The Harmony City Council met on March 10 at 7 p.m. Council member Tony Webber was not present. Deputy Jason Harmening introduced Sam Judd to the council. Judd is the newest hire to the Harmony Police Department and is also working with the Chatfield and Preston Police Departments.
The consent agenda was reviewed and included a 3.2 beer off-sale license for Kwik Trip and a temporary liquor license and noise permit for the Harmony Conservation Club. The noise permit application included July 3 and 4. Council member Deb Swenson recommended extending it to July 5 in case the event goes past midnight. The council approved the consent agenda with the extended date for the noise permit.
The first round of interviews has been conducted for the new city administrator. Two applicants will be returning for a second interview during a special meeting on March 24.
Interim City Administrator Joel Dhein noted that it’s a risk to have former employee Chris Johnson continue to provide services for the operation of the wastewater treatment plant as he will be employed as an independent contractor and so will not be covered by the city’s insurance. The other employees do not have the necessary license to run the plant and won’t be able to take the test for it for several years. Because of that, the city asked Johnson to work part-time as an independent contractor. Dhein noted that the city’s insurance will not cover Johnson while he’s working and, as an independent contractor, he will need to obtain his own liability insurance. The matter was tabled until the March 24 special meeting so that it can be discussed further with Johnson.
The council approved a resolution adopting a records retention schedule to ensure proper retention and disposal of municipal records.
An application will be submitted for a summer intern from the Fillmore Central High School internship program to work in the city offices.
Dhein noticed that the city is due for a new classification and compensation study as one has not been completed since 2001. He recommended doing it soon to prepare for the new city administrator and agreed to start the prep work for it.
All of the equipment has been purchased for the playground at the community center. The Park Board will be sending out a letter soon asking for volunteers to help assemble it in May. They also discussed the proposed splash pad and approved the plans and location at the Trailhead Park with the contingency that the council also approve them. Jesse Grabau, whose property borders the park, expressed a number of concerns about the location which included traffic on 4th and 2nd, motorized traffic using the bike path, snowmobiles driving through the park, water usage, funding of the water, and ongoing maintenance costs of the splashpad. He also noted that there currently is no signage indicating that motorized vehicles are not allowed on the bike trail going into the park and that it can be confusing for people from out of town. “You need to give them some kind of warning,” he said, adding that signage is necessary for enforcement.
“I think we need to be aware about what Jesse’s concerns are,” Swenson commented. The council agreed to look into the matter further and see what can be done to alleviate the issues. The plans and location for the splash pad were approved as recommended by the Park Board.
Children’s author Mary Blackwell will be at the Harmony Public Library on May 9 at 11 a.m. The Poetry Slam was moved to March 26 due to the girls Fillmore Central Falcons basketball team going to the state tournament on March 12. The council approved a resolution wishing the team luck at the tournament and declaring the entire week to be Fillmore Central Celebration Week.
The EDA would like to do a speed study on Highway 52. The council passed a resolution to request that the DOT conduct a speed study and listing the concerns for the area.
The next regular Harmony City Council meeting will be held on April 14 at 7 p.m.