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Florence closer to signing water lease agreement

Special council meeting to sign agreement to be announced

Staff writer

Florence city council members moved another step closer to resolution on the Crystal Springs lease agreement Monday.

Mayor Bob Gayle said the document is being reviewed for final details.

Members voted to have a special meeting exclusively for signing the agreement. The meeting will be at the American Legion, but no date was set.

The decision passed 3-1, with councilman Trayce Warner opposed. She said councilman Reilly Reid should have abstained because of his affiliation with the organization. The official vote was 2-1 after Reid retracted his vote.

The council did not discuss the reason to pursue eminent domain several months ago. Local business owner Sarah Dawson asked whether it would be addressed at the special meeting.

The special meeting will be exclusively for signing the lease agreement, but the council will set a future meeting to answer residents’, Gayle said.

“With all the effort that’s been put into this, that evening should be set aside just to do the lease,” he said. “We can talk about all the rest of it at a meeting, and I won’t retract it. We can talk about it very soon thereafter.”

Council members discussed options to improve regulations for allowable dog breeds, but no action was taken. Mail carriers have been skipping home deliveries more frequently, and the city has sent several reports of dogs roaming free.

There shouldn’t be breed-specific regulations, the policy should instead be based whether dogs exhibit vicious behavior, or are repeatedly escaping, Warner said.

Dogs captured by the city are held for three days, at which point they are sent to be euthanized, which costs the city $76.

The city’s plans for a community gymnasium were found. EBH employee Darin Neufeld provided the plans to Florence free, but there was a discrepancy between his perception of the layout and the council’s description, Warner said.

Neufeld was under the impression the gym floor is on bedrock, but there are classrooms in the basement under the gym.

Council members unanimously approved contacting Neufeld about physically inspecting the space to ensure it has proper support.

Fire chief Mark Slater told the council executive sessions should be held at the end of council meetings, unless someone like a lawyer, who is paid hourly, is present, said.

“You have people sitting here,” he said. “If you’re going to take 15 minutes and come back out, then take another 15 minutes, and another 15 minutes because you’re discussing personnel, I think that can wait until you are done with the actual meeting. Then people can leave, and if they want to stay to hear what your outcome is, that’s great.”

The city’s new dump truck needs a clutch pressure plate and pilot bearing replaced, which will cost $260 total. The decision passed unanimously, but Warner said she was not aware parts needed replacing.

In other news, council members:

  • approved purchase of a new handheld pool meter for $444, which measures chemical levels.
  • discussed the possibility of a person putting a tiny house on a lot across from the city pool. The person did not attend the meeting, but claimed to city clerk Janet Robinson that she owned the property.
  • postponed the next city meeting from Feb. 18 to Feb. 25 so city clerk Janet Robinson and the auditor would be available to attend.

Last modified Feb. 6, 2019

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