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Stafford addresses fire and flood questions

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Navasota Fire Department is an important asset to the city. The community wants to know about future plans for the fire department. Hear what other user-submitted questions Navasota Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Willy 98.7 Radio Personality Kenny Graves ask Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford this week.

Highlights from Grilling Stafford – episode 55

What are the city’s plans for a new fire station in the future? “We’re working on an idea to keep the station where it is, but we do need to replace that fire station. The building is not in really good shape and it needs a lot of attention, and it actually makes more sense to rebuild. We want to rebuild in the same location and at some point, build a westside sub-station as well.”

With all the recent rainfall, how will it affect or delay the Railroad Street project? “As with any project the rain slows things down a bit, but not too bad because they have most of the paving done. We have some spots that are holding water that they still need to put bricks in. They have a little concrete work on the south end of the project. It will slow it down a little but not too bad. We’re getting really close. We need to get the phone company out there to drag lines, so anybody that has pull with the phone company – help us out.”

How have the drainage improvements held up during the heavy rains the past two weeks? “It’s been really good. The rain has fallen at a pace that hasn’t been easy to tell if it is going to flood or not. Hopefully we’re not going to see anything flooding because that is considerably larger drainage pipe than what we had out there. Hopefully everything will be okay, it seems to be right now.”

Has the city had any luck with finding lifeguards for the city pool and if not, will the opening be delayed, or will the hours be changed?

“So, we have had some luck. Colton told me this week he hired two more, so that makes four lifeguards now and he is interviewing a couple more this week. He has to get them trained of course, some of them are not trained yet. We should be going well. We should be going pretty well. We should be able to do it. Colton has done a really good job communicating with other pools at Texas A&M trying to find some lifeguards to at least be substitute lifeguards and he has some folks that will maybe help us out that way as well. We’re getting there it just takes time. We finally got a little more interest.”

With the facilities upgrades at NISD allowing them to host tournaments and playoff games, has the City noticed any positive impact to the businesses in town? “As far as seeing the sales tax, we don’t have that yet because there is always about a two-month delay. Chief Katkoski was telling me the other day, he went to eat after one of the playoff games and he couldn’t find a place to eat because it was so crowded. It is really nice to be able to host these events and bring people from out of town. It is a little bit of a pain I guess for those of us that live here – if we don’t time our dinner at the right time, but I think it has been great to see that. I think we will see an impact on the sales tax once we get those returns.”

Is it true that a City Council member’s street won’t be repaired? “That is not true. I have heard councilmembers jokingly make comments – don’t live on my street because that’s the last street we repair. But that’s not true. If we need a repair, we do a repair. We don’t look to see who lives on any street, we look at the street itself.”

Fire departments in some cities have emergency medical technicians, EMTs, that man ambulances. The only ambulances I’ve seen belong to St. Joseph’s Hospital: Does the City own any ambulances? “The city does not own any ambulances. The city of Navasota is under the same contract as Grimes County for emergency medical services and they contract with St. Joseph EMS for that.”

Texas has five levels of EMT certification. What level is required by the Navasota Fire Department? “Basic EMT, but we do have a few paramedics on staff. Our fire department started responding to all medical calls within the city several years ago, and often times they are still the first ones on scene for a medical call. They all have their basic but also have several paramedics on staff and Chief Katkoski is one of those.”

To view the full video of Grilling Stafford – Episode 55, or to watch archived episodes, visit The Examiner website, www.navasotaexaminer.com. If you would like to submit a question for Grilling Stafford, email news@navasotaexaminer.com. New episodes of Grilling Stafford are released every Thursday.