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Sullivan police, fire departments having trouble filling positions; several sewer projects completed


The Sullivan City Board of Public Works and Common Council heard the June monthly reports from the police, fire, street and utility departments on Tuesday. Both the police and fire departments reported they were down two patrol officers and two firefighters, respectively, due to recent resignations.

For the Sullivan City Police Department, Chief Micheal Garrett said Colt Thompson was the latest officer to resign in late June. Darrell Faulkner had previously resigned in April.

“This leaves the department with two openings,” the police chief said.

“So we’re back to the hiring process?” BPW member Jean McMahan asked.

“I don’t think we ever stopped,” Garrett replied. “We’re still taking applications.”

“We’re still in the hiring process as well … we’re still down two guys,” Sullivan City Fire Department Chief Rob Robertson stated.

“What was the last day for applications?” City Clerk-Treasurer Sue Pitts asked.

“We haven’t set a date because we’re having a hard time getting applications,” Robertson replied.

Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb suggested both chiefs look into the possibility of posting job openings on a statewide website.

“We’ve been doing it on the city’s social media, your social media and run an ad in the paper (without success),” he said.

Garrett said his department responded to 394 calls for service in June.

“Tried to do some extra patrols on the courthouse square because of complaints received,” he said. “Got some more reserves (deputies) to come out evenings when they are available … sit around the square.”

Robertson said the fire department responded to 135 calls for service.

Meanwhile, the utility department reported 11 sewer-related construction projects were completed around the city and elsewhere in May and June.

Projects completed:
• Judy Street railroad crossing, sewer collapse, completed May 6.
• 218 North Cross Street, sewer backup, completed May 19.
• Intersection of Cross and Wall streets, catch basin clogged causing
water to backup, completed May 22.
• North Main Street, sewer grate too narrow allowing grass to collect,
completed May 23.
• 214 West Street, replace section of sewer main, completed May 25.
• Hymera, assist town in catch basins and storm drainage, completed May 27.
• 330 West Donaldson Street, possible formation of a sinkhole, completed May 30.
• Corner house at intersection of Crowder and Johnson streets,
complaint of water coming into basement, completed June 4.
• Intersection of Wall and Cross streets, plugged storm drains,
completed June 6.
• 1034 North State Street, no storm drainage in front of house,
determined not to be sewer issue on June 7.
• Moose Lodge, correcting drainage issues, completed recently.

Ongoing projects:
• Dorothy and Beasley streets, encase pipe in concrete.
• East Lagoon abandonment and phosphorus removal.
• North Main and State streets, ditching and drainage.
• 724 Dorothy Street, culvert repair.
• West Thomas and West streets, catch basin replacement.
• West Giles and West streets, catch basin replacement.
• Wolfenberger and Sylvandell streets, need to excavate.
• Sylvandell Street between Cherry and Wolfenberger streets, finish catch basin top and sidewalk.
• Sewer plant, replace and repair pump.
• Fehon and Troll streets, drainage work.
• Washington and Main streets, drainage work
• East Washington at railroad tracks, add drainage.
• East Washington and Holloway streets, old drainage tile collapse.
• 456 South Section Street, concern of storm drain causing hole near a garage.
• East Johnson Street, collapsed storm tile.
• 214 to 216 West Fehon Street, collapsed line in front causing flooding when it rains.
• North Main and North State streets, sinkhole in alley north of East Washington Street.
• 900 block of North Main Street, drainage work.
• Alley off North Main Street at south exit of recycling center, sinkhole.

New items added to list on Tuesday:
• 300 block of East Wall Street, sinkhole starting.
• Indiana and West streets, new catch basin.

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