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Thefts prompt relocation of Bronson Public Works

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Several burglaries and mischief involving town property maintained by Bronson Public Works prompted Council Member Berlon Weeks Monday night to suggest moving the location of the public works department.
    The council voted 3-1 in favor of relocating the office, now in the old Town Hall building, to an office in the back of the concession stand at the town's sports complex.
    Council Member Aaron Edmondson voted against the motion, offering, "I just vote no," as his reason.
    Weeks said part of the property there could be designated as a public works compound, adding that keeping everything in a centralized location would help Public Works Director Jimmy Dunford keep track of city inventory, part of which was stolen a few weeks ago when the town's utility building located near the Old Bronson High School was broken into. About $2,300 worth of brass fitting were stolen in that burglary.
    "Ironically," Weeks said of the break-in, "it was the same night we were told we needed to do inventory."
    Bronson officials were told by the town's auditor at the last council meeting that an inventory on small items, such as computer monitors and hand tools, needed to be done by the next audit.
    The town currently has no inventory on such items.
    "I've been saying for years we need to inventory everything," Weeks said.
    Council Member Jason Kennedy said Dunford's presence at the proposed compound would also help to discourage thefts. He added that too much town property, in an effort to protect it, was starting to accumulate at Town Hall.

In other matters:

• Council members expressed dismay over a recent letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency stating that requests by town officials to appeal flood map designations were denied.
According to Town Clerk Kelli Brettel, the "appeals" were seen only as "protests" by the agency.
Council members Berlon Weeks and Jason Kennedy said the Suwannee River Water Management District did a poor job of representing the town on the issue.

• Weeks took issue with the official minutes from the council's last meeting, stating that they were written in a way that shows him expressing anger over several issues, but without comment on why he was angry.
"I want it written like it was expressed," Weeks told Brettel.
"I'll go back and listen to the audio," Town Clerk Kelli Brettel replied.