The city of Plummer has a new public works director.

Wesley Rice joined the city as of Aug. 25, and met with the council at the most recent meeting, Sept. 10, 2020.

Mr. Rice was the former supervisor of public works for Harrison and also worked as a wastewater operator for the city of St. Maries.

“He’s got experience in public service (municipal) operations – city crew stuff from that… He’s doing good so far,” Mayor Weems said.

The previous public works director resigned following a dispute with city councilmember Leticia Kennar.

At the meeting, councilmembers also took action to improve transparency regarding city operations. The council approved a policy for tracking purchasing equipment and handling surplus items.

“We don’t have a purchasing policy so we are putting in place a purchasing policy for public works. We also needed a surplus policy,” City Treasurer Sara Allen said.

The policy comes after Ms. Kennar encouraged the city council to improve inventory tracking efforts earlier this year. And a recent request by a private citizen to purchase surplus utility poles shed light on the city not having a formal surplus policy.

Councilmembers voted to forego retaining an insurance agent. The city will now handle insurance matters through the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program. The change will save the city approximately $2,300 according to Ms. Allen.

A parking policy intended to ease the process of snow plowing was discussed. “We haven’t passed it yet. We are going to do some modifications to it,” she said.

The city also discussed bids and costs for fiber cable related to its internet expansion project. The city received a state grant of approximately $900,000 to improve broadband access. The project is anticipated to be complete by Dec. 15, 2020. The next city council meeting is anticipated to be, Oct. 8, 2020, at 6 p.m.

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