Florence passes on Chamber membership

The Florence City Council announced at its Jan. 16 meeting that the city would not participate as a Chamber of Commerce member this year.

A dispute over what many called an improper vote at the most recent Chamber meeting prompted heated discussion and led Councilor Randy Mills to suggest not paying for 2006 membership dues.

The unanimous decision was backed by many in attendance.

Del Leeds, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance officer, formally announced that action on a confidential ADA complaint had come to an impasse. The person bringing the complaint will appeal to a higher court.

The council invited the city superintendent into a 10-minute executive session for personnel matters. Upon return to open meeting, the council asked Salina Area Technical School instructor Dale Vanderhoff to present information on wastewater certification classes.

The council decided to send Mark Bishop to the training from Jan. 19 until May 18 at a cost of $1,252. To lessen the financial burden on the city, Vanderhoff agreed to be the city’s contract operator while a city employee took the class.

As a Class 4 wastewater plant operator, Vanderhoff is qualified to operate any plant in Kansas. The council voted to accept this arrangement.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will administer the certification exam after Bishop completes the course. After receiving the certification, 10 hours of training are required every two years and can be attained through workshops given by the college.

In other business, the council:

  • announced that citywide cleanup would take place Monday, May 15, and Monday, Oct. 16.
  • agreed to continue trash service as currently scheduled rather than pick up a day late due to federal holidays.
  • thanked the Hillsboro Free Press for recent coverage of local attractions such as restaurants and the Harvey House.
  • thanked city employees for cleaning up inside and around the former city building.
  • approved electrical and plumbing license renewal for Jeff Inlow of Inlow Plumbing, gas fitter license renewal for Reliance Energy and a building permit for Reilly Reed contingent on building ordinances being followed.
  • will look into purchasing a welder for the city building.
  • will review the trash ordinance that states every business must have separate trash service even if owned by the same person.
  • heard the annual fire department pancake feed will be at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Senior Center.
  • heard from Sarah Cope that the community meeting to estimate volunteer hours available for an affordable housing project was a success.
  • agreed with fire department decision to implement a driver training program. Fire department drivers will train on each truck on a regular basis, which will also help keep the trucks in working order.
  • approved an expenditure from the fire department fund to have vehicles serviced.
  • approved fire department expenditure of $57.60 apiece for two heavy-duty radio batteries.
  • asked Fire Chief Tim Parmley to check into locating two used speaker microphones for the department’s radios before purchasing them at a cost of $65.25 each.
  • ended the meeting with a 30-minute executive session for personnel matters with decisions made. Pay increases were given to city employees as follows: maintenance worker Mark Bishop, 17 cents per hour with an additional 50-cent raise after he receives wastewater certification and commercial driver’s license; maintenance worker Larry Scriven, increase to $10.50 per hour after he receives water certification; City Clerk Darla Gore, pay increase of $125 per month; acting police chief Erik King, pay increase to $16.25 per hour.; police sergeant Charles Hefton, pay increase to $12 per hour; police officers Tommy Wilson, Ryan Mitchell, Phil Crom and Chet Hefton, pay increase to $9 per hour.
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