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Argo councilors, other officials discuss guidelines for FEMA grant

By Tanna Friday

For the Tribune

ARGO — The conversation during Monday’s Argo Council meeting began when city attorney, Scott Barnett, asked council members if they would like him to review the newly awarded FEMA Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant for compliancy.

Mayor Betty Bradley concurred with Barnett that it would be a good idea to ensure the city was within the expected guidelines for the grant.

At the last council meeting, Argo Fire Chief, Mike Platts, announced to the council the awarding of the city’s FEMA SAFER grant, which will fund recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Councilor “Corky” Massey disagreed with Barnett’s idea.

“We have a chief, he is in charge of it (grant).” He said that fire chief, Mike Platts, spent a little over $1,500 to get the SAFER grant started and if he needs some help to make sure he is compliant then they can address it then. Mayor Bradley interrupted and said, “That is not what [Scott] is saying. He is saying just for our protection, the city’s protection, to make sure,” says Bradley. “Mike knows what he’s doing, he’s already got the grant.”

Barnett added, “For the benefit of the city council. If the city council wants feedback on compliance requirements and if there is anything unique about the grant that you all need to be concerned about, not necessarily overseeing Mike. He’s the chief and can do what a chief does. I’m just talking about legal representation for the council.”

Councilor Massey continues, “We have written guidelines we have to adhere to ‘em and he’s suppose to be the administrator of it.” Mayor Bradley corrects Massey and says instead that Chief Platts will be appointing someone to administer.

“I, for one, will make sure the city is protected,” said Mayor Bradley.

“From what?” Massey asked.

“From anything,” Mayor Bradley responded. “If anything is done wrong back there, we could be responsible for paying back the grant.”

Massey response again saying, “What I am saying is, when we applied for the grant and we got the grant, and I know good and well, there was enough paperwork to tell what’s required of us.”

Massey restates to the council for clarification, “So we are going to give it to the lawyer and he’s going to put red spots on points for us, so we can go through it, and make suggestions for us.

Is that okay with you Mike?” he asks. Mike agreed, and Massey agreed as well.

In other business, the council:

— Entered into an executive discussion to discuss litigation in process; the council tabled this item onits  agenda

— Discused asking for candy donations for the Argo police and fire department halloween road block trick or treat. Please bring candy donations to Argo police department.

— Set a time and date for the 2017 Argo Christmas Parade for Dec.  9 at 10 a.m.;

—Announced the Fall Clean up on October 21-28 at Argo City Hall;

— Announced ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming new business, Liberty Automotive and Tire, off U.S. Highway 11, Argo; and

— Scheduled a budget committee meeting for Oct. 16.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23.

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