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Council approves purchase of vehicles

Nov. 27, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington City Council unanimously approved the purchase of several new vehicles for the Police and Public Works departments Monday.

The purchases were included in a series of ordinances that were up for a vote during the council's brief meeting. The purchases include five new police cruisers, two utility police vehicles, 24 mobile data terminals for police cruisers and two crew cab trucks for the Public Works Department.

The police cruisers cost $113,570 and will be acquired through a three-year, lease-purchase agreement. One of the utility police vehicles will be added to the lease-purchase agreement, while the second vehicle will be purchased with insurance proceeds and money from the Police Department's budget. Each utility police vehicle costs $25,518.

The crew cab trucks cost $90,266, while the mobile data terminals cost $50,376 and will be paid for through a state grant.

Also Monday, Council Chairman Mark Bates informed council members during a work session before the meeting that he was contemplating an ordinance that would withhold council members' pay if they owed delinquent municipal service or refuse fees.

"Our constituents are still on us about delinquent fees and what not," Bates said.

No action was taken during the meeting, but Bates requested that council members give the proposal some thought before he brings it back for discussion in a few weeks.

Two incoming City Council members -- Pete Gillespie and Rick Simmons -- owe delinquent fees, according to city records. Gillespie, who attended the work session, says he owes between $600 and $900, but intends to pay off the debt before he takes office.

Simmons owes $2,154 in delinquent municipal and refuse fees and he has not set up a payment plan or made any payments on his accounts this year, according to city records.

Also during the work session, Bates said City Council is currently scheduled to have a meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The city charter requires the council to conduct its meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The last time a council meeting fell on Christmas Eve was 2001. City Council went ahead with the meeting that year, even though then-Mayor David Felinton declared the day as a holiday for city employees.

Mayor Kim Wolfe indicated he will likely do the same for city employees this year, but it is unclear whether that would allow City Council to move its meeting to Wednesday, Dec. 26, Bates said. He asked city attorney Scott McClure to research the matter.

The council also unanimously approved Local Economic Development Assistance grants for the Rape Crisis Center, A.D. Lewis Community Center and Museum of Radio and Technology and approved the appointment of Mary Elizabeth Buchanan Kilgore to the Historic Preservation Commission. It will be her first term on the commission.