Fire Chief J.R. Hyde swears oath of duty as newly appointed official

MACOMB — J.R. Hyde took the oath of office Tuesday as Macomb's fire chief. Aldermen had approved Mayor Mike Inman's appointment of Hyde two weeks ago. "I can't tell  you how lucky we are in this community to have J. R. step up to take this position," the mayor said after the fire chief was sworn in by City Clerk Melanie Falk.
The city council later in the evening voted to concur with the mayor's appointment of Captain Rick Driskell as deputy fire chief. Aldermen also voted to concur with Inman's appointment of Firefighter Nate Livermore to the Macomb Firefighters Pension Board.
Mayor Inman noted that all on-duty firefighters came to the city council meeting in support of Hyde, Driskell and Livermore. Alderman Dennis Moon and City Attorney Kristen Petrie voiced support for the actions of city firefighters during home accidents each had experienced.
In other business, the city council approved sending a request for qualifications to six engineering firms to be considered for design work and supervision on city projects. City Administrator Dean Torreson said the request would be sent out Wednesday morning.
Alderman John Vigezzi said he has heard from five to seven constituents who want Macomb companies hired for city projects. Three of the six firms under consideration have offices in Macomb.
Aldermen also approved soliciting bids for the lining of 400 feet of city sewer main underneath University Drive, 155 feet under Jana Road, and 320 feet under East Jefferson Street. "These areas have been subject to frequent sewer backups into residences," said Interim Public Works Director Kent Cox.
Cox said the city will also take bids on the addition of 75 feet of metal pipe to a culvert on Western Avenue that drains Western Illinois University's Lake Ruth. He said this work would be done in conjunction with planned street repaving along Western Avenue.
The council heard first reading of a proposed ordinance authorizing disposal of surplus city property. Petrie said the items could be sold directly to individuals or sold at auction.
Two 2006 and one 2009 former police cars, two 2009 and 2006 city buses, and one 2008 van are on the surplus property list.

Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@McDonoughVoice.com.