Search and Categories

Here’s The Scoop …. “VFD MASTERPLAN COMPLETED”….ALMOST ….

THE LBTS-VFD INC…JUST NEEDS TO GET THE TOWN TO PAY FOR IT!……..

Dear Readers… just 2 months ago we heard the LBTS-VFD Inc. went out and bought themselves a 5th firetruck..a 102′ aerial ladder truck….and we were all supposed to be beside ourselves with admiration …Commissioner Dodd upon seeing the new truck in the El Prado parking lot was informed by Chief Perkins, the LBTS-VFD Inc. would be asking the Town to help pay for it…Commissioner Dodd told the Chief that would not fly in his book…This writer wrote about it (prev. post)…and the LBTS-VFD Inc. shied away from the request at the July 28, 2009 Commission meeting…..In fact the Town Manager made it clear after some questioning that the Town would not be buying any fire trucks… This in itself was a departure from the Town Manager’s statements when the LBTS-VFD Inc. began service again in Oct. 2009 and upon the purchase of the third LBTS-VFD Inc. fire truck…Ms. Colon repeatedly told the Town we should own the public safety equipment  for if we ever replaced our contractor we would have the apparatus in place for the next provider….Maybe it got to be too much even for her after that…with the 4th truck coming so close behind…The LBTS-VFD Inc. made a big deal up on the dais courtesy of their Deputy Chief/ Vice Mayor McIntee saying that 4th truck wasn’t going to cost the taxpayers a dime… same for the Sea Doo …Deputy Chief’s new Command Car…along with the endless detailing upgrades of lights & sirens, painting, etc…on all their “big boy toys”…

The Mc-Furth Times came out with their “feel good” issue on July 31, 2009…..and on the cover was “VFD MASTERPLAN COMPLETED”….with a story on page 3 and the Chief on the customary LBTS-VFD Inc. purchased full back page back ad showing the latest acquisition….

According to the Commission backup…now online…the LBTS-VFD Inc. made out an agenda request form per Chief Robert Perkins…which includes the following ” Tower Ladder 12- 1990 GRUMMAND AERIAL TRUCK Town’s -reserve fund- to purchase new truck/ownership”….Also was a copy of e-mails between the Chief and the Town Manger… Chief Perkins sent his e-mail to “Esther Colon” on 7/20/09 at 12:37 pm…”Tower ladder truck has arrived. It’s cost was $150,000. Does the town have any funds available to help with its cost: could we add it to the next meeting agenda? …(BC- just as the Chief informed Comm. Dodd in the parking lot)…sincerely,Chief Perkins”….a response from Manager Colon…”Chief, Item will be placed on the next agenda unless you discuss at the 7/28/09 meeting during your report or public safety discussions. The vehicle equipment reserve account has a balance of approximately $181,538.” … also included was the title dated 7/22/09 …owner Lauderdale By The Sea Volunteer Fire Department…page 2 of the 15 page Sun Trust account for the LBTS -VFD Inc. showing 2 withdrawals …for the truck..”7/14 10,000.00 over-the-counter withdrawal outgoing fedwire transfer fee” and “7/16 140,000.00 outgoing fedwire dr trn”…the next page a copy of the Sun Trust Ju. 14,2009 official check for $10,000.00 from LBTS Volunteer Fire Dept. to Northeast Fire Company Inc. For Gruman Aerial Truck”…next page a certificate of Insurance dated 7/15/09…and another insurance endorsement dated 7/19/09…

Where do we start with the BLURRY LINES between a contracted Inc.company that provides a service to the Town and the Town’s (taxpayer’s) obligations to that company?…

First, sometimes we as a town are in…when it is to buy the apparatus they want……sometimes we the town are out…when they will not allow any Town oversight board….citing that they are a contracted Inc. company…

Second,  if the Town wants to buy a ladder truck, we need to have a study to see if we really need a 102′ ladder truck in a 2 1/2 mile town…that has few fires …enjoys mutual aid (something the “2-Hats” repeatedly assured the residents of when there was concern over the loss of BSO fire)…and knowing Fort Lauderdale has a 100′ aerial truck….ISO rating would have been looked at as well….

Third, after such a study there would need to be an RFP  for the truck, and I do not think we would buy a 19 year old truck from the VFD but they could certainly put in a bid to sell it….

Fourth, Why would we need to buy a truck NOW?…The VFD already has one…as they proudly told us… “VFD Masterplan completed”!!!….

Are we to be now held accountable for the LBTS-VFD Inc. purchase that was done solely on their own with no commission/taxpayer input?…I think not!…

That said, there needs to be a resounding vote of NO from the Commission!…

After that vote, there needs to be discussion on the need for a $3 million dollar Fire House now and if we as a town really needs it. We have few fires and any federal grant would require monies from the Town as well ….It is the hope of this writer that the VFD will return to the department most thought we were getting back last Oct., going back to the small VFD firehouse…2-3 firetrucks ….going out on only fires…and leaving the medical calls to AMR who according to the latest Town Topics just received awards for their paramedics which proves they do not need the VFD to accompany them on calls!….

We need to find out more about the Town’s “Vehicle equipment reserve account”…that now has $181, 538 (after the purchase of the 3rd firetruck by the town last fall)…

Resident Yann Brandt made a Public Records Request (PRR) for all accounts held by the Town… no “Vehicle equipment reserve account” showing $181,538. was included…..So where is it? …The only account provided to Mr. Brandt was a vehicle replacement fund that showed a zero balance…Once found, the fund needs to be watched by a Town Oversight Committee…for Town apparatus purchases (separate from the LBTS-VFD Inc.) thus providing the assurance to the taxpayers we are going to purchase the proper equipment with the proper procedures in place!

Keep an eye on item 7 a….and let the Town know the lines cannot be crossed anymore!…

BC-Special thanks to a trusted adviser !….

More to come…

Tags: ,

Post Division