Two new council members will join the Carthage City Council today, bringing that body to full strength for the first time in nearly a year.

Two new council members will join the Carthage City Council today, bringing that body to full strength for the first time in nearly a year.

Carthage Mayor Mike Harris appointed Donald Mclaughlin and Larry Quinn Chapin, who filed and will run unopposed on April 3 for the two Ward 2 seats, to start serving early. The two will be sworn in, pending council approval, and take their seats immediately today.

Chapin will serve the one-year term that has been vacant since last April when the candidate who filed in December 2010 died unexpectedly before the election in April 2011.
Mclaughlin will serve in the seat vacated in the Jan. 25 council meeting when three-term council member T.J. Teed resigned for family reasons.

Chapin’s seat will be open for election again in April 2013 while Mclaughlin will serve until April 2014.

The council will consider a resolution which would allow it to loan itself money from its own fund balances in lieu of seeking bank loans for capital purchases or to maintain cash flow.
City Administrator Tom Short said the city has money in its fund balance that is earning interest of less than one percent, whereas borrowing money from a bank or other financial institution can mean interest rates of three to five percent or more.

The city could save money by borrowing from its fund balance, then paying that balance back like a regular bond or bank loan instead of turning to banks for the money.

The resolution up for consideration on Tuesday lays out the kinds of inter-fund loans that can be made and the process used to make them. All inter-fund loans will go though the normal city council committee process and be given final consideration by the full council.
In other business, the council will give final consideration to two new ordinances: one that would create escalating penalties and fines for operating a business without a license in Carthage and one that would bring Carthage’s city code prohibiting harassment up to state standards with regard to electronic harassment.

The council will consider on first reading four new ordinances.

One ordinance would set up rules and codes for using explosives to blast in the Carthage city limits. The code details who can blast, what licenses that person has to have, the kinds of insurance a blaster must maintain, safety zones around a blasting site, when blasting could take place and other rules.

Another would allow the mayor to sign the contract with Fire Master Fire Apparatus Inc., to rebuild the former Engine 612 into a tanker at a cost of $87, 239.95.

The other two proposed ordinances would set up the annual agreement for operating the adult softball program at Hallam Sports Complex at Municipal Park and amend the 2011-2012 budget.