The Houston City Council purchased a new piece of equipment Monday for its street department and learned that interviews are underway for two administrative posts in city government.
Members authorized the purchase of a John Deere wheel loader that will replace one that has been in service for about 40 years. Murphy Tractor and Equipment in Springfield was the successful bidder. With a trade-in, the purchase price is $64,210 at 42 months payments with no interest. City Administrator Larry Sutton said several accessory attachments are also compatible with the equipment.
In other matters, members:
—Heard that interviews are expected to begin Monday for Houston police chief. Jim McNiell announced plans to retire earlier. Two interviews have been completed for parks and recreation director. Three more were expected Wednesday. Jim Root is retiring.
—Changes in case law will mean that Houston no longer will have a police dog. Rulings require a dog to be in the vehicle when a stop is made, making it impractical for use for drug investigations, it was explained. Handler Brad Evans will care for Rooke.
—Approved ordinances related to a nearly unchanged ’15 tax levy, an increase in water and sewer rates beginning at the start of the year and regulations related to home businesses that specifically deny such uses as barbershops and beauty salons.