"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Monday, April 21st, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
- 4:25:14, Apr 18th 2014 - SignRancher - I can't wait to check it out ! My daughter, who lives in Rushford, can' ... [Read More]
- 10:55:36, Apr 3rd 2014 - Attendee - I do think the meeting went well in terms of sharing information. But also ... [Read More]
- 11:56:59, Apr 2nd 2014 - svtaxpayer - Start the meeting with the same old rehash about how great college class ... [Read More]
- 11:30:55, Mar 28th 2014 - RoryKramer - I couldn't have said it any better. My family has shopped at Willie's f ... [Read More]
- 8:44:51, Mar 26th 2014 - Gunnar Berg - Would that be Henrik's lessor known younger brother "Al"? ... [Read More]
- 1:21:46, Mar 23rd 2014 - REDHORSE51 - EXCELLENT COMMENTARY ON BULLYING, HOWEVER THE AUTHOR STILL SUPPORTS THE ... [Read More]
- 6:23:24, Mar 17th 2014 - about time - About time they start giving tickets to people who park where it days no ... [Read More]
- 5:51:04, Mar 17th 2014 - what? - I guess it depends who you are in this town. I called and talked to the city ... [Read More]
- 4:03:17, Mar 14th 2014 - - Looking for his mom and found this. Randy you will be greatly missed. I loved all ... [Read More]
- 10:21:04, Mar 14th 2014 - Doc - So many winners. ... [Read More]
Do you think that chain stores in small communities undermine the sales of locally owned retailers?
Fri, Dec 13th, 2002
Posted in Features
Posted in Features
The city of Harmony may pass "Go" and collect anywhere from $374,850 to $624,750 in funding – if the Environmental Review Report application is approved for a U.S.D.A. Rural Development Grant explained Mike Lynch, Bonestroo & Associates, at the Harmony City Council meeting December 10. The dollar amounts are based on percentages - a base of 45% up to a 75% limit on the city’s plant budget.
The city is one step closer in completing the paperwork on the wastewater treatment plant project. Lynch said the remaining paperwork submittals include a revised budget, a signed engineering services agreement in Rural Development’s grant format, and the minutes and affidavit of publication for the public hearing held last month. If this is completed and sent to the U.S.D.A. Rural Development program within the next week, the council could receive an answer by their January meeting. It is extremely important that the city get the paperwork finished by the end of December in order to sneak under the 2,000 census average household income bar, which targets household income at $30,000. This is a major increase in comparison to a census taken several years ago showing Harmony with an average household income of $18,700, the figure that the treatment plant’s potential grant money hinges on. The original budget was $909,000. This included an $80,000 sludge mixing system which has since been deemed unnecessary if the city would instead, hire a contractor every two to three years to mix the sludge tank. The city’s engineer requested the council consider a screening press, which filters out organics, and also devise a better system that protects the primary clarifier from icing up. This would cost $20,000-$30,000. The budget can be amended at a later date when costs for these items are established. With additional tweaking, the revised budget is now at about $833,000. Bonestroo’s engineering fee is $86,450, (included in the budget) which covers the Facility Plan costs and the costs to prepare the rural Development application. The revised budget and the engineering fees were approved by the council as presented. T.H. 139 Road Project Lynch gave a brief update on the T.H. 139 project. A thin layer of bituminous will be laid shortly, opening up the road for the winter months. Come spring, it will be torn up again to complete the construction process. The contractor is looking at $30,000-$40,000 additional expenses since completion dates haven’t been met. MN DOT wants the road open as detour routes cause additional stress on roads not normally designed for additional traffic. A pay request of $325,876.41 was approved. In other related business, the Sixth Street sanitary sewer work is completed. Restoration of streets and boulevards will be done in the spring. Bituminous patching is not covered by the contract but will be done by others. Assessments will be levied next fall for 2004 collection. A pay request of $51,234.21 was approved. Overdue Utility Bill The council was addressed by what had to have been one of the most diplomatically spoken requests they’d heard of for a correction on a utility bill. Michael Zombory explained to the council he had purchased his property in June having gone through all the proper channels of a new property owner, only to have a bombshell sent to him by the city’s utilities. The letter said he owed over $800 in late utility charges. According to Zombory, the previous owner hadn’t cleaned up the account when the property was sold. A title search did not reveal any lien on the property due to the dated account. The overdue balance was passed on to Zombory, who was notified that not only was it due within a few short weeks, but late assessment fees would be attached if the account wasn’t cleared. The city’s new ordinance regarding the collection of late utility charges was treading in murky waters as the council agreed Zombory shouldn’t have to be responsible for the $800 + charges. Zombory said that had he read on the utility application that there might be unpaid bills, he would have taken it a step further and done research. The new ordinance shows the city going after overdue accounts at the end of the year. Each year, the city must struggle to collect $5,000-$7,000 on old accounts, mostly from renters. The ordinance will be fine tuned to include closing loopholes for those selling property and still holding outstanding accounts. Other Business •The proposed 2003 city budget of $652,683.75 was approved. This is a 3.33% reduction from the 2002-projected budget. The property tax levy is set at 12.25%. Both budget and levy were approved. •City Clerk Eileen Schansberg informed the council the ambulance will no longer act as a taxi for those clients coming back from an emergency trip to the hospital. It will be up to the individual or nursing home to find transportation for the return trip. The ambulance and its team need to be available for other calls. •Steve Seger came before the council requesting aid in paying for his sewer hookup. He said his old sewer was working just fine. He felt it was unnecessary for the change of hookup. The council pointed out others had expenses as well and they felt no obligation to provide financial support. Seger said he would seek further action. •City Administrator Joel Dhein presented his resignation, saying he has accepted a position in Mora, MN that starts in mid January. He will put together a job description and would be willing to help the council review applicants for the opened position. •More detailed roofing designs for the community center will be brought to the council for examination.