Wayne Lewis wants Chief to look at getting two of the same, one-ton trucks. Ken Leffler wanted to make a motion. Rick Evans stated he is not prepared at this time to make a motion to purchase a vehicle but wants it known that we are better off with one-ton vehicles for safety reasons. Chief Bidon stated a motion can be made with limitations to vehicle size. Wayne Lewis said he would prefer to wait to make the motion. Rick Evans wants everyone to agree on a specific type of vehicle. Wayne Lewis stated prices should be obtained for ¾ and one-ton and a price from the vendor just used for the medic 323. Chief Bidon asked to board to make a motion to get specs for a command vehicle.

Wayne Lewis made a motion for Chief Bidon to spec out and go forward with a command vehicle. Seconded by Jerry Hopper.

Rick Evans amends the motion to include looking for prices and types of vehicles as needed for other functions within the district so there is a list available if the funds become available.

     Move to approve motion as stated and amended. Approved unanimously with five ayes.


Review, Discussion, and Possible Approval of the Financial Report

Chief Bidon said that part of the financial report as already been given. We are in the black with $15,623.64 available with money rolling in every month. Maintenance fees were included this month and various station repairs, mainly plumbing issues. Ken Leffler asked if the building is at the end of payments. Chief Bidon stated it will be some time this year, and the two trucks. Wayne Lewis asked when the water company lease will be up. Chief Bidon stated about 13 years. Wayne Lewis asked what the payment amount is on the building. Chief Bidon said about $50,000, $72,000 between the two trucks and the building. The only loan left will be on the tender.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Mary Foote and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Move to approve the financial report as presented.

Chief’s Report


November – December we ran 88 calls, 14 fire calls, 48 EMS, 7 were mutual aid, and 1 automatic aid. 18 burn permits. The new ambulance is here. Upgrading the shower to 4×6 ft will only cost the district materials because of a deal with the Huachuca City Fire Chief where inmates will do the labor. The generator is installed. Last item is securing the propane tank to the building to get it up and running by next week. Fire one and two academy has been completed; started with 15, graduated 8 with 7 passed state exam on first test. We hosted a HazMat FRO class in November and a basic Wildland class. WFD went to structure fire in Tombstone with a fatality. WFD personnel removed the victim from the structure fire and we are doing the fire investigation. Department personnel completed annual physicals. There was a structure fire on Allen; an RV on the property beside a structure. Huachuca City Fire assisted. There is a new base hospital coordinator: he is a Captain, Medic, RN from Sierra Vista. We may change our base hospital to a hospital in Tucson at no cost to the district in order to continue practicing advanced paramedicine and advanced EMT skills. All part-time positions are full. We are getting ready to interview for the 10 volunteer positions open. Ken Leffler asked if AirEvac is at Sierra Vista now. Chief Bidon confirmed.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Move to accept the Chief’s Report as presented.

Board Member Comments

Tape ran out.



Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Jerry Hopper and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Adjourn the meeting.


___________________________                                     ____________________________

Chairman Rick Evans                                                                Diana Jones, Administration

Whetstone Arizona
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