Council juggles funds to complete projects

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, March 18, 2017
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Rhome City Council members discussed the rebuild of City Hall at their March 9 meeting.

Mayor Michelle Pittman asked the council to approve using the city’s 2016 police vehicle as collateral for a lower interest rate on a loan from Woodhaven Bank. The council authorized Pittman to take out a short-term loan of up to $40,000 for city hall’s roof repair in February.

Rhome City Hall has been closed since May of 2016 for mold and asbestos removal and roof repairs.

The use of the police vehicle as collateral was unanimously approved.

Pittman said the city plans to have the building appraised. Rhome’s long-term goal is to build a municipal complex and sell the old city hall.

Councilman Sam Eason mentioned that the bids for a new police vehicle had come in lower than expected and asked if the city could use the leftover funds from that budget item to prepare a bid for the design of the future municipal complex. When Police Chief Sam Love said the estimated cost of the vehicle did not include the necessary equipment to go with it, Eason asked how urgently the department needed a new vehicle.

“It’s pretty urgent,” Love said, explaining that he expected they’ll need to replace some of the older vehicles fairly soon, and he doesn’t want to have to replace two at once.

Eason then asked if it was possible to use general fund monies to pay for a proposal so they could present a plan to the public in time to call a November bond election. Pittman said she didn’t want to dip into the city’s savings.

The council proceeded to approve the purchase of a new police vehicle.

They also:

  • discussed amendments to sign ordinances.
  • discussed updating the city building codes.
  • took Memorial Day and Veterans Day off the city events calendar, giving responsibility for any events on those days to the Rhome Veterans Group.
  • approved the Prairie Point development annexation service plan.
  • discussed creating a building official position.
  • discussed the May 2017 election and the city’s move from at-large to numbered council places. For more on that discussion, see the March 11 issue of the Messenger.

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