With the possibility of another severe winter weather event just around the corner, officials are considering the purchase of a rental emergency generator for City Hall, which could be useful in the event of power outages.


City staff recommends the rental because it would be necessary in order to prepare for a winter storm or emergency.

In the past, City Hall has experienced outages during severe weather events. Director of Public Works David Thomison said the city’s technology system needs to be active.

He said City Hall could function as an emergency operations center to assist in disaster recovery. If City Hall were to experience outages during this time, the rental generator would be useful to keep the power on and communications flowing.

The purchase of a permanent generator for City Hall was approved in the city’s 2023-24 budget. However, the permanent generator will not be available before any severe weather event that could take place this upcoming winter.

Costing $25,236.40, the rental would only be needed from November-February, officials said. While the purchase of a rental emergency generator was not initially budgeted for, Thomison said funds are available in the general fund for this expenditure.

What officials are saying

Council member Chris Pezold said the council requested a permanent generator after Winter Storm Uri, and he doesn’t feel comfortable spending over $25,000 on a rental.

“It’s a little bit frustrating, because this is something that we, as a council, approved and accepted right after the last ice storm,” he said. “I like the permanent. I support the permanent. I hate spending money on rental on something like this.”

Council member Angela Jones said this puts the council in a predicament.

“I was gonna vote no on this, because I don't want to spend $25,000 for something that really should have been put in place already,” she said. “But also, if something does happen, then I don't want our community to be negatively impacted.”

The action taken

Council agreed to postpone voting on the rental agreement for a temporary emergency generator until the Nov. 8 meeting and recommended that city staff look into the possibility of buying a smaller or different generator.

Items worth mentioning

Council did approve a $133,701 contract for a permanent emergency generator at City Hall. A permanent emergency generator was cleared for the police department as well, costing $85,020.