Vice mayor named
Photo of new aldermen and families

Board hears reports from department heads


By Kim Swindell Wood


Published: Monday, August 27, 2012 6:08 AM CDT
Photo: Newly sworn-in aldermen pose with their family members who helped them celebrate their accomplishments. (Left) Dr. Chad Griffin and his wife Kim, along with their four children; (middle) Judy Parker Payne and husband Jim (standing behind her); Vice Mayor Robert Verble; and Lynn Omohundro, City of Sparta attorney.
Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen continued business as usual at its recent meeting after the city attorney administered the oath of office to one newcomer and two who are returning for another term.
As previously reported, Dr. Chad Griffin was sworn in for his first political office, along with returning aldermen Judy Parker Payne and Robert Verble. Verble, who had been serving as vice-mayor was also named to the position again by Mayor Jeff Young.
In other business, the board heard reports from each department head.
• Kirk Young, fire chief
The department has completed installation of 200 smoke/fire detectors obtained through a grant. Young said he would be applying for additional detectors in the fall.
Firefighters are also raising money for Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of “Fill the Boot” campaign. They will be parking cars during the fair as a fundraiser for this cause.
• Olof Fornehed, public works director
Water department workers have been repairing water leaks.
Fornehed said some ewer overflows had recently occurred because of excessive rain. However, according to Fornehed, the leaks are much less problematic because of the recent work on the sewer line.
Street department workers have been cleaning up debris from recent storms. Also, the department has performed some work on the sidewalk near Hunter Funeral Home, on the corner of Rhea Street.
The paving project on Clark Street has been completed.
YMCA parking area project has also been completed.
• L.R. West, electric system director
Lightning had caused some problems with fuses during the recent storms, which also affected several streetlights.
West said he has been working with Energy Right Solutions to assist Sparta businesses. West said TVA provides matching funds, which is usually about $14,000 annually. The funds are used to do energy studies for commercial businesses. If the recommended upgrades are done, then the business will receive rebates from TVA. The program is also available for homes.
• Lt. Robert Hall, representing Chief Jeff Guth, of Sparta Police Department
Hall said the department is getting ready for White County Fair, which is Aug. 31-Sept. 8. Officers patrol the grounds on a regular basis since the property is within the city limits.
The department has also been working with the Regional Health Department on plans for dispensing medication in the event of a terrorist attack that would involve anthrax and smallpox.
“That’s part of our effort to be as proactive as possible,” Hall said.
The board also:
• Approved ordinance to change zoning classification of approximately 0.32 acres on Highland Drive from Residential-A to Commercial-D (first of two required readings)
• Authorized solicitation of bids for purchase of custom fire pumper truck
• Approved bid for hot-mix asphalt for fiscal year 2012-2013 to be awarded to LoJac
• Approved bid for wet valve insertions for public works department to be awarded to G&C Supply
Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets at 5 p.m., the first and third Thursdays of each month at city hall. The next meeting will be Sept. 6, 2012.