Florence council debates police-chief job

The Florence City Council began is Monday meeting by swearing council member Randy Mills who will be in charge of cemetery and parks.

Former mayor Jeanie Meirowsky ended a heated debate by saying she would only support a full-time-not a part-time- police chief and hoped council members would maintain dignity when discussing matters among themselves.

Newly appointed Fire Chief Travis Parmley discussed purchase of a fire truck. The council passed a motion to buy two new fire helmets at $262.96 each, plus $18.99 shipping. Fund-raisers, such as a shotgun drawing, were proposed to offset the cost of the equipment, and a monthly vehicle report was suggested to give council members advance warning of impending maintenance purchases.

Rick Burcky addressed concerns about improper disposal of dangerous materials and yard waste in trash cans and Dumpsters. A Dumpster outside of Burns had contained cords from recently burnt tires, which caused the load of trash to smolder after being dumped at the Marion station.

To encourage people to properly dispose of yard waste that can ignite in the compactor, council member Dan Ludwig suggested using surplus rock to cover the muddy areas of the city burn pit.

Burcky’s request for stencil templates for putting the disposal guidelines on Dumpsters was also favorably received.

In other business:

Galaxy Cable’s franchise fee was discussed and will be looked into before the next meeting.

Due to recent train wrecks and subsequent evacuations in Matfield Green, Trayce Warner invited council members to Anhydrous Emergency and Co-op Emergency training classes.

Bob Madsen was appointed to Florence Housing Authority Board.

Library board members were appointed: Sandy Vetter as president, Joan Nightengale as vice-president, Jolene Gayle as treasurer; Shirley Grinstead, Virgil Britton and Paul Morrison.

Water contract bids as well as pilot test results were received. A timeline of 120 days was given for filter installation to be done. The old water filtration system will then be offered for sale.

Randy Dalke presented the franchise fee agreement in which 3 percent of Atmos Energy’s gross receipts will be paid twice yearly to the city.

Applications will be taken for city clerk to replace the retiring Ann Brenzikofer.

A motion carried to allow grasses on the dyke to be baled, provided a waiver of liability is signed and proof of insurance provided.

Tax credits of $806,880 were offered to Affordable Housing Inc. for the proposed Marion County Apartments housing project.

If grants are also received, Hillsboro, Burns and Florence would gain a total of 12 duplexes from Affordable Housing.

El Dorado Mid-Cap would be the manager of the homes. The city of Florence would donate the land, electrical and water hookups.

Council member Rick Turner mentioned he’d been approached about closing the city pool at 6 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. A count will be taken to judge how many people use the pool between these hours.

Proposal to change the time of council meetings to later in the evening will be added to the next meeting’s agenda.

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