Invoices for the residential garbage truck and the commercial frontend loader were presented at Tuesday night's council session. Some council members questioned the sudden increase in the repair amount and the leasing of these vehicles that were not approved by the governing body.
Invoices for the residential garbage truck and the commercial frontend loader were presented at Tuesday night's council session. Some council members questioned the sudden increase in the repair amount and the leasing of these vehicles that were not approved by the governing body. Councilman John Huff commented that he feels the council was done an injustice by a comment that appeared in the local paper alleging false accusations that the body was not trying to get trucks and was trying to make the “financials” of the situation personal. “No body at this table is trying to make this situation personal,” commented Huff. “For the citizens of this city, we recognize that the city needs trucks and we need to take some bids and have somebody that is capable of seeking and reporting specs back to this body.” Huff stated that wasting money on things of this nature like the city has in the past needs to stop, pointing out previous business with Mississippi Limestone. According to the invoices the residential truck repairs totaled $11,700, which exceeded the Mayor's spending limit. “We were given an estimate of $2,500 for the repair of the truck, not $11,700,” stated Councilwoman Wanda Crockett. The invoice also stated that the commercial frontend loader is currently being leased for $3,391.57 but according to Huff the city council was under the impression that the city was renting out a truck for $6,200 for two weeks, but from their understanding, it is now weekly payments in that amount that are being made. “We need to be more professional and bid this out because there are other businesses that need business,” commented Huff. Huff added that names of businesses, contact information and company heads should be provided when taking bids. The council discussed current spending on each of the vehicles and based on the transaction statement that was presented to the council, the city would unfortunately not have enough funds to buy a truck at this time. “But we are steady spending on repairs and equipment that seem to be inadequate for the job that needs to be done,” commented Councilman Christopher Franklin. According to Mayor Arnell Willis and Council Member Jay Hollowell, the city has had an excellent track record with Struggs in the past. However, Hollowell noted that he was in favor for taking new bids and “doing it the proper way.” “There is unnecessary spending that is being done that we are not aware of,” said Crockett. Crockett added that based on the figures presented, there is over a $9,000 difference in the estimate first brought to the council's attention and the payments that have been made. “We're going to keep going round in circles until we get down to the truth,” continued Crockett. “The next time the truck breaks down, we're going to let it sit on the curb where it breaks down and then we'll let the council take action then,” said Willis. Discussion and rebuttal continued around the table until a motion was finally made to move forward. The council agreed to get the specs and advertise for bids.