The Woodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved on first reading Tuesday an ordinance which allows the town's fire department to charge insurance companies a fee for responding to fire calls.
If adopted on second and final reading next month, the ordinance will give the chief of the Woodbury Fire Department the authority to:
• Bill and invoice insurance companies for expense to fight fires in the corporate fire limits.
• Bill and invoice for the cost of water; equipment damage as a result of fighting fires in the corporate fire limits; and any payments to any volunteer fire fighters.
Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick stressed the intent of the ordinance is not to charge people for fighting fires, but rather insurance companies. He said Travelers Insurance Company, the insurer for Fine Swine Bar-B-Que, requested the ordinance after it was billed by the WFD for fighting the fire which destroyed the restaurant in January.
Fire Chief Bill Johnston said the cost to the town for fighting the fire was $1,000.
In other business Tuesday, the aldermen:
• Approved a roadblock permit for a Cannon County Rescue Squad fundraiser on May 21.
• Approved a roadblock for an American Legion Post #279 fundraiser on May 28.
• Heard from Mayor Patrick about an invitation extended to all aldermen to attend an economic development conference at the Cannon County Courthouse on April 7 at 6 p.m.
"I think it is incumbent upon us to go and express our desire to see business and industry grow," Mayor Patrick said. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The Cannon Courier will provide complete information about the meeting in the coming days on our web site, and in next week's paper.)
• Mayor Patrick said he is in discussion with the Upper Cumberland Development District about acquiring a grant for downtown beautification. The town is eligible to apply for an 80/20 matching grant similar to the one which helped fund the courthouse revitalization project.
The mayor urged aldermen to "think about what you want to see done to improve downtown Woodbury" and Alderman Faye Knox said the Downtown Merchants Association should be involved in the discussion and planning.