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Madisonville Fire Chief Announces Retirement During Council Meeting

Fire ChiefMADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/21/14) ― The Madisonville City Council had little business to attend to during Monday night’s regular bi-monthly session.

A decision to re-bid two projects that received very little response from the first go-round was made, and the council heard comments from one of the city’s finest as he announced his retirement.

City Engineer Bill Jackson informed the council that only one bid for the city’s salt supply was received and the stipulations of the bid made it undesirable. North American bid $98.54 per ton for de-icing salt but required the city purchase a minimum of 60 tons before March 1.

The Sugg Street Improvement Project likewise had only one bid, and it did not meet the expectations of the city engineer.

Both suggestions to re-bid were unanimously approved.

Madisonville Fire Chief Steve Stoltz gave his customary report about fire runs but ended his department’s report with a personal statement to Mayor David Jackson and the city council.

“It was 32 years ago this past April,” said Stoltz, “my wife and I were doing some yard work outside our home in Hanson, when I had what I consider ‘a calling’.”

Stoltz told the story of hearing a fire siren, and driving to downtown Hanson to see what was going on.  He followed the fire trucks to a grass fire, watched them extinguish the fire, and then followed them back to the station to talk about what it takes to become a firefighter.

“That night, I asked my wife if she would mind if I joined the fire department in Hanson,” said Stoltz. “She said she didn’t care if that’s what I wanted to do. In my wildest dreams, I would ever imagined that, that day would lead to this day when I announce my retirement effective Aug. 31.”

Stoltz said he had been honored and proud to serve the citizens of Madisonville and Hopkins County, his fellow firefighters, the city department heads including past and present mayors and council members.

Several council members thanked Stoltz and recognized his service and dedication.

“He has helped keep us all safe,” said Councilwoman Hannah Myers. “His will be hard shoes to fill.”

Councilman Mark Lee added that Stoltz brought integrity to the job and Councilman Raymond Marion said the chief was very effective and led the department to a high level of efficiency.

In other business, Mayor Jackson announced executive orders for the various members of the council committees and the appointment of Brad Meyer to the Madisonville Airport Board for a term of four years.

The council also approved utility connection for Blue Boy Lawn and Garden at 1380 Island Ford Road.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director

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