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City of Harmony donates to nursing home project

Fri, Apr 12th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

By Jade Sexton

Tim Samuelson, Administrator at Harmony Healthcare, approached the City Council at their regular meeting on April 8. He explained that he has had a dream for many years to be able to purchase a new power generator, as the current one is old and needs replacing, but they have not had the funds to do so. A new generator will cost $75,250. Recently, they received a donation from Murrell and Joyce Jacobson in the amount of $50,000 to go toward the purchase, so since then he has been trying to raise the rest of the money.

He asked the city to donate $4,000 toward to new generator. He explained the new generator will enable the nursing home to continue to offer food, lights, power, heating, and air condition in the event of an emergency. They would also be able to hold more people from town, such as the residents at Heritage Grove or the other senior apartments in town.

Stuart Morem spoke up on behalf of the nursing home, saying the donation is a huge deal, and he feels it’s a very important project. “It’s really a positive thing,” he said. “It will take care of the food and everything else for people who have nowhere else to go.”

There was a question about other generators in town. The fire hall has a generator, as does the wastewater treatment plant, the bank, and the telephone office.

Gerald Shuck made a motion to donate $10,000 from the electric fund. The motion passed.

Audit Report

Jason Boynton of Smith Schafer and Associates presented the council with the 2012 audit report. He went over the fund balances, revenues and expenditures for each fund, and gave a good report for Harmony, seeing nothing to be concerned about.

The fire fund has a negative balance due to the purchase of a new fire truck, but the city already has plans and is working on building that balance back up.

Local government aid (LGA) has remained the same since 2010. The general tax levy has made up 37 percent of total revenues.

The general fund balance of $600,000. The unreserved general fund balance is 90 percent of expenditures, which is a good percentage to have.

There is currently $497,241 in the Capital Projects fund. City Administrator Jerome Illg pointed out that the reason it is so high is because these numbers are as of December 31, 2012, and some of the money has been or will be spent on seal coating for the next four years, the new squad car, and an ambulance that is out for bid right now.

Boynton saw no problems with the city’s debts, as they are being paid down in a timely manner.

Recreational Vehicle


A committee has put together a new Recreational Vehicle ordinance that clearly outlines rules about driving golf carts and other vehicles on city streets. The previous policy was that people could drive to and from the golf course on a golf cart without a permit, but that has been difficult to enforce. The new policy requires anyone driving a cart to have a permit, and the person must be at least 15 years old or have an adult with them.

Emily Ellis, Director of the Harmony Chamber of Commerce, asked if that policy would affect the 4th of July parade, when many people drive golf carts down the street. Deputy Jesse Grabau said a town celebration would be an exception.

The permit fee is $10 per year, and the administrative penalty is $25.

Chamber Request

Emily Ellis, Director of the Harmony Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the council about removing a tree in the front of the Visitor’s Center. She explained the fir tree is very overgrown, and has to be trimmed on one side so people can use the sidewalk. They would like to have it removed and put up more signage to direct people to the center, and possibly replace it with a smaller tree, or landscaped in some way.

The council approved the removal of the tree, which the city employees can do. They would only have to hire someone to grind the stump. There was a question about whether that tree was planted in someone’s memory, but nobody has any knowledge about that.

Building and Maintenance Report

City employee Chris Johnson brought some bids on compressors to the council. Johnson explained there are two air compressors at the wastewater treatment plant, and one is completely shot. The cost to rebuild it would be $7,000, the same cost as to replace it. He added that they really need to have a working air compressor at the plant.

He spoke with Russ Stammer, an engineer with Bonestroo, who got some bids for him on new compressors. Johnson recommended the Ingersoll Randall compressor for $5,400. There was some question about the equipment that came with the compressor, and what was actually needed, and Johnson is going to clear that with Stammer. He said this would work for now, but eventually he would like to have the two pumps replaced for the cost savings.

Other Business

Bakken said the Park Board has decided to go back to the choice of pea rock for the Selvig Park playground, as the engineered wood chips were not what they were expecting. Installation was supposed to be April 20, but will have to be delayed at least a week due to the weather.

Illg said the county will be delaying the 1st Ave. street project until 2014. The city will have to think about what sidewalks they would like to replace or take out.

Lynn Mensink informed the council there were 51 attendees at the book signing event at the library for Julie Kramer, the author of Shunning Sarah.

The new police squad car has arrived, and Illg said they received $5,400 for the old one.

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