Florence City Council considers cost for low-income housing project

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN MICHELLE AVIS
Florence City Council members, at their Dec. 19 meeting, looked at an initial list of costs for new low-income houses to be built in the city.

A lengthy discussion on the availability of volunteer workers prompted the council to ask for a community meeting.

The meeting, which will be before Jan. 16, will be an attempt to sign up the volunteers needed to complete the project.

After some concerns were raised about the number of traffic tickets compared to warnings that the Florence Police Department has given out, Councilor Bryan Harper announced that more warning tickets-423 to date-have been given than actual tickets.

Del Leeds, Americans with Disabilities Act officer, asked for and received permission to set up a meeting with Police Chief Erik King and the local judge to set up a procedure for what to do if someone refuses to install ramps where required when replacing sidewalks.

This also prompted a long discussion that led to a request for more research into what current ordinances say about ownership of and responsibility for the sidewalks.

In other matters, the council:

  • discussed setting up a registered emergency evacuation center. The center would need bathrooms, a kitchen and a large enough area to set up cots.
  • will continue to look into whether fuel purchases for city use may be tax-exempt and will apply for tax-exemption and rebates on taxes paid.
  • heard from Fire Chief Tim Parmley that the fire department will apply for a grant to buy new uniforms. The firefighters will be able to view the uniforms Jan. 9.

    Parmley also said Marion County Emergency Preparedness director Michelle Abbot-Becker had scheduled a class to better prepare emergency workers and council members for the National Incident Management Systems tests that are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • scheduled an end-of-year meeting for Dec. 30 to discuss the budget and other end-of-year business.
  • approved the renewal of a cereal malt beverage license for Junction Saloon.
  • asked for snow removal to be done sooner following storms and will look into either repairing the current snow-removal blade or purchasing a larger one. They also announced that the state had donated snow removal materials.
  • will look into moving several water meters closer to curbs.
  • heard from the city superintendent that the second pump on the water filtration system is now running. He said will be receiving manuals and tutorials on repair and maintenance. The council asked for better records on how much fuel is used by each vehicle or by project.
  • announced that a new business, the Crossroads Trading Post, would be opening downtown. The store will offer guns, ammunition and hunting supplies.
  • went into a 20-minute executive session for personnel matters. Upon returning to open meeting, the council decided to offer the advertised position for a refuse worker to Dan Kyle with a decision to be made as soon as possible.
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