Monthly Archives: February 2016

February Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD MEETING, February 23rd, 2016

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum/Pledge of Allegiance:

Acting Chairman, Ken Leffler, called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District Station 321 classroom, 2422 N Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

Members Present:

Rick Evans, Chairman
Ken Leffler, Clerk
Mary Foote, Board Member
Michelle Bell, Board Member
Bobby Chapman, Board Member

Staff Present:

Peter Bidon, Fire Chief and Cathy Dyer, Office Manager

Absent:

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

Call to the Public:

No members of the public wished to address the board.

MOTION: Move to go out of order for a teleconference with the auditors
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Michelle Bell
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

New Business:

2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Saunders Company Ltd. Teleconference Call Presentation of the Fiscal Year Audit for 2014-2015
Saunders Company Ltd. office contact number 623-476-8660
Auditors; James and Tricia Saunders

James Saunders stated the Whetstone Fire District was given a clean audit report. They found the presentation of financial reports to be in accordance with accounting standards and the underlining information to be reasonably accurate.

Looking at internal control (policies and procedures of the District for daily operations and how well the procedures are followed) and compliance with laws and regulations: no problems of material weaknesses were found in the internal control – Whetstone Fire has policies adequate for their size and they are following them. No issues were found to show the District is in noncompliance with National Government Standards and nothing indicating they are not following the state requirements particularly under ARS 48-805. Everything as far as Whetstone goes was good, no issues.

New requirement this year for pension liabilities – when drawing public safety or state retirement an actuary determines how much would have to be paid if everyone currently employed went to full retirement and how much has been set aside to cover the liability. The difference is called the net unfunded pension liability. On pages 18 and 19 of our report there is a $346,000 liability under financial statements with no assets to offset it and took the unrestricted fund balance into the negative by $200,000. It is an accounting standard change and an accounting issue and does not mean the District is doing anything wrong. On pages 20 and 21 the traditional government accounting standards has a positive fund balance because the unfunded liability is not listed.

For the PBW review nothing wrong was found other than the property taxes were not recorded, an accounting issue with no consequences. No noncompliance with ARS 48-805.

Rick Evans stated all the topic headings on a standalone cover letter dated January 4, 2016 (from last month’s board meeting) are negative and taken alone look like the report is not favorable. Titles should be a précis, a summation of what the paragraph contains. Taken alone the summation of each of the paragraphs has a negative condentation.

James Saunders stated all the reports found no know departures from anything as far as accounting principles and government accounting or compliance.

Ken Leffler asked if any more work will have to be done with PBW. James Saunders stated no, they are done.

James Saunders told the board to contact them any time with any questions that may come up. The board thanked James Saunders for his time.

MOTION: Move to acknowledge the board received and reviewed the fiscal year 2014-2015 audit report from Saunders & Company, Ltd
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Michelle Bell
SECONDED: Mary Foote

Old Business:

1. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Operating Policies/Fire Board Conduct and Procedures
Tabled from January’s 26th meeting

Tabled until March’s meeting.

2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Purchase of Two New Ambulances
Provided a formal proposal for financing of 2 new ambulances from EVG Inc. through Kansas State Bank as requested from January’s board meeting

Chief Bidon stated the highest bid for two ambulances is $284,294. From the same people we used to purchase the tender, rescue, and the brush truck, we are looking at $44,500.00 ($44,351.52) per year for seven years of financing – worse case scenario.

The valuation of the District did go down again this year but nowhere near like it has in the past. We can do this without raising our tax rate to 3.25. The district is in dire need of replacing the two ambulances we have from 1997 and 2000 that don’t have a lot of miles but are beat up from this area.

Both of the new ambulances will be 4-wheel drive. Right now the crews use the 2-wheel drive on paved streets and the 4-wheel drive during rainy seasons to prevent having to bring in a helicopter or the chief’s truck when the ambulance can’t get on scene.

Michelle Bell asked what we are going to do with the old ambulances. Chief Bidon stated we can send them to auction, donate them to Mexico to Cruz Rojas or we can convert one to a rehabilitation vehicle for firefighters in accordance with NFPA 1583.

Ken Leffler asked about the possibility of donating them to an Indian Reservation. Chief Bidon said they won’t take them because they have all kinds of money and buy new ones.

Rick Evans thanked Daniel Speer for all the work he did getting the quotes and stated that we should look ahead for NFPA standards that may be in the works to be sure the new ambulances are compliant. Chief Bidon stated the new ambulances will follow the DOT mstar requirements; US DOT regulates ambulances in the United States.

Ken Leffler stated the board is not considering a remount or reusing the ambulances because it is not cost effective and because we do not have any debt we need to purchase new vehicles. Bobby Chapman and Michelle Bell agree.

Chief Bidon stated his recommendation is for the two McCoy Miller Type I Ambulances 2016 Ford F350 Chassis, 4 x 4, Diesel Powered Two Door Standard Cab Chassis for $142,067.00 each for a total of $284,134.00.

MOTION: Move for Chief Bidon to proceed with the acquisition and financing of two McCoy Miller Type I Ambulances 2016 Ford F350, 4 x 4, Diesel Powered Two Door Standard Cab Chassis
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

New Business:

1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for January 2016

MOTION: Move to approve the Public Session Minutes as presented
RESULT: Minutes approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Michelle Bell
SECONDED: Mary Foote

3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Donation of Obsolete PBW Apparatus
1975 Boardman fire engine; VIN CTE675V147815 and
1992 Beck fire engine VIN: 11VVB0656KA00008 (No Fee for Removal/ Disposal)

Chief Bidon stated it would cost us more money to have these towed out than they are worth. We have someone willing to remove them at no cost if they are donated to him. The 1975 Boardman’s brake system failed and they don’t make parts for that truck anymore and it has sat outside for about seven years and has been destroyed by packrats and the weather. The trucks were not drained. The 1992 Beck cannot go over ten miles per hour. They bought it with a broken tank so they could never fill the tank all the way with water. The individual who is removing the vehicles will take the pump out and will make a pump prop for our driver operator training. The trucks have no value to the district.

MOTION: Move to donate the 1975 Boardman fire engine and the 1992 Beck fire engine as stated and accept the donation of the prop pump for training
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Bobby Chapman

4. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Financial Reports

Cathy Dyer stated there is nothing out of the ordinary to report. As of the last reconciliation our closing balance at the end of January is $125,459.40 in operations, $205,605.69 in the reserve account and $40,761.16 in the volunteer pension relief. We are currently operating in the black.

MOTION: Move to accept the Financial Reports as presented
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Michelle Bell
SECONDED: Ken Leffler

Chief’s Report-
Information regarding the following topics was presented by the fire chief:

In January we had 102 calls – our busiest month for the district.
The structure fire at the Children’s Center in Huachuca City was an arson fire and two people are now in jail.
We had a structure fire on Sands Ranch last week, reported by a passer by on Hwy 82, fully involved when we arrived. The garage is still standing.
Our new diesel ambulance got filled with 20 gallons of gasoline (accidentally). We had it towed to the City. According to Ford new diesels can go about 100 miles before the motor is destroyed. Between the tow truck and City it will cost about $600 – $900.
Board members have a copy of our net assessed evaluation of the district that shows the consolidation is complete.
The district value went down because the county has not caught up; the values went down in real estate. Next year we should start going up.
Next board meeting I will be giving you a rough-draft of the budget. We may not be able to rollover as much as we have in the past but we should not have to increase the tax rate. We will generate a little more by bringing PBW’s rate up to ours.

MOTION: Move to accept the Chief’s Report
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Board Member Comments:

Rick Evans stated he is astounded at the good attitude and technical proficiency of our firefighters and paramedics on medical calls.

Michelle Bell asked Diana Jones how the new website and hosting is going. Diana Jones responded everything is going well in building the new site and with the new hosting service.

Bobby Chapman asked if Diana Jones has administrative privileges for making changes on the new website. Diana Jones said yes.

Ken Leffler asked Diana Jones if she will be doing all the administrating when the site is completed. Diana Jones stated she will be taught how to do everything in WordPress and will manage the site.

Bobby Chapman suggested Diana Jones look into a WordPress class.

Mary Foote said kudos to Melissa Bidon for the fire pictures and little hints on FaceBook.

Future Agenda Items:

No future agenda items were discussed.

Adjournment:

MOTION: Adjourn the meeting
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler
SECONDED: Michelle Bell

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

Agenda February 2016

NOTICE OF PUBLIC SESSION FOR THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02 DATE: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 TIME: 6:00 P.M. PLACE OF MEETING: Whetstone Fire District 2422 N Firehouse Lane Whetstone, AZ 85616 AGENDA: ANY ITEM ON THIS AGENDA IS OPEN FOR DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION Pledge of Allegiance/Call Meeting to Order/Roll Call and Affirmation of Quorum Call to the Public:

  • This is the time for the Public to comment. Members of the Board may not discuss items that are not specifically identified on the agenda.

Old Business:

  1. Review, Discussion and Possible Action on the Operating Policies/Fire Board Conduct and Procedures Tabled from January’s 26th meeting
  2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Purchase of Two New Ambulances Provided a formal proposal for financing of 2 new ambulances from EVG Inc. through Kansas State Bank as requested from January’s board meeting

New Business:

  1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for January 2016
  2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Saunders Company Ltd. Teleconference Call Presentation of the Fiscal Year Audit for 2014-2015 Saunders Company Ltd. office contact number 623-476-8660 Auditors; James and Tricia Saunders
  3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Donation of Obsolete PBW Apparatus 1975 Boardman fire engine; VIN CTE675V147815 and 1992 Beck fire engine VIN: 11VVB0656KA00008 (No Fee for Removal/ Disposal)
  4. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Financial Reports

Chief’s Report Board Member Comments Future Agenda Items Adjournment DATED THIS 22nd DAY OF FEBRUARY 2016 PLACE POSTED: Website The Whetstone Fire District Board may vote to go into Executive Session on any agenda item pursuant to ARS 38-431.03(A)(3) for discussion and consultation for legal advice with the governing Board Attorney on the matter(s) as set forth in the agenda item. The order of the Agenda may be altered or changed by order of the Board. Copies of the Agenda are available upon request at Administration 2422 N. Firehouse Lane Whetstone, AZ. 85616. Call to the Public – According to the Arizona Open Meeting Law, the District Board can only discuss matters listed on the meeting agenda. At the conclusion of the open call to the public, individual Board Members may respond to criticism made by those individuals who have addressed the Board, may ask staff to review a matter or may ask that a matter be placed on a future agenda. However the Board will not discuss or take action on any matter rose during a Call to the Public unless the matter has been properly noticed on the agenda. Please step forward or otherwise identify yourself when the Chair announces the item(s) on the agenda which you are interested in addressing. 1. Please state your name and address for the record. 2. Speak only on the issue currently being discussed by the Board. 3. Please limit your comments to 5 minutes. 4. During “Call to the Public” you may address the Board on any issue within the jurisdiction of the Fire Board. 5. Any member of the public speaking must speak in a courteous and respectful manner to those present. Thank you for your cooperation.

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