By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
The Atmore City Council, sitting two members short, approved during the council’s Monday, February 10, meeting the emergency purchase of a heavy-duty air compressor to service the self-contained breathing apparatuses recently purchased for city firefighters.
The air compressor previously used for that task recently quit working, again, and AFD personnel have been relying on a neighboring department to fill the air tanks worn by firemen when fighting indoor or outdoor fires.
“This is what pumps air into those breathing apparatuses we bought recently,” explained Mayor Jim Staff before the council approved the $47,500 emergency purchase. “Our air compressor has been on the demise for about 10 years, and it quit on us the other day. Poarch (Fire Department), thank goodness, has stepped in in filling our air bottles, but we’ve got to purchase a new machine.”
The mayor pointed out that the new compressor would pay for itself in maintenance and repair costs.
“We’ve been spending $5,000 to $7,500 a year in repairs on the old machine, and we can’t repair it this time,” he said.
Fire Chief Ron Peebles said the purchase, which was approved by a 4-0 vote, was “not just something we want, it’s something we’ve got to have.”
Council members Jerome Webster, who was in Atlanta, and Chris Harrison, who was unable to leave his job, did not attend the meeting, and Staff became a voting member of the body.
The council also approved on Monday two zoning ordinance amendments that benefited Atmore Nursing Center and the two historic buildings at Heritage Park. Each received unanimous consent.
Codes Enforcement Officer Chris Black said the first amendment would protect ANC in the event of a disaster that damaged or destroyed the facility.
“If the center was to be destroyed, it wouldn’t be able to continue that use (under the ordinance that was in effect before the amendment was approved),” Black said. “This amendment will change that use to be allowed in all districts, with zoning approval.”
The second amendment pertained to the Watson Cabin and the Webb-Peavy Building.
Codes Enforcement Officer Greg Vaughn explained that the amendment would allow for a special exception in locating such historic buildings in areas otherwise zoned for residential use.
In other business Monday, the council:
*Approved the annual Ladies of Essence Mardi Gras Parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 22.
*Approved the second annual Lupus Awareness Walk, although a date was not provided.