LANSING — Gerald Morton, the newest president of the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department board of directors, attended the Lansing Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 10 to introduce himself and talk about the goals he has for the fire department.
One of those goals includes providing an ongoing training program to allow more fire fighters to earn their certifications.
“We’ve got good young people and they’re ready to go and they’re eager, but they don’t have enough training hours to qualify for fire fighter status,” Morton said. “If somebody goes into a fire and doesn’t have enough training hours in and gets killed, that’s on us.”
Morton also said that the fire department will be offering chimney sweeping services for free.
“We will sweep out any chimney for free for any citizen of our district that asks,” Morton said. “We’ve got the equipment to do it and if we can prevent just one chimney fire by offering our service, than we’ve served well.”
According to Morton, Lansing has had several chimney related fires just in the last year.
“Preventative medicine is always better than responsive. That’s my philosophy,” Morton said. “We want to be good neighbors.”
Morton also spoke to the board about arranging meetings with local community groups to help educate the public on how to prepare for a medical emergency.
“We have so many caring for elderly parents in their homes and don’t have a clue what to do to be prepared when they have to call 911,” Morton said.
Alderwoman Mauvine Shepherd suggested the idea of having a community meeting located at the Lansing Fire Department to allow the community to become familiar with fire fighters.
“I thoroughly like that idea,” Morton said. “The more people who come over there and visit us, the better.”
“I think this is going to bring the community together more,” Shepherd said.
According to Morton, the fire department will organize an open house for the community.
Creeper Trail Park Expansion Update
Town Clerk Marcy Little updated the board during their meeting on the progress of the Creeper Trail Park Expansion.
According to Little, documents including a cover letter and bidding documents were sent out to approximately 15 contractors last week, many of which are locals of Ashe County. Other contractors included recommendations from Teresa Buckwalter of Destination by Design in Boone who has been assisting the town of Lansing with the expansion.
On Thursday, Aug. 6, a meeting was held for interested contractors to learn about the project before placing their bid. According to Little, six contractors were present for the meeting along with Buckwalter who was able to answer any questions.
According to Little, the construction project will be split into two phases. The first, which includes the completion of the parking lot, signage, trails, concrete paths and the new entry sign, must be completed by Nov. 30, 2015. The second phase includes landscaping and furnishings and must be completed by May 15, 2016.
Little said contractors are allowed to bid on the pieces of the project individually or the entire project.
The bidding period will end at 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 21.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.