An update on the Small Cities Grant from Semcac Housing Rehab Coordinator Cindy Vitse was reviewed by the Harmony City Council at their March 14 meeting. Vitse has started to send letters to the first 15 applicants for the homeowner rehab portion of the project.
The consent agenda was approved and included the minutes of the February 14 meeting, the claims and February checks, the cash in CD, cash balances, and the utility pole replacements by MiEnergy.
A liquor license renewal for Kwik Trip was reviewed and included approval from the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department. Going forward, all liquor licenses will need approval from the sheriff before being presented to council. The council approved the license renewal.
From now on, MiEnergy will determine an Energy Cost Adjustment rate on a monthly basis for Harmony Public Utilities. The council approved a policy that would allow the city to mirror those surcharges or credits to its customers. Ordinance 54.51 was amended to include the Energy Cost Adjustment.
As recommended by City Attorney Greg Schieber at the last meeting, the council approved ordinance amendment 31.11 to reflect the updated utility rates. A summary of the rates will be published with the whole table available at the city offices.
The quote from NOVA for solar power from the previous meeting was reviewed. There had been questions as to how many online applications the contract included each year at the base cost of $400. It was clarified that the cost included two applications, not 25. The contract was approved.
The council approved a resolution allowing Chris Giesen to apply for a LCCMR Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. As a precaution, he is looking for other funding sources for the trail expansion project in case state funding does not come through.
Two bids were reviewed for the purchase of a tractor for the city. The bid from Hammell Equipment was for a tractor with a five-year, 500-hour warranty, and the bid from Preston Equipment was for a tractor with a five-year, 2,000-hour warranty. The typical city use for tractors is around 100 hours a year. It was noted that in the past, the council has chosen to go with Hammell over the lower bids from Preston Equipment in order to keep business in town. A motion accepting the bid from Hammell Equipment was approved with a three to two vote.
The Personnel Committee recommended hiring applicant Rory Kramer as the city’s Finance Clerk at part-time hours with a probation period of six months. The council approved the hiring.
A motion to adopt an MOU with the union for title and grade changes for city employees Brian Michel and Corey Whalen was approved as well as a motion to approve a grade change for Samantha Grabau.
The Arts Board asked the council to approve three $200 scholarships for students who were recommended by Fillmore Central High School. The request was approved.
Two applications for UV system funding have been sent out with a tentative date of 2024 for the project if funding is received for it.
The Park Board reported that they are working on setting a date for the splash pad ribbon cutting, but do not have one yet. Summer jobs have been posted and they should have recommendations for hiring at the next council meeting. They are researching the feasibility of resurfacing and painting the tennis court and also looking into options for various memorial benches and trees.
The new circulation desk for the Harmony Public Library will be arriving in March. A memorial plaque for former librarian Paula Michel will be installed on the desk.
The Arts Board recently decided to meet on a monthly instead of a bimonthly basis.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on April 11 at 7 p.m.