Decatur to continue relationship with commissioner’s hardware store

Decatur’s commission agreed to continue its business relationship with Intown Ace Hardware, co-owned by new Commissioner Tony Powers. The vote was 4-0 with Powers recusing himself.

Both the city ethics ordinance and city charter prohibit a commissioner from having a financial interest that conflicts with public responsibilities.

But according to City Manager Peggy Merriss, city attorneys concluded the arrangement doesn’t violate the “letter or spirit” of either the ordinance or charter.

Attorneys opined that the city has done business with Intown Ace — just outside city limits — long before Powers was elected commissioner last November. Also, total purchases are relatively small — about $10,000 in 2014 and $17,000 last year, Merriss said.

Additionally, the next nearest hardware store is about two miles beyond Decatur.

Decatur purchases mostly small tools, wheat, pine straw and paint at the store. Powers has worked there for 30 years and has been co-owner since 1996.

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