The City of Harmony currently charges $30 to salt and sand a small lot in town and $50 for a large one. The cost does not include plowing the snow. The maintenance department asked the council what their thoughts were on raising that price. “That seems really low,” council member Debbie Swenson agreed. The council approved a motion to raise each of the rates by $20 bringing the cost for a small lot up to $50 and the cost for a large lot up to $70. The price change is effective immediately.
All of the contracts for the Hammel House development project have been signed, and utilities are installed. The rock grading on the streets is complete and the curb, gutter, and pavement will be done in the spring of 2018.
The consent agenda was approved, which included the minutes of the November meeting, the claims and financial report, and the administrator’s report.
As discussed at the November city council meeting, the council revised the city’s assessment policy. Previously, the policy stated that the interest rates on assessments were to be set by the council and not to exceed the maximum set by state law. That portion of the policy was changed to allow the interest to be set at no more than 1.00% more than the net effective interest rate of the bond financing for the project. If there is no financing available for the project, the council will set the assessment interest rate independently.
The personnel committee recommended that the council approved the union contract pending union approval. The contract was reviewed and approved.
The maintenance department asked the council to approve the purchase of a salt and sand spreader which would be installed on the back of the city’s one-ton pick-up. The snowplow can’t always fit through alleys and other tight areas that the pick-up can so putting a salt and sand spreader on the pick-up will allow for more effective treatment of icy conditions. The purchase was approved.
The EDA finalized their guidelines for the housing rebate. They’re still working hard to get the bike trail extension into the legislative bonding.
The library board is working on putting together an online patron survey to determine what their patrons are looking for and how to better serve them. They’re still waiting for delivery of the bins for collecting cast-off clothing and shoes for recycling and selling from the Non Profit Community Exchange. The library has been waiting several months for the bins to be delivered, but have been assured that they are on the top of the waiting list.
The Arts Board assisted with the writers’ conference for sixth through eighth graders and received a very nice thank you note from the kids for their help.
The council reviewed the proposed 2018 budget. Mayor Steve Donney felt that the levy was set too high and proposed lowering it to be closer to last year’s levy. After the council discussed where cuts in the budget could be made, Mayor Donney made a motion to set the total levy at $652,200 rather than the proposed $718,800. The motion was passed.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on January 9 at 7 p.m.