Thorsby approves grant to resurface roads

Thorsby’s Town Council on Monday approved a grant for resurfacing two roads in town.

The $498,000 grant will be used for the resurfacing of a 1.4-mile portion of County Road 50 in town limits and 1.9 miles of Medical Center Drive West.

The town will have to pay a $49,800 engineering fee.

In other business, the council:

•Decided to proceed with a trade of property including the old garment factory off Highway 31 for three lots, one of which also includes a building, on Minnesota and Jones streets. The swap would have to be approved in court.

•Allowed the town’s fire department to purchase a utility vehicle for $16,000. The vehicle could be used for sporting events, fire hydrant maintenance and grass fires, among other uses, said Clay Bentley with the fire department. Bentley told council members that the department had enough in its account to cover the purchase.

•Voted in favor of Police Chief Rodney Barnett’s recommendation to utilize gas cards for the purchase of fuel for town vehicles instead of relying on a town-owned tank. Barnett said he thinks debris from inside the tank has caused fuel pump problems in police cruisers, but council members seemed more moved by the prospect of the cards providing more accountability. The card service could include a feature to provide monthly reports of fuel usage by all town-owned vehicles, of which there are 17 that run off gasoline. Council members seemed to think the cost of fuel would be similar to what the town is currently paying.

•Renewed a contract with Howie McNeill for $17,500 for the completion of an audit of the town’s finances.

•Asked Public Works Director Terry Jackson to look into purchasing an accessory for the town’s backhoe that would allow, for example, town workers to put up decorations and change traffic lights. Barnett suggested looking into purchasing a bucket truck, but council members thought the backhoe modification could be a more cost effective solution.

•Asked the fire department to seek quotes for the installation of a central heating and air system at the fire station.

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