No clear land title, no fire station expansion

In February 2008, a meeting was held at the Brooksville fire hall to discuss expansion of the buildings used by the fire and rescue department. Even though a petition had been signed by 80 residents of the fire district, there was opposition to expansion. Many spoke both for and against the current fire department.

After lengthy discussion, a committee was appointed representing both sides to further investigate expansion needs. After a period of time, the committee met with the leadership of the fire department and the Brooksville Community Club.

The conclusion of the meeting was that the fire department needs to be expanded, but only to a three-bay building, not the fivebay building desired by the fire department.

Further, the fire department does not have clear title to the land where the fire hall is located. The Brooksville Community Club has title and refuses permission for the expansion.

The committee suggested the fire department work at achieving a lower ISO insurance rating. The department responded to the suggestion, but shortly afterward, the primary truck failed its pump test. A new truck had to be purchased and has just recently come on line.

In March of 2008, the state of Alabama was asked to audit the fire department. To date, no negative findings have been reported from the audit.

As of today, a year later, the standoff with the Blountsville Community Club still exists. I personally appeared before the Blount County Commission to ask their help. They said they could do nothing because they had no authority to act in this situation. The county attorney recommended legal action to clarify ownership of the property.

The land in question is the site of an old school house. The state Board of Education gave the land to the community of Brooksville years ago. It was turned over to three men who represented Brooksville. The fire department was formed and has had its fire hall on the property for over twenty years. It’s reasonable that an expansion would be needed and allowed. Further, the fire department cannot apply for any type of government grant or loan until the it has clear title to the land it occupies.

Apparently, all but one of the three men representing Brooksville have passed on. The survivor is in a nursing home. Supposedly, the deed to the property has been turned over to that man’s surviving son. As I understand it, the property is in the possession of one man. What happens if he should die? Does the property automatically go to his estate? The land belonged to the citizens of Brooksville, and there should be clear title for the fire department to expand.

In closing, I hope this letter will suffice as the public meeting promised earlier but not yet held. There is much that is as yet unresolved in this matter. I have exhausted every effort to work with various people, groups, and government at all levels.

Now, I will have my day in court.

Bert Goodfallow, trustee Brooksville Volunteer Fire

and Rescue