By ALICIA LEONARD
Council members James Huffman, James Coffield and Don Harrison were sworn back into office for another three years by Mayor Harold Carpenter at this week’s DeFuniak Springs City Council meeting. After the ceremony Harrison moved to re-appoint James Huffman Mayor Pro Tempore. The re-appointment was approved unanimously by the Council.
Carpenter then made a motion for the meeting times of the council to be rolled back an hour. After some discussion the council voted unanimously for the next Council meeting to be held at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. The Council agreed that if the new time did not prove to be convenient for all involved they could always vote to move the meeting time back to 7 p.m. The new meeting time will take effect starting April 28
The Council moved on to appointing planning board members. Harrison moved to re-appoint Kermit Wright. Huffman moved to re-appoint D.B. Campbell Sr. and Coffield moved to re-appoint Jim Harmon. Carpenter is still waiting on verification of his appointment.
DeFuniak Springs Fire Chief Brian Coley requested authorization to purchase a new fire truck. The purchase was included in this year’s budget and will be replacing a 14 year-old model. The newest truck in the fire department’s garage is almost nine years old. The total cost for the purchase will be $279,763 and the purchase will be financed for over a 10-year period. The fire department will assume new ownership of the fire engine truck close to August of this year. The council approved the purchase unanimously.
Public Works Director Bill Holloway requested and received authorization to purchase 10 new dumpster beds for city trucks by unanimous vote. The dumpsters will cost $10,125, or $975 each, and were included in this year’s budget.
The Council then moved to renew the lease agreement with the Walton County Council on Aging (COA) for the 2008-2009 year. The COA pays one dollar a year to the city for the lease of the building on Baldwin Avenue.
Councilman Henry Ennis was nominated as a board member for the COA and Councilman Wayne Graham was nominated to serve on the board for Communities for a Lifetime.
The Council agreed unanimously to not make citizens have to carry a separate special events insurance policy to use city facilities. Huffman told the Council, “We want our citizens to be able to use our facilities and we don’t allow alcohol so our policy should cover us adequately.”
The Council agreed unanimously to cancel the regularly-scheduled Council meeting on May 26, due to it falling on Memorial Day.
Two emergency agenda items were approved unanimously. A repair payment for $15,069 for the water department for well number one. Holloway said that the well was struck by lightning or a power surge, and is still being investigated. Also approved was a payment of $25,270 for emergency road repairs on South Davis Lane.
By ALICIA LEONARD