Local fire department seeks help from commission

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Pine Crest Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer James Gross sought the Campbell County Commission’s help at the workshop Monday night.

PCVFD has accumulated about $200,000 in debt.

“That’s why we’re trying to establish the Norris Ridge Volunteer Fire Department,” Gross said.

PCVFD will “die a corporate death,” and NRVFD will consist of the same members, using the same equipment and stations, and will cover the same area, Gross said.

PCVFD will continue to operate until the corporation-filing deadline with the state in October.

To begin operating, NRVFD will need to borrow $76,913 with a 3.25 percent interest rate. All but $15,000 of this will be to finance debt on equipment that will be brought over from PCVFD. A $16,913 loan from First Volunteer Bank and a $45,000 loan from the First of Campbell County are for equipment from PCVFD. NRVFD further plans to borrow $15,000 for a used pumper.

Each year, the county funds PCVFD operations with $16,500. On Monday, Gross requested the commission assign $8,000 of this money to First Volunteer Bank for 12 years to pay for the debt. This $8,000 is not an increase in the amount of funding the fire department would receive from the county, but would come off the top, Gross said.

County attorney Joe Coker said the commission could not do this because the commission doesn’t know what the budget would look like from year to year.

Former fire chief and treasurer Jerry Moat sent in a resignation from the PCVFD in February.

Business Incubator

Monday, Coker approved a lease that would allow the county to rent the top floor of the Jacksboro branch of Community Trust Bank for the business incubator.  The commission will vote on the lease at its meeting next Monday.

During the workshop, Commissioner Scott Stanfield asked how long the business incubator has been in operation.

Baird told him it has been operating for about four months.

“Have we seen anything come from it?” Stanfield asked. “I haven’t seen anything produced from it.”

“They’re working,” Baird said. “They’ve got prospects.”

The goal for the business incubator is to provide training for people who want to start businesses, as well as training local business owners. The business incubator has worked with several businesses and business owners including Martin Trowbridge from Beekeepers of America. Trowbridge rents bees to farmers and extracts bees from homes and wooden structures. But it hasn’t had a location.

“We’ve not had a home,” said Billie Russell, from the county mayor’s office. “We were supposed to be located in the J. Sports Building.”

The J. Sports building was given to Trail Manor.

Ridenour Lane

Commissioner Tom Hatmaker asked about reducing the speed limit on Ridenour Lane.

“Just a decrease for the safety of the community,” Hatmaker said. “There’s a lot of kids in that area.”

The speed limit there is currently 30 miles per hour. Hatmaker feels it could be reduced to about 25 miles per hour.