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Harmony discusses musician carving project

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in Harmony Government

Harmony, Minn. resident and owner of Slim’s Woodshed, Stan Maroushek, approached the council a couple of months ago regarding a vision he had for a project to help bring people into town. The statues would be placed in a path throughout the town for a “walking tour” to help bring people to town and get them to see other parts of the town off Main Street.

Maroushek has applied for and received a grant to build one of the statues, and the city has received grant money for two more. There is already one statue located outside of Andrew Batstone’s accounting office.

The locations that Maroushek chose for the statues included the Cancer Memorial Park, the IGA, Harmony Town Hall, and the Visitor’s Center.

The city had previously handed the issue over to the Arts Board. The Arts Board decided that the city’s statues should be placed at the Visitor’s Center and the Cancer Park. Maroushek was not in agreement with this, so the issue came back to the city council.

Chris Giesen of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) spoke to the council on behalf of Maroushek. He explained that Maroushek would prefer the Visitor’s Center statue be the last one to be placed.

“We need people to walk through town and see the beautiful town we have,” said Maroushek. He added when people see the town they may decide to open a business there.

The Arts Board and the City both had concerns about vandalism, as the statues at the Hobo Park have had some damage done to them in the past. There was also concern about liability. Maroushek said the statues will be anchored like the ones at the hobo park.

Mayor Steve Donney made a motion to have the two city statues go up at the IGA and the Cancer Park, with the other one going up at the town hall.

Ralph Beastrom, owner of the Selvig House and member of the EDA, agreed with Maroushek. He said most people go to the Visitor’s Center, and he feels it’s not necessary to have one there. “It’s more critical to get them around town,” he said. “I really don’t see the need for the first one to be there.”

Councilor Jim Bakken felt differently, commented that the city turned the issue over to the Arts Board, and he doesn’t feel the city should undermine that decision. Councilor Debbie Swenson agreed.

Maroushek said he would not finish the project if they did not do it the way he envisioned. Mayor Donney didn’t feel it was an unacceptable request, and it is Slim’s vision, and he brings a lot of people to town with his business.

The motion failed due to a tie, with Donney and Shuck voting for it, and Swenson and Lynn Mensink abstaining from voting. Mensink is on the Arts Board, and she felt there was a conflict of interest, and that she was “between a rock and a hard place.”

The issue can go back to the Arts Board. Shuck commented that the council is not against the project, and that it’s about overriding the Arts Board’s decision.


A survey has been passed around regarding Sterling Pharmacy. The pharmacy announced they would be decreasing their hours, but agreed to hold off until hearing from the city council. Both an article in a local newspaper and an ad helped spread the information. Around 100 people have completed the survey so far.

Giesen said the survey asked people, if they are not getting their prescriptions from Sterling, what is the reason? A few people answered with things like parking, cost, and customer service, but an overwhelming amount of people had a problem with the hours, and the fact that it’s not open on Saturdays. They are still waiting to receive more surveys.

The closing on the sale of Heritage Grove will be on August 29. The name of the facility will be changing to Clara House.

Parking on 2nd Ave. NE

A resident requested the parking on 2nd Avenue Northeast be changed from parking only on the west side instead of the east side. The benefits of changing would include having the mailboxes on east side be accessible. A lot of cars are parked along that street during football games.

Councilor Jim Bakken recommended they have a police officer look at it and make sure it would be okay from a safety viewpoint. There was some discussion about the many places in town where people would like parking changed but it doesn’t happen, and the fact that mail doesn’t get delivered during football games. They will look further into the issue.

Other Business

The council approved the purchase of land from Cory Scrabeck for $25,000. The city has not closed on the property, but Scrabeck has opened the road to the public.

The concert with J.J. Mensink sponsored by the Harmony Arts Board was successful, with about 100 people attending. Mensink said they may do it again in a few months.

Mensink said she received thanks from a couple of parents for the “Children Playing” signs in her neighborhood.

The council recognized a donation of $250 from The McKinnis family that will go toward 4th of July fireworks.

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