Board of Commissioners - March 18, 2014 Meeting Minutes← Back

 St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 1


Board of Commissioners


Regular Meeting


March 18, 2014


The meeting was called to order at 6:02 p.m.


The pledge of allegiance and prayer were given.


Roll Call:  Chairman Crowley and Commissioners McDonald and Risley were present.

                  Commissioners Kingston and Brackett were absent.



AWARDS & RECOGNITION- Chad Duffaut- Completion of Bachelor s of Fire Science

                                                                            Jason Cetrone- Promoted to Fire Operator        

                                                                            Merreil Gomez- Promoted to Fire Captain

                                                                            Chris Kaufmann- 25 years of service                 




Commissioner McDonald made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 10, 11, 25 and February 18, 2014 meetings. Commissioner Risley seconded the motion. The motion carried.





A)   Chief’s Report-


1.)      Discussion- FD #1 Entering into an agreement with St. Tammany Parish 911 Board to move into a centralized 911 Dispatch Center- Commissioner McDonald stated that the reason for his request to have this item on the agenda was the future projects that we are considering, and the impact that it could have on how we proceed with our Dispatch center. 


                                        Commissioner McDonald stated that it would be a benefit to move to a centralized center, which would be funded by 911.  Additionally, he stated that less than a year ago, the Parish came out with an idea about consolidating, which he promotes and hopes the agencies can work together. Commissioner McDonald stated that if Dispatch is centralized, it would cut back on the I.T. work load. He further stated that Dispatch would be moved to a low flood risk area.


                                        Commissioner McDonald stated that he would support this idea if Fire Dist. #1 maintains control of their dispatchers (maintain seniority), continues to dispatch for Dist. #7 and Dist. #11, relocates to a central location in the Parish (not Covington or Mandeville), and this must be done in conjunction with the Sheriff’s radio project.


                                        Rodney Hart, Director of 911, was present and stated that they currently have the Consolidated Dispatch Center, in Covington, and it houses the Sheriff’s Office. He further stated that there has been a push, by other Chief’s and Board Members, to have everyone in Covington; thus providing interoperable communications.


                                        Mr. Hart stated that in order to do this, a bigger facility will be needed, and it was determined that the area of Hwy. 434 would be ideal to build a Public Safety Bldg. (to house the E.O.C, 911, The National Weather Service, etc.)


                                        Chairman Crowley inquired about the costs to Fire Dist. #1. Mr. Hart stated that the 911 Board is required to furnish the equipment and all of the necessary means for routing all of the calls. He further stated that the dispatching portion comes from the agencies.


                                        Chief Kaufmann inquired as to whether there is a plan, for the east and the west, if all agencies (fire department, law enforcement, etc.) are not under one roof. Mr. Hart stated that he does not feel there is an advantage to have a facility in the east and the west; however, there may be an option to create an east and west within the dispatch center.


                                        Chief Kaufmann reiterated the importance of good communication, stating that our department has not been included in past discussions on future planning. Mr. Hart said that all of the agencies need to come together to truly understand, and trust each other, in moving forward.


                                        Chief Kaufmann requested clarification on whether anyone going to Unifire would be working for Fire Dist. 12. Mr. Hart stated that Dist. #12 does employ Unifire.


Trilby Lenfant, St. Tammany Parish Director of Intergovernmental Relations, stated that the Parish has property off of Hwy. 434, north of the Coroner’s Office. She stated that they are currently putting infrastructure in place, in anticipation for the Northshore Technical College. Ms. Lenfant stated that the Parish has long term plans for development at the Park and Ride off Hwy. 434. She further stated that there may be FEMA money available for a new E.O.C.


Chief Kaufmann stated that if there is a building put on Hwy.434, our department will be there. Chairman Crowley stated that this whole process is about cost savings, not anyone losing their job.


2.)     Millage Workshop- Chief Kaufmann stated that a millage workshop, put on by the Legislative Auditor’s Office, on March 13 was conducted. He further stated that we received correspondence that addressed meetings, timelines, etc.


Attorney Ingram stated that Act 258, passed in 2013, states that for those wishing to roll up their millage, they must now conduct a public hearing in a location set by the Parish Council. He further stated that the dates are June 25 and 26, 2014. He further stated that as a result, we must post our notice 30 days prior. The Assessor has set May 24 as the last date by which we have to have two publications advising of our intent to set/increase our millage. Additionally, we will have to begin our budget process sooner, in order to set our millage by August 1.


3.)     Station/ Bldg./ Land Update- Chief Kaufmann reported that the closing for Station 17 is complete.


Chief Kaufmann stated that Station 14 is approx. 70% completed.


Chief Kaufmann stated that we are working with Fauntleroy & Latham on the Multi-Purpose Bldg. The plans will soon be advertised for public bid.


Chief Kaufmann stated that we are working on the removal of the temporary quarters at Station 14.

Chief Kaufmann stated that with regards to the portable buildings, from the School Board, we authorized the removal of one building, at a cost of $3,000.


4.)     Spouse Insurance Meeting- The second meeting is scheduled forApril 2, 6:00 p.m.


5.)     Vehicle Maintenance Committee Report- Chief Kaufmann stated that research has been done and he feels that we have the necessary information to advertise for the Mechanic position.


6.)     General Comments- Chief Kaufmann stated that meetings with the Coin Du Lestin Homeowners group have taken place. This area has a water supply deficiency and we are working on having dry hydrants installed.


                                        Chief Kaufman stated that with regards to the Public Campaign, Chief Duffaut has done a great job with the PIO work. Additionally, he is working on the 2013 Year End Report.


                                        Chief Kaufmann stated that our first public campaign press release has gone out. We will be doing a vehicle extrication demo on May 19, at 10:00 a.m.


                                        Chief Kaufman stated that there have been many unsuccessful attempts in getting in touch with Ferrara; however, he recently got a response, and a meeting has been scheduled for March 26.


                                        Chief Kaufmann stated that with regards to the 2015 budget, we will likely recommend getting rid of the reserve apparatus based on the amount of money we are spending on maintenance.  Additionally, Ladder 17 has major repairs that need to be fixed. He further stated that Cummins has agreed to work on a couple of our apparatus with some warranty issues.  


Commissioner Risley made a motion to accept the Chief’s report. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion. The motion carried. 


                        PMI Report

1.      Employee Benefits

a.)     Dependent Insurance Meeting – April 2 (2nd meeting)

2.      Human Resource-

a.)     2014-007: BOC Resolution (Replenish Disaster Fund)


Commissioner Risley made a motion to adopt Resolution 2014-007, Relating to the Replenishment of the Disaster Fund for District #1. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion. The motion carried.


b.)     2014-008: BOC Resolution (CEA St. Tammany Parish School Board/ Donated Classrooms)


Commissioner McDonald made a motion to adopt Resolution 2014-008, Relating to the Entering into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with St. Tammany Parish School Board for District #1. Commissioner Risley seconded the motion. The motion carried.


c.)      2014-009: BOC Resolution (CSB Appointment)- Discussion- Mr. Waniewski stated that Mrs. Baringer is completing the expiring term of Ms. Peggy Melancon, which expires on April 28, 2014. He requested that consideration be given to reappoint her for a two year term.


d.)     St. Tammany Parish Assessor’s Notice (ACT 258 & 363)


3.      Payroll

4.       FRS (Firefighters Retirement System)

a.)     FRS Back Pay Audit- Pay off balance (Outstanding)

b.)     FRS 2006- Outstanding Audit Acknowledgement (Filed as not in agreement with FRS determination)


                  Mr. Waniewski stated that PRSAC has met and the established FRS contribution rate, effective July 1, is 29.25%


5. VFIS Special Risk Insurance & LWCC-

a.)     VFIS Depreciation Valuation (Temp Housing, Transportation, Set-up & Pole Barn)- Station 14 ($46,430) – Mr. Waniewski stated that we have stayed longer than the year allowed, so we have received bids, totaling approx. $20,000, to remove and reconstruct the pole barn, remove the trailer, and repair the land. He further stated that VFIS may consider paying, either a portion, or in full, for some of these costs.


b.)     VFIS- Station 14 Removal of Pole Barn & Temp Housing – Extra Expense Claim Submitted

c.)    VFIS Crime Coverage: Background checks (Cash handling & signature authority)- Establish SOP

d.)     VFIS- 2014 Renewal Questionnaire- Submitted


Commissioner McDonald a motion to accept the PMI report. Commissioner Risley seconded the motion. The motion carried.


C)      DiGiovanni & Associates, CPA’s, L.L.C-     Mr. DiGiovanni discussed the financial report.


Commissioner Risley made a motion to accept the financial report. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion.  The motion carried.


D)      Attorney’s Report- Attorney Ingram stated that we appeared before the Parish Council, regarding the property on Airport Rd. (Station 18), and were successful in having the moratorium lifted. Additionally, the land use application has been submitted to allow for the parcel of property to be rezoned.


         With regards to Station 13, Attorney Ingram stated that we have had preliminary discussions and a purchase agreement has been submitted and we are still in negotiations.


Commissioner Risley made a motion to approve the Attorney Report. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion. The motion carried.


E)      Board of Commissioner Comments- Commissioner Risley inquired as to who was acting as Director of Administration. Chief Kaufmann stated that Chief Kuhn was.


Commissioner Risley inquired into the status of Accreditation. Chief Kaufmann stated that we are completing the process and they are scheduled to come in June.


Commissioner Risley made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner McDonald seconded the motion. The motion carried.


The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

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