Florence council hears housing idea

The Florence City Council heard at its March 21 meeting from Mid-Kansas Community Action Program about an affordable housing proposal for the city.

MID-CAP representative Les Littlejohn described three-bedroom houses that could be built in Florence and rented out by MID-CAP for about $400 per month.

To qualify, a family of four could earn income between $14,454 and $24,005 yearly. After one year of good rental history, the renter will have the option of purchasing the home.

The city would be required to provide 25 percent, or $69,000, of the funding. This percentage could include tax rebates, donation of the land, water installation and any labor done by city employees.

The construction could begin as early as May 2006.

The council tabled the issue for further discussion.

The latest ambulance department contract with Marion County was also tabled for further review, but is expected to be signed as soon as all previously requested changes are verified.

The ambulance equipment is set to be removed from the city insurance policy because the department move to within Marion County’s system. Other changes to city insurance coverage will also be reviewed before the next council meeting.

In other business, the council:

n approved payment increase from $900 to $2,400 in municipal court judge fees.

n heard that after problems with a newly installed engine, a second engine has been installed in one police vehicle.

n will purchase a low-mileage 2003 police car and police package for a currently owned vehicle for a total of $17,500.

n heard that five applications have been received for the new reserve police officer program.

n will send acting police chief Erik King to two weeks of commercial motor carrier inspection courses at a cost of $350. King has also applied for grants for purchase of bulletproof vests and other police equipment.

n tabled the proposed animal control shelter contract for further discussion.

n tabled discussion of a letter from U.S. Filter regarding the water filtration plant.

n heard that the municipal water has passed two consecutive state lead and copper tests.

n will request a copy of the contract for the future roundabout before signing a resolution accepting that contract.

n agreed to pay $20 per month toward cell-phone usage by city superintendent Ken Hoffman for city business.

n will disconnect the existing phone line at the city water plant.

n will work on a new system of reporting mileage and fuel purchases for city vehicles.

n will check into high-speed Internet for the city building.

n will send a thank-you card to the Methodist Church Youth Group for picking up and hauling off limbs and trash around town.

n heard that grass has been burned on the dike, exposing erosion and saplings that will need to be abated.

n broke for a 15-minute executive session for personnel reasons with no action to follow.

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