Greg Holmes had planned on staying until early summer before retiring as fire chief of Eufaula. The March 3 tornado changed those plans.
“I got the call on the tornado and my wife said she knew as I was headed out the door I was going to have to delay my retirement,” Holmes said.
That tornado leveled the Eufaula fire station at the airport, fortunately not injuring anyone although two young firefighters miraculously walked away.
Monday night, at the regular meeting of the Eufaula City Council, Holmes advised that he had indeed submitted his resignation following 29 years on the job, the last 7 ½ as fire chief.
“On Nov. 30, I’ll be ending my fire service career,” Holmes said as he addressed the council. “It’s been an honor to serve as fire chief in the same town I grew up.”
Council President Johnny Knight said he “hated to see” Holmes leave, but nevertheless understood.
Holmes said he hoped a new fire chief would be on board before he left, so he could provide training for the Eufaula post.
“When I interviewed you asked me to be fair and consistent,” Holmes said. “I can lay my head down at night knowing I was.”
In other business:
Admiral Moore Middle School honor society students attended the meeting to observe how the council does business.
Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs advised that the city “had made it to second base, so to speak” regarding the new home for the Veterans Association. It is believed four cities in southeast Alabama are still in the running for the 182,000 square foot facility.
“We may ask these kids to write a letter since Admiral Moorer was a famous military man from our city,” Tibbs said. “It’s great to know that a school in Eufaula is named after him.
“We will have a face-to-face presentation shortly. The facility will house up to 175 veterans and up to 250 jobs. It would impact our city not only for the present but from now on. We will pull out all the stops. This would be a game changer. We will do whatever it takes and put our best foot forward.”
Taco Bell recently opened on across Highway 431 and has been extremely busy.
“That’s been a nice addition to the city,” Tibbs said of Taco Bell. “The same thing will hold true for another restaurant that will open in the city, Chick-fil-A, next month.”
The Eufaula Veterans Day parade will be Nov. 12. The city has asked students with vets in their family to ride in the parade with them.
A new concrete bunker, weighing 65,000 pounds, has been installed at Weedon Field that will house the lighting controls for the runway.