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City Chat informs about city, fire department

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Helene Cash

The third City Chat was held at the Lebanon/Wilson Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning, where Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead and Fire Chief Chris Dowell shared updates on city happenings with interested citizens.

An ordinance to purchase a new fire truck for the Fire Department was approved on second and final reading by the Lebanon City Council on Tuesday night. Dowell shared that using a company out of Texas which offers vehicles, such as fire engines, at a pre-negotiated rate is saving the city money.

"We needed a new fire truck," said Economic Development Director Helene Cash. "Our old one was from 1989."

An update was also given for progress on constructing a fire hall in the Highway 109 area - the project is currently out for bid.

Cash seemed pleased with the response City Chat events have gotten thus far. City Chat is held on Wednesday following the first Lebanon City Council meeting from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to offer the community one-on-one time with the Mayor and various Department Heads, in rotation.

"The Mayor speaks about updates and economic development, processes and procedures. He is giving you a condensed State of the City once a month," Cash explained. "You hear about the progress, happenings and ask questions that are vitally important to you. Anytime we can have the mayor or any of his team members having one-on-one contact there is going to be more understanding on how the community operates, how we are growing and how we are handling obstacles."

She added that it is an alternative to addressing the Mayor at City Council. "We welcome public comments during that section of the City Council meeting, but some people do not want to speak in front of council or on TV. This is more intimate. We have an open door policy where anyone can speak to the mayor anytime, but this is a very open and welcoming process."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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Chris Dowell, Helene Cash, Lebanon, Philip Craighead
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