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Harmony approves EDA loans

Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

Two public hearings were held before the regular city council meeting in Harmony on August 11. The first one was for the street assessment project on 5th Avenue SE. The property owners that will be affected by the project, Fred Young and Allan Dahl, were at the meeting to discuss the assessments.

River City Paving will be doing the overlay on 5th Avenue SE, starting at 1st Street, at a cost of $7,400. The council had planned on assessing 25 percent of that cost to the adjacent property owners, or about $900 per person. This is standard for street improvements.

Young pointed out that the letter he received from the city had the wrong description of where the work would be done. Instead of Center Street, it should have said 1st Street.

There was some discussion about postponing the public hearing, but Illg said it might get too late to get the project done this fall.

Dahl said that the city doesn't need to do the project for him, as he is not dissatisfied with the street. He stated it might be more of a safety hazard if it is done because of the speed of traffic. He also recommended that the city look at passing a resolution for people who build homes on unimproved roads regarding who will pay for the improvements. Young also said that he doesn't care if the project is done. Illg said the city had looked at it and decided it was a street that was in disrepair and it should be taken care of.

Young asked if the pavers were going to be taking away the broken pieces of blacktop before putting down new pavement. Illg said the estimate they received was for overlay only.

"To me, that's not reconstruction," said Young. "In five years we will be paying for it again."

Mayor Steve Donney commented that if it is only a repair, not a reconstruction, the city should just go ahead and pay for it. Illg said that to do a reconstruction would be a more long-term project, involving widening the road and putting a new base down. It would also cost a lot more money.

The council voted to repair the street for the cost estimate of $7,400, without doing any assessments.

Alley Vacation

The second public hearing was in regard to the city vacating the alley between 1st and 2nd Street NW and 1st and 2nd Avenue NW. The city voted to vacate the alley, which leaves its ownership to the three adjacent property owners. John Ryan had added on to a shed on his property, which went three feet over into the city's property, and Stanley "Slim" Marousheck felt that the shed should be moved. Marousheck also has a building that is three feet over the line, but his building was there before the alley was plotted.

Marousheck was against the city vacating the alley because there are still phone and electric lines in there. He was told the city would maintain an easement for the utilities. Marousheck also said that Illg was the one who made a mistake surveying the property and he should have to pay to have Ryan move his building.

Steve Rumsey, who also owns property adjacent to the alley, said that he has no problems with Ryan's building. He did ask for measurements so that everyone would know exactly where their property ends and there would be no more arguing.

Mosquito Problems

Harmony resident Linda Polesky approached the council with a suggestion to look into spraying for mosquitoes. She said when she moved to town five years ago, the realtor told her Harmony didn't have a mosquito problem. The last couple of years Polesky has had a lot of mosquitoes near her house. She said her young grandchildren are very sensitive to mosquito bites and swell up badly.

Illg will look into the costs and effectiveness of spraying the town for mosquitoes. Council member Gerald Shuck said people need to also take care of their own shrubbery at their homes, as spraying in the streets might not make a lot of difference. He added that when it rains, more mosquito larva hatch, so the mosquito population depends on how often it rains as well.

EDA loans

The city approved three loans that were recommended by the EDA (Economic Development Authority). The first one is for $6,000 from Commercial Rehab for a business to put up some signage and awning. The second was for another business to replace a roof, entryway and awning at a total cost of $51,000. Illg explained that $10,000 of that money will come from the Commercial Rehab funds and the rest from the Revolving Loan fund. The third loan was for another business to replace windows and put soffit and effacia for $8,150 from Commercial Rehab.

Illg commented that it is an $80,000 investment in the community and they only have to contribute $24,000 from out of the Commercial Rehab funds.

Other Business

The city accepted a bid from Four Season Maintenance to seal coat the parking lot at the Fire Hall for $1,080. River City Paving, who will be doing some patching around the city, will also patch the parking lot before the seal coating.

There was some question about the seal coating that was recently done to the streets in the northeast part of town and when the rock would be swept off. Mayor Steve Donney explained that the seal coating uses a different type of rock than was used years ago.

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