Town Council purchases new safety equipment

By Aubrey Turner
For the Van Alstyne Leader
Town Council meets twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.  The council meetings are available in person and virtually.

Prosper Town Council met October 12th for the first of two meetings during the month of October. 

Council member Charles Cotten reviewed the upcoming events, including an invitation to use red lights on their porches and landscape to support Public Fire Safety Month, two virtual public hearings for the proposed plans around Dallas North Tollway will be held October 28th and November 8th, and early voting is October 18 to October 29th, and Arbor Day celebration is on November 6th at Town Hall. 

Additionally, the council celebrated Mayor Ray Smith’s birthday, which happened to be the night of the council meeting.   

The Town Council passed a reimbursement resolution to pay for the improvements approved during the November 2020 Bond elections.  Additionally, the council passed the resolution for the Capital Improvement Projects. This is necessary work as the 2020-2021 fiscal year ended September 30, 2021.  Additionally, budget adjustments based on grants received, water fees, and finalized bids were approved.   

In preparation for Fire Station Three, the town approved the purchase of a new fire truck and new ambulance. 

“When this truck comes in, we will keep this in Station Two for now,” Chief Stuart Blasingame said. “We want to make sure we have something on that side of town, especially with the Children’s Hospital over there.  We make sure to use all the prepaid discounts we can when we buy new fire equipment.  It takes about 12 to 15 months to build these vehicles at this time.  We are just trying to get these things ordered so we can get them into Town.” 

Robyn Battle presented information about potential future topics for Town Council and a Covid-19 update. 

“Since the pandemic began, the Town has made many changes in our operational process,” Battle said.  “At times we have had to alter our course to respond to the pandemic.  We have asked staff to use Zoom and Teams when possible, instituted teleworking, instituted social distancing, and have modified events to minimize personal contact.  We have modified and scaled back modified public events as well.  From the beginning the Town has used guidance from the CDC and state mandates to guide our decision-making for the Town."

  The current guidance states that we should minimize close contact, protect high risk populations, and use sanitation resources.  Hospitalization rates in Prosper are about 12%, which is where we were about eight months ago.  

"Town staff recommends that we continue using teleworking as it makes sense for each department and position," Battle said.  "Additionally, Town staff is optimistic that we can return to in person events in the next few months, including the Prosper Christmas event.  I recommend that we continue to increase our in person activities, as long as the numbers keep trending in the same pattern.  For now, staff would like to plan for in person events with the caveat that we adjust if the numbers change.  The First Responders track the hospital and Covid numbers twice a week so we can continue to track how things are trending.”  

Town Council Member Marcus Ray agreed with this assessment. 

“I agree that we need to give people the choice to attend events in person if they choose.  We have an educated community and we need to give them the freedom to choose if they would like to attend events.  I do like the idea of offering a virtual option as well.” 

“I respect that there are people who do not want to meet in person, and I think we need to keep providing virtual options,” Mayor Smith said.  “I understand that we can be more productive in person but I also understand that some people prefer the virtual option.”   

Town Council meets twice a month on the second and fourth Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.  The council meetings are available in person and virtually.