City debates capital improvements

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By Ada Lang

Public Works Director Josh Wilson presented his department’s proposed budget for the coming year, including his hope that the city buy a $55,000 piece of equipment, at a budget workshop Monday night.

A street-sweeping, vacuum truck with storm drain cleaning capabilities is on his wish list, however, the commission’s response was less than enthusiastic. The idea was that the money saved by not paying a service to clean the  city’s stormwater sediment traps (about $5,000 per year) could help make the loan payment on the vehicle. 

That would be in addition to money the city will save because one of the public works vehicles will be paid off this year. 

Wilson pointed out that the existing commercial stove in the community center kitchen has not worked properly for some time. He said his father has a used one for sale for about $700 to $800.

The commission agreed to have Fire Chief Robert Robinson look at the stove and determine if it would suit the city’s needs, stating he might be knowledgeable on the subject because his job involves use of a kitchen.

The commission said it would follow Robinson's recommendation.

Other recommendations for improvements to the community center and city hall were more warmly received. Although, the commissioners said they do not wish to tackle those projects until a capital improvement plan is developed and presented to them.

Other items that are needed at the community center are lights in the parking lot, as well as, street lights and DSL service. Wilson was directed to get prices.

Facility maintenance was listed at $10,000 on the proposed public works budget. That money was previously allotted for right-of-way maintenance but the feeling was that the same amount of money should be spent instead on city hall repairs. 

The planned ADA bathrooms in city hall that were framed out but not completed, due to rotting wood siding and the building needs to be painted, so the consensus was that it should be a priority and Wilson was directed to get prices on the project. 

In other matters, the city’s auditors, Purvis Gray and Company, issued their annual management letter. They recommended that four prior year recommendations be addressed. They include 1) completing an annual physical inventory of all tangible personal property, 2) developing a written whistle-blower policy 3) supporting documentation be attached to credit card statements consistently and 4) the matter of retiree health insurance be addressed.