Winder cops honored

WINDER - Police Chief Stanley Rodgers honored several police officers and one communication officer Tuesday for their brave efforts during last month's deadly head-on collision on Ga Highway 11.

The police officers - Lt. Rob Curott, Lt. Henry Schotter, Officer Andy Smith, Deputy James "Buck" Stover and Deputy Cory Cruse -received the Medal of Honor for their exceptional courage, bravery and lifesaving efforts in response to the deadly May 13 crash.

Communication officer Lorien Boyd, on the job only three months when the tragic accident occurred, received a police commendation for her calm manner and professionalism which, according to Rodgers, "helped the officers perform their difficult duties."

Rodgers also praised the firefighters who responded to the scene, saying that they were on site within three minutes of receiving the initial call. When police and fire personnel arrived on the scene, both vehicles were engulfed in flames. The crash claimed three lives.

Fire Department kicks off centennial celebration

Fire Chief Ray Mattison announced that Tuesday kicked off the Winder Fire Department's centennial celebration. Mattison is the seventh fire chief to head the department in the 100 years since its inception.

The chief unveiled the T-shirts designed to commemorate the centennial, giving one to each council member and to Mayor Chip Thompson. The front of the new shirt features the department's new patch, and the back features a large image of one of the city's state-of-the-art fire trucks.

Council members also voted Tuesday to award a contract for about $512,000 to E-1, one of the bidders competing to build the city's newest ladder truck.

City administrator Bob Beck said E-1 was the lowest bidder, and since the city will pay up front for the new truck, the company will refund 5 percent of the purchase price per day for every day the city waits for delivery.

"It takes about 90 days to build one of these, and that will result in about $6,000 coming back to the city," said Beck. "We couldn't earn that much interest in 90 days."

New budget adopted

City leaders voted unanimously to adopt the $46.1 million 2008- 09 budget Tuesday.

According to Beck, about $35 million of the budget will be used for operation and maintenance of the city, while about $11.1 million is earmarked for capital expenses.