Though the Anamosa City Council approved paying the bill for equipment for the streets department, that did not end the conversation about the city’s purchasing policy

A purchase agreement was included in the materials for the Aug. 9 Anamosa City Council meeting and a vote approving the payment of $40,593 bill from Housby Heavy Equipment for a Volvo skid steer machine passed 4-2 with council members Cody Shaffer and Rich Crump dissenting.

The purchase was made by Streets Superintendent Gregg Carpenter in March and the machine was delivered in July after Carpenter budgeted for the specific machine during the budgeting process.

Before the vote, a lengthy conversation was held between members of the council on the equipment’s purchase.

Council Member Rich Crump continued to express his displeasure that the conversation around the city’s purchasing policy concerning big ticket items never happened.

“In my opinion, this whole mess could have been avoided if, after we first discussed this, an email had been sent out to all the department heads to notify them,” Crump said. “I’m greatly disappointed in that.”

Shaffer added that more time had been spent trying to justify the one purchase than on the process of purchasing such equipment.

Council Member Rod Smith said while he agreed the council members should be informed of large purchases, in this case the council had plenty of opportunity to discuss the purchase during the budgeting process and felt the purchase had been adequately explained.

Council Member Kay Smith said she felt the budget, even if with the specificity of the purchase in question, was a guideline and discussion still had to occur at the time of purchases.

While fellow Council Member Betty Weimer said she understood where other council members were coming from, her issue was with the way she felt the council handled things in their vote. She said she felt the decision made at the previous meeting to reject the purchase without really knowing what that meant was “reactionary” and didn’t think decisions like that “best serves the community.”

City Administrator Jacob Sheridan agreed with the council members that their needed to be a policy to address large purchases and apologized for not having anything brought before the council to date.

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