By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved an agreement with the Airport Authority for its use, maintenance and storage of a city fire engine.
Board members took the action during their July 9 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Al Bell and seconded by Alderman Don Lowry.
The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Frankie Dakin absent.
City Manager Ed Haley and City Attorney Charles Perkins will draft an Inter-Local Agreement with the Airport Authority, and Mayor Terry Jones will sign it.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said the airport’s fire department uses equipment designed to fight fires “associated with aircraft.”
But in order to obtain its own Insurance Service Office rating, the department must be able to fight structure fires that may occur on the airport property.
Trusty said Engine 337 is a “second backup” piece of equipment for the Millington Fire Department that it has been storing at the airport fire station “for some time.”
So, the Airport Authority is seeking permission to use the engine in exchange for providing maintenance and storage.
Trusty noted that the airport will not be charged for that use, because it has not been charging the city for the storage.
In response to a question by Alderman Mike Caruthers, Trusty said the city will still have access to the engine.
Airport Executive Director Roy Remington said the Authority already has a “verbal” mutual-aid agreement with the city.
“We send our equipment out whenever there’s a chemical or a large fire that your equipment can’t handle,” he noted. “And whenever we have an air crash or a building fire, we always call the city. And you guys are right there by our side.”
When Lowry called that a “great working agreement,” Alderman Thomas McGhee said it will now be “official.”
Trusty said Millington Fire Chief Gary Graves is “very much in support” of the agreement.
“So, we feel like this is a win-win for the airport, the city government and the residents,” he concluded. “It adds to the overall benefit of what the airport can offer to bring business into the community.”