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Possible excavator purchase draws contention at Florence

Staff writer

Councilmen debated a proposed purchase of a mini excavator during Monday’s Florence City Council Meeting, and councilman Matt Williams said it would be an asset in improving public works.

“If you want to see better drainage then it comes with having equipment to put in culverts,” he said. “It has the equipment to ditch and do some upgrades. There’s a small pond over by Bev Baldwin’s, that’s a great opportunity. Let’s change some elevations and make sure water is flowing downhill.”

Councilman Trayce Warner questioned the frugality of the decision, saying that major purchases have been made in 2019.

“We still want to spend $45,000 on a piece of equipment, I’m sorry, I have issues,” she said. “Once again, I’m one vote. What will be, will be.”

The excavator would help with services around the city, but Warner said she didn’t see it as a necessity.

“You guys make very good arguments,” she said. “I don’t like to see anyone doing a job they don’t have appropriate tools for. I just don’t think this is something necessary for us.”

The excavator would cost $44,000. A 5-year payment plan is available which would require quarterly payments of $2,500. Both options include a 5-year warranty.

The yearly cost would be almost entirely offset by payments for grave digging the city could do, which generates $8,000 to $9,000 a year, mayor Bob Gayle said.

The topic was tabled for a work meeting 6 p.m. June 27. Other discussion points will include the city’s 2020 budget, and possible appearances from accountants with audit proposals.

An executive session was held to discuss employee wages. The group took an extra five minutes after the scheduled 20, but no vote was held to add the extra time. Gayle said as long as the audience was made aware of the additional time, a new vote wasn’t necessary.

According to the Kansas Open Meeting Act, the time and place a government body will reconvene from executive session must be stated in the formal motion.

Florence’s formal motion became inaccurate when the council decided to take an additional five minutes.

The resulting decision was to give raises to four city employees, ranging from $1 to $4.

Last modified June 20, 2019

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