Council seeks to re-establish city's Explorers post

DORA - At Thursday night’s meeting, the Dora City Council voted to re-establish a chapter of the Explorers. The Explorers, which began as a program in the Boy Scouts of America, is a coed group that helps young people become involved in their communities, most notably in local fire departments. “We actually had a post in the early 2000s and kept it for several years,” council member and firefighter Chris Edwards explained. “It was a great asset for the fire department as far as recruitment goes.” He added that losing the Explorers post had caused the fire department to see a loss in recruitment of younger firefighters. The program gives members a basic level of training in regards to firefighting. After they age out of the program, former members can be recruited to become volunteer firefighters. Edwards plans for the troop, which will be officially recognized as such by the Boy Scouts, to begin at Dora High School before moving to having meetings at the Dora fire station. However, students from all local high schools are invited to join the program once it gets started. The council approved to pay the $150 fee to reestablish the Explorers post charter. Fire Chief David Box requested that the council allow the fire department to run pressure tests on approximately 10,000 feet of fire hose.

Box said this is part of the department’s effort to improve the city’s ISO rating to a 4. Dora’s rating currently stands at a 5. “The last time when we were scored in 2008 and got the 5, we were maybe a point and a half away from getting a class 4,” Edwards said. He added that he thinks the department has a good chance of achieving a 4 this time. The council approved to pay for the department’s to have pressure tests performed. Later in the meeting, Mayor Randy Stephens asked the council members to report any blighted structures they see around the city to the city clerk in an effort to clean up property around Dora. Stephens’s request to the council falls under an ordinance related to cleaning up blighted structures or property in Dora that was passed under the previous city council. “The first time we did mail outs [under the ordinance], we picked about four or five places up and down Sharon Boulevard and sent [the property owners] a letter telling them to clean up theirs property,” Stephens said. He continued, “They instantly did and even some people we didn’t send letters to ... cleaned their property up. It was pretty successful.” Stephens asked the council members to concentrate on any issues they see along the main roads in the city. “People judge us by the way our city looks,” he said. The council also approved the minutes from the Jan. 12 meeting as well as the bill list.