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Council recognizes retiring fire chief

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The Highland Village City Council recognized Fire Chief Lonnie Tatum for his service to the community at their June 26 meeting.

Chief Tatum retired from the city after 11 years of service.

During his tenure the department moved from a volunteer department to paid full-time department. In 2006, the city’s ISO rating was improved from a 5 to a 2 which represented a potential 14% reduction in Highland Village homeowner’s insurance premiums.

The department moved from a temporary building to a new state-of-the-art facility in 2008. Under Tatum’s leadership, the department applied for and received a federal grant for $325,140 through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program. The funds were used to add three firefighter positions. These funds relieved a substantial burden to the city’s general fund budget and provided the ability to schedule a five person crew for each shift.

Also during Chief Tatum’s tenure, Highland Village initiated the first Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) which has now become a county-wide program.

A retirement ceremony for Tatum took place on June 29 at the Highland Village Fire Department.

“We will miss Chief Tatum’s leadership, professionalism and servant spirit. He moved our department from a volunteer service to a fully licensed Trauma Level 1 Caregiver; providing the public safety and emergency care our residents require and expect. We wish Chief Tatum the best in his retirement,” stated Mayor Pat Davis.

John Glover, former Deputy Chief of Operations with the City of Coppell, was sworn in on May 14 to replace Tatum.

Also at the meeting last week, Council approved three different resolutions relating to two newly acquired park properties. The approval of resolutions for the master plans of Marauder Park and the park property located at 707 Highland Village Road.

Marauder Park was donated to the Parks Foundation in 2009 to be used for public park purposes. The Foundation presented the property as a gift to the city in April 2012 to be maintained and operated as a public park.

The property at 707 Highland Village Road was acquired by the City through the Federal Equitable Sharing program of the Department of Justice after the Highland Village Police Department assisted the IRS in serving federal warrants. The property includes frontage to Lewisville Lake and is adjacent on both sides to US Army Corps of Engineers property and will be developed as a mini community park.

The City will seek public input as the design process for both properties continues.

Council also approved a resolution naming the property at 707 Highland Village Road. Public input was received by Parks and Recreation staff and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The chosen name, Lakeside Community Park, was suggested by long-time Highland Village residents Peggy Gentry and Pat Falcon.

The city is now accepting applications for appointments to boards and commissions. An application can be filled out online at www.highlandvillage.org and submitted to the City Secretary’s Office. Appointments are made in September.

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