SLP plans for future equipment purchases

As the year comes to an end, the Spring Lake Park City Council is planning a capital equipment purchase in 2013.

The council Dec. 3 voted 4-1 to issue a $675,000 equipment certificate for projects though 2017.

Councilmember Dale Dahl voted against.

Interest rates are very favorable, at approximately 0.8395 percent, for the certificate, said Assistant City Administrator, Dan Buchholtz,

With fees, the certificate will provide $645,000 for capital equipment purchases, he said.

Among the equipment purchases planned for 2013 are iPADs for council and staff at $4,300.

The purchases should pay for itself as the city goes paperless and saves time by reducing the time staff spends on copying and collating the agenda packets, Buchholtz said.

The city will also be replacing the staff computers and a server in 2014, which is estimated at $81,500.

One of the biggest projects being undertaken in 2013 is replacing the council chambers audio-visual equipment.

The upgrade will switching the cable television equipment from analog to digital, Buchholtz said.

The certificate will also cover the replacement of the 1991 Ford dump truck with a plow truck with wing plow, belly plow and sander.

In 2015, the public works department is scheduled to replace its existing mower with a 4100 D mower, estimated at $50,000 using the certificate.

In 2013, the certificate will provide $20,000 for a new copier and $36,000 for six cameras for the squad cars for the police department.

Mayor Cindy Hanson asked why the police department could not use the same copy machine as the city hall.

If the city hall’s copy machine breaks down, it uses the police department’s copy machine as a back up, said City Administrator Barb Nelson.

Having both copiers means they are not dead in the water if one of the machines breaks down, she said.

The police department copy machine will also save money in the long run as it is replacing several individual printers in the department, said Chief Doug Ebeltoft.

The certificate also includes a yearly payment of $30,000 on Spring Lake Park’s share of the Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department fire truck purchase.

As presented, the equipment certificate will have no tax levy impact as it is the same amount as the 2008 equipment certificate, which has just ended, Buchholtz said.

Councilmember Barb Carlson was concerned that a new ballfield groomer was not included and wanted to know if the city was going to replace the council chairs.

The last time the chairs were replaced she took a lot of flack, Nelson said.

Although the council chambers needs to be updated, that is mostly aesthetic and it is expensive, she said.

Last time she looked into it, Nelson said she got discouraged.

“This is what we can afford,” she said.

Administration took the more than $1 million in requests from the city departments and prioritized them to create the equipment list, Buchholtz said.

Hopefully, the city will realize a cost savings on some of the later purchases and earn money on the interest that can be use the fund for other projects not included on the list, Nelson said.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]