MH Commissioners Support Idlewild VFD

Mint Hill Public Works Operations Manager Chris Cochrane, with daughter Shelby
Mint Hill Public Works Operations Manager Chris Cochrane, with daughter Shelby, was recently recognized by the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners for attaining Roads Scholar status through the North Carolina Local Technical Assistance Program at N.C. State University. The program provides advanced training to enhance transportation projects and maintenance in local governments.
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An administrative assistant at the Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department will join the ranks of city employees following a request recently approved by the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners.

The measure will provide more benefits and stability to a position that is vital to the successful operations of the department, several officers stated.

“Volunteers only have so many hours they can give,” said Fire Chief David Leath. The effective operation of a department requires many tasks beyond fighting fires, including equipment logs, time clock management and completing the numerous rosters required by state agencies for each new member.

Staffing a full-time office manager to fulfill those tasks allows firefighters to spend more time mastering their skills and protecting the public.

The department’s current secretary has served for more than two years, Leath said, and offering employee benefits will help encourage that person to remain with the department.
“It’s a needed position. She does a lot for that department,” Leath said.

“It’ll provide some stability on the administrative side,” Idlewild VFD Vice President Rick Aydlett added.

The position will follow the same guidelines established when Board of Commissioners approved adding the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s administrative assistant to the city roster. The city provides a base, full-time salary with benefits, beginning at $32,000 annually, while the departments have the opportunity to supplement that income.

The Commission also recently recognized Public Works Operations Manager Chris Cochrane for achieving “Roads Scholar” status through a North Carolina program focused on improving the knowledge and expertise of transportation managers.

To complete the first of a three-level program, Cochrane participated in numerous, hands-on, multi-day classes throughout the past year to expand his training in such areas as work zone safety, asphalt management and snow and ice operations.

“In addition to bringing a significant amount of knowledge to our department’s construction work, Chris’ training brings the town a higher level of competency at development sites as he inspects new public infrastructure,” said Town Engineer Steve Frey. “This results in improved quality of new roads, storm pipes, and other public infrastructure that will be owned and maintained by the town after the developer completes the work.”

Cochrane, who has worked with the city for 13 years, is now working toward Advanced and Masters Roads Scholar Status and has completed five additional classes at those levels.
In other business recently, Mint Hill Commissioners also declared proclamations for World Pancreatic Cancer Day, Veteran’s Day and National American Indian Heritage Month.

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