The City Commission of Arkansas City voted 3-2 on Nov. 1 to approve the purchase of a new trailer.

ark-city-logoThe lowboy trailer will be used to haul the city’s excavator and bulldozer to work sites throughout Ark City.

Currently, the excavator is moved on a trailer that is less stable and potentially could dump the equipment if it becomes unstable.

The new trailer features a detachable goose-neck that provides additional stability and allows equipment to be loaded from the front.

But Commissioner Jay Warren and Vice Mayor Dan Jurkovich both had reservations about buying the trailer at this time.

Warren cited financial issues at South Central Kansas Medical Center as his reason for wanting to postpone the purchase.

Jurkovich said he would like to look into leasing or renting a similar trailer instead of investing in a brand-new one.

The trailer cost $41,276, an amount that will come from the city’s Stormwater Fund. Historically, this fund has not had as much money as other utility funds and has not been tapped for transfers to the General Fund to cover hospital debt like they have.

The 90-day quote for the trailer was set to expire Nov. 2, forcing a decision by the commission on Nov. 1.

Mayor Duane Oestmann asked if the money required to cover the hospital debt and the final payment to Quorum Health Resources already was set aside.

City staff said there potentially would be enough money collected from the two sales taxes to cover the hospital’s bond payment in February 2017.

Both City Manager Nick Hernandez and Finance Director Kathy Cornwell said they saw no problems in proceeding with the purchase at this time.

In other business, the commissioners:

  • unanimously amended the agenda to add and witnessed Oestmann issuing a proclamation declaring November as National Adoption Month and Nov. 19 as National Adoption Day in Arkansas City. Brenda Stewart, of St. Francis Community Services, accepted the proclamation.
  • unanimously approved the agenda and consent agenda.
  • approved three personnel policy updates.
  • heard a first reading of a charter ordinance that will amend current municipal code connected to the Ark City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • heard Hernandez give updates on several projects that are ongoing in the city.