Monthly Archives: September 2016

September Board Meeting Minutes

BOARD MEETING, September 28th, 2016

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

Chairman, Rick Evans, 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
Cathy Dyer, Office Manager

Absent: None

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.

Old Business:

1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Personnel Incident Regarding Motor Vehicle Accident on 7/28/2016

MOTION: Move to go into Executive Session
RESULT: Approved, all in favor none opposed
MOVED BY: Ken Leffler

New Business:

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

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

2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Replacement of Apparatus; Engine-321

Chief Bidon stated Engine-321 from Northwest Fire is 26-years old and failed its pump test. It’s starting to have mechanical issues and may not be able to be repaired to pass the pump test without significant costs. ISO is concerned with how many years a vehicle has been in service and the results of pump testing. Danny Speer has looked into purchasing used and new engines.

The manufacturer we bought the tender and brushtruck from have a 1250 gpm pumper, 1,000 gallon tank, 4 person cab for right around $210,000.00 – a little more depending on tank size and pump size.

We are still trying to do the federal program where we can get free fire apparatus. The state has to approve us as an agency through the emergency management in order to go to the federal government emergency department to get free vehicles.

We will have to start considering replacing the engines because they are getting older. Engine-321 may be used for the next 12-18 months before being taken out of service. Chief Bidon will have more information and different avenues to go down for the board.

Rick Evans stated he has personal knowledge of the truck. It is an oddball truck not typical of what you would find. It always had mechanical problems and an A and B foam system that didn’t work.

Ken Leffler stated Chief Bidon should start looking at all the options that are available so decisions can be made.

3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Possibility of Hiring of Inmate Labor

Chief Bidon said he is not looking for any official action he is just giving the board information. He wants to hire two inmates Monday through Thursday from 9:00 to 1:00 for building maintenance, i.e. keeping the grounds up, mowing, keeping trucks washed and the bays clean. It will benefit the District to hire inmates to assist our staff whether it’s the ladies, the duty crew or himself with station upkeep and station maintenance, etc.

Rick Evans stated he worked around inmates for seven years in Huachuca City; they are a nightmare. They are criminals who spend every waking moment trying to figure out how to steal or hide contraband. They mess-up everything they touch including the apparatus. They left wires loose on a truck that caused it to be dead when a call came in, broke something and put it back without telling anyone, and loaded hose wrong. They cannot do anything other than the most basic manual labor. They have to have a trained supervisor with them at all times and cannot be left alone, tying up another person the whole time. Contraband could be found any day of the week in the bathrooms and a truck with keys left inside was taken by an inmate who was not being supervised.

Chief Bidon stated we would put policy into place. If Cathy Dyer, Diana Jones and Chief Bidon could not be at the fire station we would not take inmates that day. The inmates would not be hired for loading hose although they can help roll hose. They will not be allowed inside the fire trucks or ambulances.

Rick Evans stated he found out in Huachuca City the inmates cannot roll hose without being supervised by a firefighter and they cannot number the hose in sequence.

Ken Leffler stated if Chief Bidon wants to try hiring inmates it will be up to his discretion and if it doesn’t work then it will be stopped.

Michelle Bell agrees with Ken Leffler and asked Cathy Dyer and Diana Jones if they are okay with it. Diana Jones stated she won’t know until she meets the inmates as every person is different.

Bobby Chapman stated we should give it a try. We don’t need our firefighters out there cutting weeds and grass; let the inmates clean the bathrooms and do the chores. In Huachuca City the inmates are constantly under guard and everyone is trained to watch them.

Mary Foote said we can give it a try but she is hesitant on having them inside; having them do the outside work is fine.

Chief Bidon stated his biggest concern is the ladies in the office and making sure they are comfortable with it and there is always someone else around. The minute there is one issue it is done, the whole program will go away. That goes both ways, the prison has to approve us too.

Chief Bidon stated he will bring the contract back to the board for approval.

Chief Bidon left the meeting at this point for a conflicting engagement.

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

Cathy Dyer said the balance in operations as of the end of last month was $8.09 but is higher now with recent deposits. We have dipped into the credit line a couple times but that is not unusual this time of the year. The PBW account closed out with $500.83 last month. The auditors recommend contacting Carmen and having the County set up an auto transfer if she is willing. Our reserve account closed at $156,444.21 and is current. The volunteer pension account is still sitting idle at $41,035.55. We are starting the hiring process tomorrow. If we hire volunteers they will not be compensated but we will still have to meet the 5% requirement to go towards their pension. The auditors were here for two days; they were very happy except for concern with the lack of receipts from Chief Bidon’s American Express card. James Saunders (one of the auditors) talked to Chief Bidon about turning in his receipts.

Ken Leffler asked what reoccurring expenses PBW has. Cathy Dyer said the only expense from PBW is electric bills for both buildings but there is a weather station at the Washington station that generates revenue that offsets the electric.

The auditors also requested that when signing warrants the signor looks over and initials the invoices.

Chief Bidon was supposed to present examples of fraud provided by the auditors. We also had a discrepancy because we did not post a hearing for the public 20 days prior to adopting the budget. We do not have to post the budget in the paper but we are required to post it on our website and in the conspicuous public locations where our agendas are posted. The issue with not receiving the budget until the last minute has to be corrected so we have time for posting the hearing and publishing it on the website.

Rick Evans asked if the hearing has the same guidelines as the open meeting laws in regards to the board having the ability to say, “We’ll get back to you”, “we are not going to answer that question or take the action you requested” or is there an obligation to answer questions about the finances? Cathy Dyer stated she doesn’t know if they are the same but the hearing gives the public the opportunity to express opinions about the budget so corrections can be made prior to the adoption.

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

Chief’s Report-
Information regarding the following topic(s) presented by the fire chief:

Michelle Bell asked who is Klinton Smuda? Diana Jones replied he is an EMT on B-shift. Michelle Bell asked if he was the one who did the research on the ambulances. Diana Jones said no, Danny Speer did the research.

Cathy Dyer stated the new ambulances are inspected and operational as of today. Both have a leak in the O2 lines. EVG will be contacted tomorrow for warranty and repair information.

We received Klinton Smuda’s resignation; he will be moving on to another fire department. We have four applicants applying for his position.

The Haunted House and Trunk-or-Treat is planned for the Saturday before Halloween.

The radios were programmed and are on the units.

We had 54 calls for the month of August.

We need to purchase two new Philips monitors for the new ambulances.

Board Member Comments:

Ken Leffler asked about the status of the remodel. Cathy Dyer said she emailed Joe Eveningred and he said he has the permits and wants to meet next week to pick cabinets and colors and tile. Ken Leffler also asked if we were given an estimated time from start to finish. Cathy Dyer said no. Ken Leffler asked Cathy Dyer to get the estimated time.

Rick Evans stated he has no doubt we are the best run best performing fire district in the state. Mary Foote agrees.

Cathy Dyer stated the annual Fire Prevention Safety Fair is on October 22; if the board would like to come out for free food and entertainment and to mingle with the residents.

Future Agenda Items:

No future agenda items.


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

Rick Evans, Chairman
Diana Jones, Billing Administrator

Agenda September 2016

Pursuant to A.R.S. 38-431.02

DATE: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016
TIME: 6:00 P.M.

Whetstone Fire District
2422 N Firehouse Lane
Whetstone, AZ 85616


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 of Personnel Incident Regarding Motor Vehicle Accident on 7/28/2016

New Business:

  1. Review, Amendment and Possible Action of Public Session Minutes for August 2016
  2. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Replacement of Apparatus; Engine-321
  3. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of Possibility of Hiring of Inmate Labor
  4. Review, Discussion and Possible Action of the Financial Reports

Chief’s Report

Board Member Comments

Future Agenda Items



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.

Whetstone Arizona
clear sky
humidity: 19%
wind: 17mph WNW
H 50 • L 19
Weather from OpenWeatherMap