City postpones police car purchase

Staff writer

On Monday evening, Peabody City Council re-visited a plan to purchase a new police car during the 2013 budget year.

Council member Tom Schmidt asked Police Chief Bruce Burke what the officers would do if the council put the purchase off until 2014.

“It’ll be business as usual,” Burke said. “We built in extra funds into the budget for repairs in case the purchase was postponed. We need all three cars, so we will figure it out.”

A new patrol car would replace the 2005 model at a cost of $23,000.

It was noted the final payment on the new city shop will be made at the end of 2013, and the car could be ordered in 2013 with the first payment coming due in 2014.

After discussion, council members agreed to wait until closer to the end of the year and look at the overall finances again.

“It might make more sense to try and get by as far as we can into 2013, but if there is a crisis with one of the patrol cars, the money is budgeted so we could go ahead and order a new one,” council member Tim Petersen said.

The decision was tabled until the final meeting in December.

In other business:

  • Peabody Swim Team coach Tom Spencer addressed the council, requesting that lane lines at the city pool be increased from four lanes to five and the work be done when the city reapplies the fiberglass finish to the swimming pool. Spencer is hoping to attract a state meet, but the pool will not qualify with only four lanes. After some discussion that created more questions than it answered, Schmidt suggested that he, Spencer, council member Pam Lamborn, Public Works Director Darren Pickens, and Pool Director Beth Peter have a separate meeting. They will gather information, costs, and estimates, and present a firm plan to the council at a future meeting.
  • Cereal malt beverage licenses for the 2013 calendar year were approved for Peabody Market and for Peabody Lanes.
  • Manning reminded the council that the terms of Mayor Larry Larsen and council members Tom Schmidt and Janice Woodruff expire this spring. Filing for these positions will open Jan. 2 and the deadline is noon on Jan. 22. There will be no filing forms available in Peabody City Hall. All filings must be made in the Marion County Clerk’s office at the courthouse in Marion.
  • The council reviewed the list of requests to have alley lights remain lighted on Division Street between Plum and Locust, on Fourth Street between Walnut and Sycamore, and in the 100 block of North Maple Street. After discussion, council members agreed the lights essentially served only the immediate neighbors, much as a personal yard light would, and they voted to have Westar disconnect them.
  • Pickens reported that repair work on the cable to one of the grinder pumps in the sewer system was complete, but the company doing the work found additional problems with the grinder mechanism, requiring additional repair time. An estimate of additional charges was not known.
  • Manning reported that auditors from Knudson and Monroe will arrive Jan. 27. Manning also told the council he has been working with incoming city administrator Shane Marler on budget issues and Leah Becker on payroll.
  • Following an executive session with Burke to discuss attorney/client matters, no action was taken when the council returned to open session.
  • Following an executive session to discuss personnel, the council approved the contract for Marler to begin work as city administrator on Jan. 2, 2013.

The next meeting of the City Council will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in the city building.

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