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Workman's Comp. rate drops for city

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mayor Tom Arthur had good news for the city council during its regular session Tuesday night.

The city's Workmen's Compensation insurance rate has dropped 32 percent or $22,000.

Arthur credited the drop to educating city workers about safety. Next comes an effort to lower the city's health insurance premiums, he said.

Another bit of good news was about the 2006 City Budget. Due to higher than expected tax revenues, the city will move closer to a balanced budget, he said. A projected deficit has been cut in half.

In old business, the city council:

- Passed 4-0 an ordinance that brings the city's flood insurance ordinance up to date. The ordinance is about 31 pages long and mostly deals with terminology rather than substantial changes in the city code.

- Passed 3-1 on first reading an ordinance that will allow the city to maintain a credit card with a $5,000 spending limit. The balance is to be paid off each month before any interest comes due. The card will be kept in the City Clerk's office and a log will be maintained showing who takes the card for city business.

At the last meeting, the mayor recommended the city council approve the business card so city officials won't have to use their personal credit cards to pay for large purchases when a vendor won't accept a purchase order.

The one nay vote came from Councilman James Sheese, who expressed concern at the Sept. 13 meeting that the city employees have trouble meeting deadlines and he was concerned about responsible use of the credit card. Sheese made no comment about his concerns during the meeting on Tuesday.

The ordinance has to pass a second reading before it is enacted.

- Passed 4-0 an ordinance for appropriations for the Forest Park Golf Course. However, the golf course is self-supporting, city council members point out.

In a matter of discussion from the Sept. 13 meeting, Councilman Sheese asked the mayor to clarify his statement that a mistake had been made in bids for repair of city sidewalks.

The mayor said blueprints drawn by MMS show a 3-foot wide sidewalk while most sidewalks are 4 1/2 to 5 feet wide.

The city was not able to replace as many sidewalks as planned due to the extra materials of the wider sidewalks.

Council members James Sheese, William Lovett, Pat Heffner and Marty Beasley were present. Council Member Ann Bradshaw was absent.

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