Carthage might have to raise what it charges for fire calls outside the city limits.
Fire Chief Gary Smith said the department doesn't cover a fire district. It is a city department that provides a service within a designated area. Since people in the area don't pay a tax for fire protection, they get a bill when the fire department responds to a call.
He said, ”With the rising fuel costs, diesel costs a lot. Equipment costs a lot. We take around a half-million dollars worth of equipment and between that and the fuel cost we can spend more than we bring in.”
Carthage's new Community Development Director brings a lifetime of experience to the job.
Bob Livingston spent over five decades in the plumbing business in his home state of Pennsylvania. Since moving to Illinois, the 91 year-old has helped bring rural water service to Henderson County. He was a VISTA volunteer with that county's Economic Development Corporation for three years.
He said between his business experience and his work on the water district, he feels well-prepared for the new job.
The newest flood map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency expands the flood plain in Carthage. FEMA has been taking advantage of satellite photography and GIS technology to update its flood maps.
Mayor Jim Nightingale said some residents will be surprised by the results.
He said, “There's a lot of questions on this, you know. It's a big part of the center of the city and I think there's people that didn't think they were in a flood plain, which they are.”
Carthage planned to replace one of its police cars in the next fiscal year. Chief Gary Waddell found a deal the city couldn't pass up. He found a dealer with a properly-equipped vehicle in stock. The city found the savings attractive.
Mayor Jim Nightingale said, “We probably could have got by until next budget year. But this is a 2011 (model). There was a considerable discount on it. I think we probably saved close to $3,000 so we decided to go ahead.”
The city took delivery of the new squad car this week. The total cost was approximately $24,000, fully-equipped.