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Liberty approves purchases for PD and Fire

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    CenterPoint area manager Percilla “PJ” Hays awards Liberty Fire Chief Brian Hurst a $2,500 grant at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

LIBERTY – City Council met Tuesday for a lengthy meeting that featured several items related to the Liberty Police and Fire Departments.

The meeting opened with a special presentation from CenterPoint Energy to the Liberty Fire Department. The department was named the recipient of a $2,500 grant.

Council also approved the purchase of several pieces of equipment, with the purchase of two vehicles for the police for $ 118,682.40. The new vehicles will replace a 2015 Ford F150 and a 2016 Ford Explorer.

Another major purchase was a new firetruck that the city expected to have purchased through grant funds from the Texas Forest Service; however, those funds did not go through, prompting the city to purchase the apparatus in- house.

“ We typically receive around $ 15,000 a year from the Forest Service,” said LFD Chief Brian Hurst.

That purchase will replace the existing Engine 23 purchased in 2011, and the cost will come in at $ 834,524.00.

In another move by the council, the fire department will benefit from an inter-local agreement with Liberty County Hospital District No. 1, which will see the city install new lighting around Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center.

In exchange for the work, the hospital district will supply the fire department’s EMS units with various medical supplies that meet current requirements under state regulations.

One final note relating to the police department, Chief Gary Martin told council the department is short- staffed and still looking to fill several vacancies. According to Martin, recent state laws regarding police on school campuses have shrunk the pool of qualified applicants.