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New ride for Florence PD

Police car goes into service this week

Staff writer

Florence Police Chief Conroy Miller and his officers received a bonus this past week when the mayor and city council held a special meeting for the purpose of discussing the purchase of a new police car. Council members approved an expenditure Aug. 13 of $9,000 for the purchase of a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria for the department. Law enforcement officers have been limping along with two vehicles in poor condition.

Florence council members acknowledged the cars were less than adequate and they had reached the point of diminishing returns when repairs were made.

At the final July city council meeting, councilman Trayce Warner said she had refused to ride with chief Conroy Miller when he wanted the mayor and councilmen to accompany him on his travels about the city and adjacent highways during his watch.

“I know we need to replace them,” she said. “I won’t get into one and I am embarrassed that we expect our officers to do so.”

The new vehicle will be put into service this week.

Miller also announced his department would be participating in the annual Labor Day campaign to monitor traffic and arrest drivers who have been drinking or who don’t use their seat belts.

Florence Police Department works with Kansas Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Association to ticket drivers who violate traffic laws during a given period. Miller and his crew began ticketing violators Thursday and the campaign will continue until midnight Sept. 1.

Miller also will host a bicycle safety class Saturday at Grandview Park. Parents are encouraged to enroll their children so the youngsters will learn proper bicycle rules and behavior.

In other business, the council:

  • discussed a lease contract for an agreement between the city and Marion County Special Education Cooperative, developed by city attorney Marilyn Wilder and mayor Greg Winn. Council members made minor changes in the wording, and voted to approve the document. It will go back to the attorney and then be submitted to MCSEC for their approval.
  • heard from city superintendent Phil Baldwin the intersection at Ninth and Main was finished and was opened to traffic Monday morning.
  • heard that PRIDE painted two buildings downtown this past weekend. The organization also will decorate the windows of several vacant buildings for Labor Day.
  • heard Florence Chamber of Commerce voted to purchase a lifeguard chair and umbrella for the municipal pool.
  • agreed to postpone a planned pool party because of bad weather being forecast for the weekend. Organizers had planned the fund-raiser to support activities at the pool next summer.
  • heard that councilman Trayce Warner ordered two backboards for Unity Park. Warner requested city employees help install the backboards when they come in as well as install the equipment donated from the Veteran’s Park site as soon as possible. It was noted that John Swarm had purchased new nets for the park.
  • discussed a request from the Labor Day committee to fund one-half of the cost of portable toilets for the celebration. Councilman Randy Mills made a motion to table the request until the city knows how much money the committee makes from the event. “If they can cover their expenses I don’t think the city should pick up that tab,” Mills said. “We are already contributing city employee labor and overtime pay, trash pickup, extra police protection, and other things. By the same token, if they lose money and are in a bind then, yes, we should help because the promotion does focus on the community.” The motion passed unanimously.
  • reviewed two ordinances that will regulate the use of miscellaneous motorized vehicles on the city streets including golf carts, work site vehicles, scooters, toy cars, and ATVs. Council members will vote on passage of the ordinances at a future meeting.
  • heard the city ambulance crew will be hosting a retirement party for longtime volunteer Dale Miller. The event will be held Oct. 11.
  • entered a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel and took no action upon return to open meeting.
  • approved the purchase of another pallet of patching asphalt for the city streets and instructed Baldwin to acquire a portable air compressor by Sept. 1 and have all the street cracks filled by Oct. 1.

Last modified Aug. 20, 2008

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