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Hartselle Enquirer

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Fire department, not trash a priority
Editor:
I would like to pose a question to the readers of this letter. What should have a higher priority? The safety of our community or the appearance of the community. I know that I have beat this drum for some time, but the mere fact remains that a vital aspect of this community has been overlooked by the mayor and the council.
Our fire department is understaffed by the National Fire Protection Agency, (NFPA), standards. For every engine that responds to a call, there should be four firefighters on board. Currently there are only, on average, two firefighters on duty per shift, per station. Hartselle is promoted as a "low crime bedroom community." We have approximately 40 individuals employed in law enforcement, and have only 16 (full time) firefighters that serve the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
I have researched this situation regarding the garbage collection endeavor we have been plunged into.
I compared the expense of it, and looked into what effect the exact amount of money would have had, if given to the fire department. We could have built station three, equipped and staffed it, with money left over. In other words, folks, we could have elevated the fire protection of the citizens of this community to a level never seen before. Instead, we went into the garbage business.
I have been told that our mayor and council had complaints from residents of subdivisions that have covenants, that doesn't allow leaving trash or yard waste along the curbside. These people are your elitists. They represent a small part of the overall population of Hartselle, but can pull the biggest strings. When the rates are raised for the garbage, they won't have any problem with it, because they got what they wanted. Once again, appeasement for the rich, at the expense of the poor.
Recently, (there was a ) letter about the online (Enquirer) poll that the poll was 49 to 51 percent for approval vs. disapproval. The truth was that the results were that 7 out of 10 people disapproved in the city getting involved into the trash collection. I submit that the majority of the citizens would have much rather spent the money on safety, instead of trash. Additionally, I hope the people remember our elected officials come election time. We could have had so much more regarding fire protection, instead they stuck their noses in trash.
Mike Dowdy
Hartselle

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