Government at a Glance: Auburn

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Board: Auburn City Council

Met: Tuesday, May 16, 2011

Firearm zone
Issue: Deer winter in the land around North Auburn Road properties of George Bussiere and Milton McCabe but they are safe from the property owners’ guns. Although bow hunters are allowed to take deer in the area, a city firearm discharge zone includes their properties. They asked councilors Monday to alter that ban, allowing the property owners to use shotguns on their own property.

The Scoop: The city last revamped the firearm discharge zone beginning in 2005.  A city committee reviewed the policy for two years, adding the area around Whitman Spring Road to the ban because of increased residential growth. On Monday, councilors suggested reconstituting the committee and having them review firearm discharge bans around the city.
Up Next: The committee will be reconvened to review the specific area.  In the meantime, they agreed to let Bussiere and McCabe hunt, using shotguns, on their own lots.

Football helmets
Issue: Each year, the city recreation department refurbishes the football helmets used in the youth football league. As of September, the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association said that companies will no longer fix and repair helmets that are older then 10 years. That will force the city to purchase 100 helmets this year.
The Scoop: Recreation Director Ravi Sharma suggested the city use $2,206 left from a 2006 recreation use survey. That will pay for 31 helmets.
Up Next: Councilors agreed unanimously. Sharma said the city is still considering ways to purchase the remaining helmets.

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Wood chipper
Issue: When the Public Works department opened bids for a $42,000 wood chipper to dispose of tree waste and branches on April 28, they awarded the bid to Nortrax Tractor. Councilor Dan Herrick objected, saying he was concerned the city spent too much money purchasing the wrong piece of equipment.
The Scoop: Deputy Public Works Director Denis D’Auteuil outlined the city’s process. The specifications the city used for the bid were created by the city arborist and by public works staff. The city wanted a hydraulic-fed drum style brush chipper robust enough to handle large pieces of wood but within the city’s budget.
In all, four firms submitted bids for six different machines and D’Auteuil said staff was convinced the bid from Nortrax for the Morbark 15 R met the city’s specifications for a reasonable price.
Up Next: Councilors took no action.

Next meeting: The next regular meeting of the Auburn City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday , June 6.

Contact government reporter Scott Taylor via phone at 689-2846 or via e-mail at staylor@sunjournal.com.

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