Candidate withdraws from Mehlville fire district race; Stegman will be challenged by Polizzi

A second candidate has withdrawn his name from the April 7 ballot for one seat on the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

Donald H. Kaley last week withdrew his name from the race, leaving two candidates vying for the seat that carries a six-year term.

Incumbent Bonnie Stegman will be challenged by P.J. Polizzi in the April 7 election. A fourth candidate, Brian Eldridge, also had filed, but recently withdrew.

In other news, the district’s Board of Directors took action on a number of items at its Jan. 23 meeting. Among those items were:

• Board members voted to award a bid for $7,980 to H2 Pro Inc. of Arnold for an irrigation system for the district’s No. 2 firehouse that is under construction at 5434 Telegraph Road in Oakville.

Board Secretary Ed Ryan’s motion to award the bid was seconded by board Treasurer Bonnie Stegman and unanimously approved.

• Board members voted to issue a request for proposals, or RFP, for two ambulances.

As proposed, Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services Craig Walk told the board, “… One would be delivered at the end of this year and a second one first part of 2010.”

Board Chairman Aaron Hilmer’s motion to issue the RFP was seconded by Stegman and unanimously approved.

• Board members voted to award a bid for $12,035 to Call Newspapers of Green Park to print and distribute a district newsletter. Board members had voted Jan. 8 to issue an RFP for the newsletter.

“… We thought we would explore the concept of getting some information out to the public on some of the tremendous improvements that have happened here in the fire district and we’ve solicited a couple bids …,” Hilmer said at the board’s Jan. 23 meeting.

Besides the Call, Woodward Printing Services of Wisconsin had submitted a bid.

“… Looking over the bid, it doesn’t really cover what we asked,” Hilmer said of the bid submitted by Woodward Printing Services. “We asked for one that would cover the distribution also. This just covers purely printing … We were looking to find something that we could insert something, where we could really defray the cost of postage, perhaps share it with someone else.”

Of the bid submitted by the Call, the board chairman said, “It fits all the requirements of the RFP we had sent out. The price is to be $12,035 — that could change a little bit depending on the exact amount of mailing addresses. They won’t know that until they break down the postal codes.”

Hilmer’s motion to award the bid to the Call was seconded by Ryan and unanimously approved.

• Board members voted to issue an RFP for a rescue boat.

Chief Jim Silvernail told board members that when the area was hit last September by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, it became apparent the district needed a larger rescue boat.

“… We absolutely needed a larger boat. We don’t want to go overboard,” he said. “We feel (with) a 15-footer, we could make rescues on the Mississippi if we had to and also in the area around here. (Deputy Chief) Joe (Schmidt) did some extensive background work on this and we’re looking at a 60-horsepower motor with a 15-foot boat along with a trailer …”

Schmidt said, “… The boat that we had was deployed outside the area … (and) was deployed in the Mehlville Fire Protection District. It could be used as part of a larger strike team or we could bring multiple boats in or we can send our boat out to assist everybody in the state of Missouri and Illinois, basically. Wherever it’s needed, it could go.

“We are training boat operators. We are training swift-water rescue technicians. I have more in the budget this year to continue to train them and enhance it every year. And at the end of every year, we can evaluate and see where our program’s at and what we need and what we don’t need …,” he added.

In response to Ryan’s question about an estimated cost, Schmidt said the rescue boat would cost $18,000 to $20,000.