Mayor Wayne Willis initially proposed a long-discussed loan of $500,000 last month at a council work session, with plans to buy public works equipment, pave roads and get matching grants for the city’s park. That number quickly ballooned to more than $800,000 to buy additional equipment, including two vehicles that could be used to maintain city roads and the Chief Ladiga Trail.
Willis said today the council reached what he called a more reasonable number on Tuesday night, settling on just one vehicle for maintenance, and using money from the city’s oil tax to help pay for road pavement projects.
The vote was split 3-2, Willis said, with the mayor, Councilwoman Ellen Cole and Councilman Les Hill voting for the loan, and councilmen Mike Warren and Jeff Clendenning voting against the loan. Councilman Tim McRae did not attend the meeting.
Willis said the money to get matching grants for improvements to the park, a pet project of the mayor’s since taking office, is still under consideration. Willis had initially proposed $125,000 of the loan go toward the park.
“I’ll negotiate anything, but that’s my line in the sand,” Willis said. “We owe it to the residents and children of Weaver to have a nice park. That equipment is more than 40 years old. At one time we had a slide condemned.”
Willis said the council is still deciding which bank to work with on securing the loan.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.