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  • Last modified 316 days ago (Jan. 24, 2019)

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Florence water rate decided by mayor's vote

Staff writer

With the city council split, Florence’s discussion on 2019’s water and sewer rates Monday came down to the decision of mayor Bob Gayle.

He voted to keep water rates as they are, but he also expressed concern that the city’s water and sewer expenses will increase in the next few years due to aging equipment.

“I know the other side of this thing,” he said. “We have some pretty severe expenses coming up.”

Councilman Matt Williams was not heavily opposed to the decision, but he wanted to keep the door open to review the matter later in the year.

“Honestly, I’m not in favor or against it,” Williams said. “I think we need to take another look at it down the road.”

Councilman Trayce Warner proposed keeping rates at their current level because they increased significantly in September, which was the first time in seven years.

“How much do we load on our citizens,” she said. “Granted, they’re our only income for that fund, but how much do we load on them?”

Councilman Ken Hoffman supported the motion, while councilman Reilly Reid voted against it.

Bill Hendricks, a representative with Insurance Planning Center, Inc., informed the council that EMC Insurance, Inc. is dropping the city as a client, effective April 1.

The community building’s gym floor replacement is an existing claim, so that is still covered by EMC.

Florence liabilities, such as a levy that needs yearly maintenance, deterred some companies from wanting to act as the city’s carrier, Hendricks said.

“It’s not just about premiums and money,” he said. “It’s about management, control, policies, and procedures. Things you do right help the underwriters want to write your coverage. Things that you’re not doing right turn them off.”

The council unanimously approved purchase of a 1993 Ford L-8000 fire truck from Walton fire department. Florence fire chief Mark Slater hopes to split the $8,000 cost with Fairplay and Doyle Townships, but Doyle wants a brand new truck, he said.

The L-8000 fits five people in its cab, and carries 1,200 gallons of water, as opposed to the current truck’s capacity of 750 gallons, Slater said.

An executive session was held for 30 minutes to discuss matters of nonelected personnel. Coming out of the session, a work meeting was scheduled to review the employee handbook.

The council unanimously agreed at Thursday’s special meeting to sign paperwork for the city’s dike certification.

Last modified Jan. 24, 2019

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