New police cars dominate Kingston work session
by Matt Shinall
Nov 08, 2011 | 1471 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The first item of discussion at Kingston's work session took center stage Monday as Mayor Dexter Jones and the council addressed the need for new police cars.

Councilman Ed Miklas led the opposition, favoring instead to put off the purchase until next spring. Payments on city hall, to Bartow County, are due to end in March. Miklas argued car payments could better be absorbed when paid with money now going toward building payments.

Jones, however, described the situation as an "emergency" with current police vehicles being unsafe for service.

"We definitely have to get some police cars purchased," Jones said. "We're going day to day on [the current police cars] and we can't go on with them like that.

"It's an emergency situation, it's dangerous driving the cars like they are now."

Bids will be sought for two police cruisers although doubt was expressed that bids would be received before next week's regular meeting for a vote this month.

The debate over car payments led to lengthy discussions on city finances, city employees and the water system. Miklas voiced concern on the city's fiscal stability while Jones reassured the council of the city's financial well being.

"Financially, we're not that well off. We depleted the water account down to $40,000. Normally, it was always around $100,000," Miklas said. "If we had a major breakdown with the water system, we probably wouldn't have enough money to fix it promptly.

"It looks like we're continuously depleting the account. Who knows where the balance will be a couple of months from now?"

Jones argued that finances are strong and growing adding that reserve accounts are in place for emergency needs.

"Again, I want to reassure everybody, we are in really good financial shape," Jones said. "You can't take a snapshot of just one month.

"If we had a major breakdown of the water system, that money wouldn't cover it anyway, the money would come from somewhere else."

Also on next week's agenda will be a motion to place locks on gas pumps at the city fuel depot. Keys would be kept in the clerk's office and checked out as needed. The matter came to light after the 2010 audit showed unrecorded fuel consumption. The mayor and council shared confidence in the latest proposed motion after discussing several options over the past months including a new gate and a computerized fuel management software.

The Kingston City Council will hold its regular meeting Monday, at 7 p.m., at city hall.