Florence City Council discusses insurance needs at January meeting

Insurance issues dominated the Jan. 19 meeting of the Florence City Council.

The city’s insurance agent, Bill Henricks, was in attendance to give estimates on proposed changes to city policies. He requested an updated driver’s list for covered vehicles and fielded several questions from the council.

Councilor Randy Mills requested estimates on having insurance coverage reduced to cover only contents of the building owned by the Florence Library.

Henricks was also asked whether the city could be held liable for known hazardous buildings not owned by the city; he suggested the council seek legal advice on the issue.

In other business:

— The Peabody Gazette was approved as the official newspaper.

— The council broke for a 30-minute executive session on personnel matters.

–Companies collecting a franchise fee from the city will be asked to donate part of those funds to help finance the city pool.

— The contract for the city Web site was tabled for further discussion.

— Sewer and water to Jim Steele’s liquor store is still incomplete due to weather and the need to replace a fire hydrant which had been cemented into the ground. Johnson’s General Store and Holiday Motel management will be notified when their water will be disconnected for Steele’s hookup.

— Work order and pricing for lighting fixtures for Johnson’s General Store have not been received, so the issue was tabled.

— A bid for construction of restrooms at Grandview Park will be forwarded to benefactor Harold VanBuren for his approval.

— Police Chief Merlin Stout reports that street signs in need of repainting can be sandblasted and painted for a cost of $20 each or new signs can be purchased for $22.50 apiece. A decision will be made on the issue after further information is received.

— Stuart Funk and Rick Burcky were asked if their computer workstations were necessary or if “community-minded organizations” could use the space instead; no action was planned at this time.

— Funk requested a burn permit for culverts in streets and alleys and areas around bridges and the dyke.

— The city trash truck was repaired and new tires installed.

— Sick-leave policies for city employees will be reviewed.

— Damaged flags stored in the former city hall will be destroyed in the appropriate manner.

— Eight-hour defensive driving courses will be offered this spring for those who drive city equipment and haven’t been certified in the past three years. Other community members will be able to attend on a first-come basis at a cost of $15.

n The city’s disaster plan will be updated by a citizen’s committee, after which a citywide drill will be implemented to test it.

— The meeting ended with a 33-minute executive session for interviewing candidates for the city treasurer position.

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