Action at Tuesday night's city council session will net Helena-West Helena new garbage trucks, new police cars, a blues festival, and the installation of a new water main.

Action at Tuesday night's city council session will net Helena-West Helena new garbage trucks, new police cars, a blues festival, and the installation of a new water main.

The meeting opened with a presentation by Jamie McCoy regarding the purchase of two new garbage trucks. In the past the city outright purchased sanitation equipment but following a lengthy discussion on an out-of-the-box approach in acquiring new equipment, the city council approved the purchase of two new trucks at the rate of $4,000 per month per truck with a buy-back plan after two years.

McCoy told the city council that several other cities in the region are going to this purchasing concept that includes full warranty with options of regular maintenance. The purchase of the new trucks will decrease tremendously repair bills and will negate the need to rent trucks in the future, which will in turn save the city thousands of dollars annually.

Mayor Jay Hollowell noted, "The cost of renting these trucks has been killing this city. This is something we cannot afford not to do."

After waiving competitive bidding, the council approved the purchase.

The next item on the agenda included a discussion with Linda Broome, the Director of the King Biscuit Blues Festival. With no major changes in the planning of the blues festival this year, the city council approved the event application for the October event. Set up for the festival will begin on October 3 and vendor set up will begin on October 6. Live music will begin on October 7.

Following the approval of the KBBF, Ken Fratesi spoke to the city council regarding the need for a 2-inch water main installation on Lithicum Street. The project includes 1,800 feet of line to be run and the flushing of hydrants. The total, including engineer design and construction engineer services, will cost $48,325.

The final discussion Tuesday night focused on the purchase of new police cars. Police Chief Virgil Green told the council that he could purchase a 2013 Ford Interceptor with 25,000 miles on it for $15,000 from Oklahoma. The council approved the purchase of that car. Green then discussed with the city council the purchase of ten 2016 and one 2015 patrol cars.

The purchase of new vehicles would include a warranty plan and would drastically reduce the cost of maintaining an aging fleet of cars the department now uses. Green told the council that the cars would be white with a new decal design. The council approved the purchases.

Councilman John Huff told The Helena World, "We need to have a good management system in place to ensure the vehicles are used for the purpose they are being purchased."