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October 8--  The city of Vidalia is investigating running some of its police cars on propane gas.

At Monday night's city council meeting, City Manager Bill Torrance was given the go-ahead to investigate converting up to six police cars to propane gas to save money.

With the price of gas at current levels, Torrance estimates the city could save more than $16,000 per year after recouping one-time conversion charges of $6,300 per vehicle.

In other actions, the council tabled a recommendation to pay entry fees for four city officials to play in this year's Chamber of Commerce golf tournament.  Torrance said the payment could be interpreted as a gratuity to the chamber and intimated it could be a point of contention "at the end of this month."  The city and the county have a court hearing October 30th to determine how sales tax revenue will be divided among Toombs County and it's three municipalities.

The council okayed purchase of a used backhoe for $59,000.  It also approved, pending legal review, a no-bid deal with McLendon Entrprises to repair drainage problems in the Second and Adams Street area.  Torrance says the project could cost up to $91,000 if accomplished as a maintenance job, but could cost twice that much due to red tape and engineering charges if put out for competitive bidding.  City attorney Reid Threlkeld was asked to review the approach and provide a recommendation on its legality.