Swainsboro Fire Chief Strobridge announces new status one ranking at Monday meeting, presents emblems from fire apparatus to certain council

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Mayor Charles Schwabe and members of Swainsboro City Council convened for their regular monthly meeting at city hall Monday, June 7. The meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. by Mayor Charles Schwabe. Reverend Shannon Boula from Blundale Baptist Church gave the night's invocation and the pledge of allegiance was recited by all.
Council reviewed presented minutes from their last meeting. A motion to approve minutes as presented passed unanimously, with Councilperson Julian Sconyers making first motion and Councilperson Johnny Ray Stafford seconding.
In reference to new business
•Council discussed a game room license application submitted by Michelle Stanford for Lucy's Pool Hall, located at 210 Rentz Street. City Administrator Al Lawson advised council that application was received and in order. Council heard comments from Swainsboro Police Chief Randy Ellison regarding a recent altercation that took place on May 13 while under current management.
It was reported that the incident occurred between two individuals, with one being shot. Chief Ellison advised that no dispatch calls or incident reports were made from the location. Instead, details were obtained after officers responded to a call at the local emergency room regarding the involved gunshot victim. Officers then responded to the pool hall and learned that the business had been open for operation since approximately 11 a.m. that day. He further advised that officers discovered approximately 27 bottles of liquor at the location and documented that blood was still on the floor upon their arrival.
The application request was unanimously denied after short discussion between council. Reasons for the denial included operation of business without proper license and alcohol being on premises without proper license for sale or consumption of alcohol.
In reference to old business
•A public hearing was held for a beer and wine consumption on premises license application submitted by Denise Miles for Lounge LLC, located at 406 Rentz Street. Swainsboro Fire Department Chief Mike Strobridge advised council of stipulations of the two-story building. He stated that the bottom floor of the building was approved but the top floor was not. A motion to approve the submitted license request passed 5-1. Opposing said motion was councilperson Ricky Stevens, who addressed concerns with the second floor not meeting approval requirements.
In other news
•Chief Ellison addressed council with a request to send four candidates to receive mandated training. He advised that the four candidates have already been interviewed for job positions but lacked the required training to serve as law enforcement officers. The request was unanimously approved by all.
•Chief Strobridge advised council that the fire department had been evaluated by two different agencies within the last 30 days. The first being Standard and Training who came in and evaluated how operations were performed by the fire department. For this, Swainsboro Fire Department received 100 percent approval, and were commended for doing the job as expected. The second agency was Homeland Security, who evaluates the department's HAZMAT Team. Not only did Homeland Security say that the Swainsboro Fire Department was ready, but moved the department ranking from a status three to a status one, meaning Chief Strobridge can now apply for federal grant funding on a yearly basis rather than every three year basis.
•Chief Strobridge then made a presentation to council on the 1991 approved purchase of an American LaFrance fire apparatus. He advised that the fire engine was no longer in commission as of a few weeks ago and presented emblems from the purchased apparatus to members present who held a hand in the approval of said purchase.
•Mayor Schwabe called upon Chief Strobridge and Chief Ellison to give a public update on laws regarding fireworks. The two chiefs provided details on times, stating that fireworks usually begin around dark and must be ceased by 12 a.m., midnight.
•Surplus bids on city property were opened. A spreadsheet will be built and presented to council with details for discussion to be made at an upcoming meeting.
•Mayor Schwabe provided renovation updates for two city projects, Community Action for Youth and The Barbara & Tobe Karrh Community Arts Center, and Lawson confirmed receiving $75,000 in grand funds for these projects. Discussion was also held on hiring local workers to assist in completing the projects.
•Mayor Schwabe briefed council on the American Rescue Plan Act. He asked that council give serious though on areas in their wards that have special needs to address with funding and suggested that at least one work session be scheduled for further discussion.
•Comments were also heard regarding the proper display of the U.S. flag.
•Stevens addressed council with a concern regarding a request made by an individual of the city of Adrian.
With no further business to discuss, council then entered into executive session. The following actions were taken during this session:
•Council voted to enter a contract agreement with the county and chamber on a renovation project. The city agreed to donate an old movie rental building to be renovated into a public social hall for community use. The county and chamber will be responsible for associated costs from renovating the donated building.
•Council heard a request from the board of education regarding utilizing a small building on Kite Highway for an afterschool program. Council approved of the request.

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