By Bill Sumrall
PINEVILLE — Mayor Clarence Fields, during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, recognized Lowe’s employee Don Holman and District 5 Councilman Nathan Martin for their actions concerning a Dec. 19 house fire on Hollymoore Drive.
Both men received certificates as “local heroes” for risking their lives by entering the burning house to clear the residence of any potential victims.
Holman made no public statement but Martin said that Holman was the first on the scene and “in my mind he’s the hero on this.”
Martin added he counted 11 different emergency vehicles responding to the fire.
Also, Susanna Broennimann, a Swiss exchange student attending Pineville High School, received an honorary citizen certificate from Mayor Fields.
Broennimann, whose host family is Ken and Lorene Christie of Pineville, in turn presented a box of chocolates from Switzerland to the mayor.
In other business, City auditor Mark McKay gave a report on the audit for the city of Pineville’s fiscal year ending in June 2009.
McKay found one minor infraction in the purchase of a new fire truck that did not follow strict bid laws.
A fire truck destroyed in an accident needed to be replaced as soon as possible but McKay said the city made assurances that all such purchases in future will be in compliance.
A 6 to 8-percent decrease in sales tax revenues was reported elsewhere, “but we (in Pineville) increased by 8 percent,” McKay said, adding “good job, Lowe’s.”
Overall for the fiscal year, McKay reported “we’re in good shape” in Pineville with a surplus but he warned to be careful in spending. “My hat’s off to you and I salute you,” McKay said.
District 1 Councilwoman Mary B. Galloway announced a meeting for concerned citizens of District 1 is set for Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Main Street Community Center.
The Council approved introducing for publication amendments to the city’s billboard and off-premise sign ordinance which will be take up at next month’s meeting.
The Council approved a resolution supporting the implementation of the Louisiana College School of Medicine in Central Louisiana.
Chief of Staff Rich Dupree said the college applied for approval last November with the American Medical Institute and enrollment is not expected until 2011.
The resolution states in part that a Louisiana College Medical School would create a $1.4 billion economic impact to Louisiana and create more than 8,000 jobs as well as directly improve the quality of health care in Central Louisiana.
City Engineer Tom David with Pan-American reported on the introduction for publication of an ordinance to issue $2 million in utilities revenue bonds.
David said this takes advantage of a low-interest government-sponsored loan program of monies available through the federal Environmental Protection Agency to fix environmental problem with the sewer system.
David noted that the interest rate on the funds loaned to the city of Pineville was below 1 percent, far below the 8 percent interest rate which funded the Revolutionary War and the 5 percent interest rates after World War II.
“It’s about economic stimulation,” David said.
The Council approved a resolution authorizing the city to state their intention to maintain permit requirements as set forth by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System to prevent wastewater permit violations.
Also, the Council approved a resolution from the state DOTD for capital assistance necessary for transportation of the elderly in Pineville, which the mayor explained is done in a van operated by the police department.
Charlie Moore with the street department reported no major problems with city water lines due to cold weather but advised citizens to take precautions.