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Harmony to purchase new ambulance

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Government

It was approved for the Harmony Ambulance service to go ahead with plans to purchase a new ambluance. Larry Nolan spoke to the council at their meeting on February 12.

According to Nolan, the current ambulance is a 2010 with 45,000 miles. Since they only have one ambulance, they had decided they should trade it in every 3-4 years.

“If we had two I wouldn’t even worry about it,” he said.

City Administrator Jerome Illg said the value of the current ambulance will go down a lot after the five-year mark. Nolan said they are considering getting a four-wheel drive this time, since they often have to go to rural areas in the winter and sometimes it can be difficult. They will look into several options and get back to the council.

After an ambulance is purchased, the turnaround time to get it and have it ready for service will be at least six months.

1st Ave Street Project

Illg updated the council on the 1st Avenue street project possibly coming up this summer. He has spoken with the county engineer about what assistance the county will provide on the project.

Since the county is planning to do a full-depth reclaim and repave to that road from Center Street to 3rd Street, it is a perfect time for the city to do the work needed underneath the road with storm sewer, and the county would like to get it done this year.

At the last meeting, it was understood that after the county did this project, they were planning on turning over the road to the city in ten years. Illg explained there was a misunderstanding, and now the turnaround time is 25 years. Illg said they do not plan to turn the road back to the city.

“They may look to us for some sort of maintenance,” said Illg.

Illg said he would like to send notices out to residents so they can have a meeting to discuss it in March, or possibly April. He said the extent to which they repair and reconstruct the curb sections and sidewalks will depend on how much the county contributes. Right now, the county’s policy is they do not share the cost for sidewalk, curb and gutter, or storm sewer.

When asked if he had talked to the school yet, Illg replied he had spoken with Superintendent Richard Keith. The plan right now is to only replace the sidewalk on the school side of the road.

Skid loader

City employee Terry Bigalk spoke to the council about purchasing a skid loader. Right now the city uses a Cub Cadet with a blower on the front to remove snow from the sidewalks from Heritage Grove all the way down to the nursing home, as well as the Community Center, the Visitor’s Center, and the wastewater treatment plant. According to Bigalk, the blower is not the best fit and he spends a lot of time adjusting it while working with it. He and city maintenance employee Chris Johnson discussed getting a skid loader to use instead, and found the used ones are almost as much money as the new ones.

They got three bids; one from Hammel Equipment in Harmony, one from Bobcat in Rochester, and one from Preston Equipment. Bigalk explained the Hammel bid included trading in the blower. The council felt they should stay local, and it was approved to purchase a skidloader from Hammel Equipment for $27,500, which includes the cost of a new blower.

The Cub Cadet will still be used by city employees for watering plants and other activities. The money for the skid loader will be taken from the tractor fund, which currently has $46,000 in it. Illg said they add $7,500 to the tractor budget each year. Illg said it is hoped that the skid loader will also prolong the life of the tractor, which shouldn’t have to be replaced for a while yet.


Council member Debbie Swenson said Heritage Grove still has one opening in Independent and two openings in Assisted Living. She also mentioned that the Harmony Chamber received a $4,000 grant from Explore Minnesota. There was a total of $379,000 used for projects with the Commercial Rehab Loan, which has been a very successful program.

Illg mentioned the possibility of a joint meeting with the city council, the EDA, and possibly the Planning and Zoning Commission as well.

Other Business

Lynn Mensink informed the council that there will be a free concert at the Jem Theatre on Saturday, February 26. Cedric Watson will be playing, and it is sponsored by the Harmony Arts Board, the Harmony Public Library, and Mayo Clinic.

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