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Florence council, engineer discusses road improvements

Staff writer

Marion County engineer Brice Goebel discussed possible improvements with Florence councilmen for Main St. but the maps are confusiing.

Main St. bends instead of going perfectly north-south, and there are differing addresses listed depending on available maps or residents’ homes, Goebel said.

“Where does Main St. stop,” he said. “If you go from the south, it’s 105th St., and if you look at the addresses out there, it’s Xavier Rd. Nobody really knows.”

There is also a question regarding the county’s duty on rights of way. The measurement should be the same on both sides, but it’s listed at 60 feet from the middle of Main St. to the west, Goebel said.

“I can’t imagine any road having a 120-foot right of way,” he said. “There lies more confusion when you have more people surveying it.”

The county wanted to regrade the road for better drainage and put down new rock.

If the project goes through, most rock would come from a nearby quarry, and would be paid for by the city, Goebel said.

“That’s one of the things that’s obviously in your favor, is the trucking cost,” he said.

Heather Thiel was sworn in as city clerk following the council’s unanimous approval, but it would have been better to advertise the position more clearly, councilman Trayce Warner said.

“Quite frankly, I don’t have a problem with it, except that procedurally, it should have been brought to the council,” she said.

Position requirements were amended at a past meeting to allow applications from residents within 15 miles of Florence, but the position was not advertised following the change.

Mayor Bob Gayle made the appointment, but said the council could wait up to 45 days before making a decision.

“It doesn’t have to be approved this evening,” he said. “I’m making an appointment this evening, then it’s up to you guys to do whatever it is you’re going to do. I think the city needs some stability going forward.”

Thiel will fill the position as a part-time employee while also serving part-time as Burns city clerk.

It was also decided that the year’s property tax payment of $2,427.18 would be withheld until the next meeting.

Of that charge, half is for the rate on the city shop, while most other properties are listed around $130.

One area that came as a surprise on property taxes was the cemetery, but it was likely true because there is trash pickup, Warner said.

“I can’t believe I never noticed this before,” Warner said. “I never noticed we paid real estate tax. I’m sure we did because of the trash part of it.”

Last modified Dec. 5, 2019

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