City Council met for its regular meetings for February on 2/6 and 2/20 with a light set of agendas for both:
- Introduction of new employees (Amy Ellis – Nurse, Jamison Kunekel – Patrol Officer, Mark Martin – Patrol Officer)
- A vote to confirm Mutual Aid (for emergency services with neighboring communities) passed 6-0
- A discussion and vote on capital spending for Public Works – failed 3-3
Again it was a delight to welcome new folks join the City. The new Nurse for the Health department comes to Springdale after working for many years with the Hamilton County Health Department (taking the position left recently from our former nurse who recently retired).
On the business side of things there was some passionate discussion regarding an emergency request from Public works to replace the second chipper the City uses for branch / debris collection. In case you weren’t aware, up until November the City maintained 2 chippers. Generally speaking the main chipper is able to run the main regular weekly routes where the second one would be brought in for big events like wind or thunder storms when the volume goes up. These are not cheap items – a new one runs around $60,000.00! The main hangup I had with this item was two fold:
- It was not clear to me why this would be introduced as an “emergency measure” when we had been running with a single working chipper since November. Emergency measures have special meaning and something I have written on before. With finances very much an issue of public interest with a tax levy pending this is especially important right now.
- Second (more importantly) with our current financial challenges and an uncertain tax levy on the ballot on May 7th is it prudent to purchase this item when the overall budget may not support the same level of services if the levy were to fail. I am not saying we should not maintain city services in the meanwhile – notice we started 2 additional patrol officers and a health department nurse this month – but a backup chipper doesn’t feel like the same level or urgency.
That’s it for this time. Hope everyone is staying warm – I believe we just past the “Fool’s Spring” last week and are firmly into Second Winter (maybe Third Winter I have lost track)!