Auditor gives budget work high marks

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN MICHELLE AVIS
The City of Florence received a thumbs-up from its auditor at its Feb. 19 meeting.

Auditor Dale Clark presented the 2006 audit report that stated stated that there had been no budget violations or overspending.

Previous year revenue bond violations have been resolved and no new violations were reported. He also said sales tax revenues have more than doubled over last year.

Acting Police Chief Erik King announced that since the last meeting a stolen car had been recovered and a narcotics case had led to a large property seizure.

He then announced his resignation, which the council regretfully accepted. King will accept a position as police chief in Towanda.

Fire Chief Tim Parmley asked the Council to consider selling a city fire truck that isn’t being used. The 1971 truck has fewer than than 2,000 miles on it and no longer holds water.

Parmley assured the council that another pumper would always be in town when rural fires were being fought.

The council tabled the issue until the next meeting.

Parmley also reported that the department volunteers had voted to donate $25 to the Labor Day Committee and purchase battery packs for six communications radios. Firefighters will meet to vote whether to purchase a 1994 Chevrolet one-ton truck to replace the brush truck.

Councilor Randy Mills said he’d attended a fire department meeting and learned that department members were concerned over not being given information on their budget and special fund.

Mills also said he hopes the volunteers don’t take the recent pancake feed controversy personally. He asked people to remember that the department members are volunteering their time and should be commended for their efforts.

In other business, the council:

heard that at least 160,000 gallons of water were lost in a major leak over the weekend. The water and chlorine levels at the city clear well were closely watched and reported to have returned to normal.

heard that the FlorenceKS.com Web site as been updated to address some American with Disabilities Act compliance issues.

will discuss an offer by Rick Turner to purchase some city-owned land bordering his property.

approved a total expenditure of up to $5,300 for utility billing software, a required court management program and employee training on each package.

approved paying expenses for City Clerk Darla Gore to go to a city clerks convention and stay three nights in a Wichita hotel.

will give out-of-service ambulance to the fire department to sell with proceeds going toward the department’s special fund.

agreed to meet with the planning board Feb. 21 to discuss progress on zoning. No voting would take place as not all council members would be present.

ended the meeting with an executive session for personnel-related matters with no action to follow.

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