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Harmony appoints new council member

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Government

After Jim Bakken announced he would be leaving the Harmony City Council at the end of May, the search for a new council member began. Four people applied to finish the seven-month term: Clifford Johannessen, Kyle Morem, Jill Fishbaugher, and Steve Sagen.

At the meeting on May 13, Debbie Swenson made a motion to appoint Kyle Morem. “He’s young, he has kids,” she said. “We need that point of view.”

The motion was passed to appoint Kyle Morem.

The council expressed their thanks to Bakken for his time. Bakken read his letter of resignation to the council, saying that he regrets not being able to finish his term. He and his family had an opportunity to move to Preston. “It has been an honor,” he said.

Audit Proposals

City Administrator Jerome Illg said he received proposals for the audit, and he recommended they go with Smith Schafer. Their original proposal for a three-year contract was $17,000 for 2014, $17,500 for 2015, and $18,000 for 2016. Abdo, Eick, and Meyers sent in a proposal for $16,255 for 2014, $16,605 for 2015, and $17,230 for 2016. Hawkins Ash proposed a set rate of $17,000 for three years.

According to Illg, Smith Schafer stated they would match the low bid from Abdo, Eick, and Meyers. Due to the established relationship and their proximity to the area, he felt they should accept it.

Councilor Jerry Shuck asked Illg if the others knew Smith Schafer had changed their bid. Illg said he did not contact them. “If you give one the opportunity, you should give it to the others,” said Shuck. He added he felt uncomfortable not letting the others know.

Swenson agreed, and felt Illg should contact the others.

Illg asked where he should stop if the others decide to change their bids as well. Shuck said they should at least see if the others are willing to change.

Swenson suggested they take Smith Schafer off the list and just go with the low bid from Abdo, Eick, and Meyers, saying it would be good to have someone new.

Mayor Steve Donney said he could see how the continuity would make things easier, and felt Illg should ask the others if they would like to resubmit a proposal and end it there.

A motion was made to go with Abdo, Eick, and Meyers. Mayor Donney opposed, but the motion passed.

Building and Maintenance

City maintenance employee Chris Johnson said the water main by Solberg Welding was having issues. The water main was plugged, so he called Canton Plumbing and Heating to use their jetter and long hose. They jetted down the water main and couldn’t get past the spot they had dug up last winter. Johnson explained the pipe came loose and gravel had been packed into it, blocking the flow of water. They managed to open it up so it is now working properly.

1st Avenue Project

The 1st Avenue street project will begin on June 9 and be finished by August 25. Illg said they will do the water main installation and then the mill and overlay.

A change to the materials used was suggested. City Engineer Brett Grabau received some quotes for using PVC pipe instead of DIP (ductile iron pipe) for the water main. The cost savings would be $7,000. Johnson recommended the council go ahead and save the money, and the council approved.

Semi Parking

Steve Sagen from Harmony Enterprises spoke to the council about the building addition that will be starting this week. He asked if it would be possible during that time for semis that come in during the night to park on the frontage road between Morem Electric and Hahn Lumber.

Illg said he didn’t see a problem as long as it didn’t interfere with the businesses there. He said they have previously allowed semis to park in the industrial park for snow removal purposes. Sagen said this wouldn’t be every night and it would only be during the night time hours.

Seal Coating

Bids for seal coating were received for the northeast side of town. Illg said Pearson Brothers did the seal coating last year with the alternative bid, which is a bituminous material that produces less dust. There is a $5,000 difference in price. The council approved the Pearson Brothers alternative bid for $54,068. Caldwell Asphalt Co. also had an alternative bid for $62,263.72.

Beer Garden

Members of the Conservation Club were present to request a temporary liquor license and noise permit for the beer garden during the 4th of July celebrations. The beer garden will be open July 3-5, with a DJ playing music from 8 p.m. to midnight on July 3 and 5. The council approved.

Dog Complaints

Mayor Donney said he has heard some complaints about dogs running free in town. He stressed the importance of cleaning up after your own dogs, and not throw it into the street. He also noted that when there is an incident involving an animal, the city should be called while it is happening, as it is much easier for them to deal with the problem.

Club City

Gayland Jones approached the council with an idea for the city. He suggested Harmony form several clubs in order to make the city more fun. He made a list with several ideas for clubs that could form and share ideas and provide their expertise. Some of his ideas included a hiking club, photography club, motorcycle club, camping club, health food club, and thrown in for comic relief, things like the out of control teenagers club.

Other Business

•Trevor Wangen was hired for the summer maintenance position.

•The Lions Club will be painting the kitchen building at Selvig Park.

•The EDA reported they have a potential retail developer for the Industrial Park.

•Liquor licenses were approved for the Harmony Golf Club, On the Crunchy Side, and The Stop Light. The Stop Light is the new name of the bar that was previously Don’t Remember. A lawful gambling permit was also approved for The Stop Light.

•Deb Swenson will be attending the Board of Review training in August.

•The fire department will be donating their services for the Canton Day Off fireworks event.

•The library will be closed for two weeks starting May 19 while new carpet is being installed.

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