Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce Director Allison Whalen addressed the Harmony Council at their February 14 meeting. She has been working on coming up with winter activities and would like to start up an ice rink next winter. She asked the council for their permission to go ahead with figuring out the cost and where to put the rink. She also noted that she is researching what grant money is available for the project. “I think it’s a great idea,” Mayor Steve Donney commented. The council gave its support to Whalen for the ice rink.
The consent agenda was approved and included the minutes of the January 10 regular meeting and the February 6 special meeting, the claims and January checks, the cash in CD and cash balances, as well as a $100 donation for the Fillmore Central Post-Prom.
Resolution 23-04 authorizing the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or BCA joint powers agreement with the prosecuting attorney and police department was adopted. The agreement is renewed every five years and allows all parties to access information needed for prosecution purposes.
The council reviewed Resolution 23-05 regarding the utility rates. City Attorney Greg Schieber noted that while the council has always passed a resolution for the rates, the best practice is to do so through an ordinance change which requires a 10-day public notice. The council tabled the matter until next month’s meeting.
Samantha Grabau asked the council for permission to purchase a folding machine for the city offices. Approximately 1,800 sheets of paper are manually folded in the office each month and having a folding machine would increase staff efficiency. She presented a quote in the amount of $1,220 with a $395 optional annual service agreement for a Formax FD 314 Office Desktop Folder. Council member Jesse Grabau pointed out that the service agreement is 1/3 of the total cost of the machine so in three years time, that would be enough to buy a new one. Mayor Donney commented that he had priced folding machines on Amazon and found a 304 model for quite a bit cheaper. He recommended that more research be done before a purchase is made. Samantha Grabau asked the council to approve a purchase so it wouldn’t have to wait until the next council meeting. A motion approving the purchase of a folding machine at or less than the one quoted was passed.
The annual Fillmore County ambulance subsidy contract was approved with a $4,500 subsidy to the Harmony Ambulance Service.
Samantha Grabau informed the council that the January billing has not been received yet from the ambulance service’s billing company. There have also been issues with a lack of communication and frequent late bills. She recommended switching to TransMedic Medical Billing. There would be a $1,500 on-boarding fee to get the service set up. The provider change was approved as was payment of the on-boarding fee.
The wooden electric poles are due for an inspection as one hasn’t been done since 2015. An agreement with MI-Tech for pole inspections was approved.
The purchase of a 2010 John Deere lawnmower with snowblower attachment was approved for use at the fire hall and the wastewater treatment plant.
A proposal and agreement with NOVA Power Portal was reviewed and approved pending clarification on several points in the agreement.
Greg Schieber gave the bike trail project update. The original funds are still in the bank for the project, but won’t cover the total cost. EDA Director Chris Giesen has spoken with legislators Greg Davids and Jeremy Miller about getting some more bonding funds for the project.
The Park Board is planning a tentative ribbon cutting for the splash pad in June. The board’s lawnmower is on a seven-year replacement schedule and is due for a new one. The purchase of a 2023 lawnmower was approved.
The Harmony Public Library will be hosting a free concert by The Reminders at the Jem Theatre on March 1 at 7 p.m.
Erica Thilges was approved as the new Arts Board member and Ava Hemenway as the student member.
Samantha Grabau read a letter to the council that the Harmony Ambulance Service had received from state patrol. The members of the service who responded to an officer down call on February 4 were commended and recognized for their response.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on March 14 at 7 p.m.
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