Provided by Ruth Robertson, Secretary Firewise Committee
Dave gave the committee an update on our being approved as a recognized Firewise community. Among other benefits, we can now also begin using the NFPA logo on all our correspondence. There are a number of items we will receive to include some signs with the logo on it which Dave proposed be put at the entry to Pine Mountain as well as at the intersection of Pine Ridge Drive and Sanderling. Additional brochures that can be used in our community awareness efforts will also be received, along with window decals and additional copies of the homeowner’s assessment form. Some of the brochures and home assessment forms will be passed along to those participants playing in our upcoming fundraiser golf tournament on behalf of the SMFR.
Dave stated that Firewise needs a budget set up and/or a Firewise Fund established because every five years we will need a new assessment completed for our community.
Dave suggested that we use official Firewise and Forest Service items for some of the door prize giveaways at the golf tournament. Dave will check out these items on the NFPA and Forest Service websites to see what is available to be ordered. Ruth reviewed the list of tasks and volunteers assigned on our to-do list for the tournament. Ruth and Wenke are scheduled to meet with the SMFR ladies auxiliary on March 9 to solicit their help with getting the word out on the golf tournament and to help out on the day of the tournament with the luncheon for the participants. Ruth reported that as of Mar 2 when the voting ended for the grant projects that Firewise communities across the country submitted, Pine Mountain was the 6th largest vote getter out of 383 entries nationwide. We fell just short of 1000 votes for our grant project. This was a huge effort on behalf of Pine Mountain residents and the Firewise Committee is very appreciative of everyone who helped with the voting.
There was some discussion regarding what information and resources SMFR has access to from NFPA. Edie will talk with Chief Hudson and report back to the committee. Securing some of these resources for our fire department could be one of our goals along with our fundraisers.
Dave noted that our renewal application for 2018 will be due by November 16. Ruth said that she will begin inputting timesheet information into the 2018 portal for our renewal application as these items are received, rather than waiting until November. She can begin this as soon as Dave gets us set up in the portal.
Gary gave us an update on our signs. A total of 29 will be ordered. Some are replacement signs for old signs currently in place, and others are combo signs that will show No Trespassing, Private Road and the speed limit on one sign versus the three that are currently in place. Other signs will be new ones. Some of these signs will satisfy what was recommended when our first assessment was completed. They will also improve our curb appeal as they are customized signs that are attractive. The cost is $630 total. $500 of this total will come from Fred and Vonis Waugh’s donation to the POA. Gary & Wanda, Dave and Edie, and Ruth and Randy have volunteered to split the cost of the overage. Gary will check to see what is available for use as posts for the signs from supplies already in storage here at the POA. The committee recommended we use metal versus wood for posts if possible.
The Firewise page for the Pine Mountain News.com website needs to be updated. Ruth will send minutes of our most recent meetings to Wanda each month to be posted in the update section, and Dave will send Wanda the NFPA Firewise logo to use. Our metrics for 2018 need to be updated as well and Ruth will send that information to Wanda.
Dave has talked with the NC Forestry Service about our having a bon fire to rid ourselves of some of the fuel here on the mountain. He was told this is perfectly acceptable but with the caution that whoever lights the fire must stay with it until it is extinguished.
A future goal for our Firewise Committee is to get fire hydrants on the North Ridge down to Hackberry. Jonathan Griffin has stated he will be willing to pay for a water tap on the North Ridge since that will also benefit South Mountains State Park. Dave advised that Pine Mountain needs to increase usage of the North Ridge water tower as low usage is not good for the tank.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the POA office, where final plans for the Golf Tournament will be discussed.