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Harmony City Council Report: Council hears request for fire protection from York Township

Fri, Jun 15th, 2007
Posted in Government

Harmony - On Tuesday, June 12 the Harmony City Council opened with Harmony Fire Chief, Bill Hanlon reporting that York Township had approached the city fire department with a request to cover their area. Currently York Township receives fire protection from Lime Springs, Chester and Preston fire departments. York has requested that the Harmony Fire Department take over from Lime Springs. Council member Jerry Shuck asked what the payment scale for the township would be. Hanlon replied that charges would be similar to the other townships the city covers. Hanlon further stated that he doesn't see a problem if the proposal becomes a reality. The council approved Hanlon moving forward with developing a fire coverage agreement with York Township.

Concluding this discussion Hanlon also asked the council's approval to add Kyle Hybel to the fire department plus a request to hold a pancake breakfast in the fire hall over the 4th of July weekend. The council approved both requests.

Dobie Days

The council welcomed Jerry Youngkin to discuss his concerns about the upcoming Dobie Days event. He complained that he was not notified prior to the council's approval of the event - if he would have known that it was being considered he would have attended the respective meeting to voice his concerns. He stated that he "doesn't want to stop it, but doesn't care for it either" then voiced concerns regarding parking, drunken behavior, vandalism, access to his driveway and trash.

Mayor David Kingsley acknowledged Youngkin's concerns. He replied that this is the event's first year, if problems such as the concerns that were raised take place, then the city wouldn't allow the event again. Shuck added that "we are trying to plan this as appropriate as possible." Youngkin replied that "no one (on the council) would like this event to take place by their homes either - no one."

Dobie Days Coordinator, Cory Scrabeck was available to address Youngkin's concerns. He acknowledged that his was a first time event and therefore is continuously being planned and evaluated to ensure the town experiences as little disruption as possible. He stated that trash and cleanup activities will be addressed at the beginning of each day during the event. There will be signs, fences and volunteers to keep event traffic off of neighboring properties - these signs will also be lit-up during the event's nighttime activates. Porta-potties will be set up on the event's west side by the campground, not near residential areas. Furthermore the event will have off-duty local police plus cadets hired from the metro area to handle security concerns.

Concluding Scrabeck's explanation Youngkin again complained that he was not notified of the event prior to its distribution of flyers. Scrabeck replied that he had tried to discuss the event with Youngkin during its planning stages but that (Youngkin) "didn't want to hear what I had to say." Youngkin affirmed this by stating that he was angry when Scrabeck had approached him and that "I'm still angry." When the conversation concluded Kingsley stated that he understood Youngkin's concerns and thanked him for bringing these concerns to the council.

Audit Report

Lloyd Johnson, CPA presented the council with the city's 2006 audit report. Financial highlights of the report include:

• The assets of the City of Harmony exceeded its liabilities at the close of the financial year by $5,756,236 (net assets). Of this amount, $1,747,566 (unrestricted net assets) may be used to meet the city's ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors.

• As the close of the financial year, the City of Harmony's governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $1,143,002, of which 100% is available for use with the City's designations.

• At the end of the fiscal year, unreserved fund balances of the general fund were $483,844, or 64% of total general fund expenditures.

• The City of Harmony decreased the existing debt principal by $440,048 during the current fiscal year.

Concluding this report, Johnson thanked the council for the opportunity to again conduct the city's audit activities and commended Jerome Illg, City Administrator for his involvement. Because of Illg's attention to the city's funds the audit process took a lot less time and effort than it has in prior years. This time savings can be seen in Johnson's bid for next year's city audit report - a bid that is less than many other neighboring communities that do not employ staff that are as apprised of their city's funds.

Other Business

The Harmony City Council also:

• Reviewed and approved bids to conduct improvements to the city's Jacobson Addition.

• Approved Johnson's bid for the city's 2007 audit report.

• Heard from Dwight Scrabeck on project updates concerning the community center improvements.

• Approved a 3.2 beer and wine license for Village Square.

• Approved liquor licenses for Time Out Sports Bar and Wheelers.

• Praised City Maintenance, Chris Johnson on his successful certification for handling bio-solid material in wastewater treatment facilities.

• Approved a temporary liquor license for the HAPA 4th of July beer tent.

• Heard an outline for the "Hometown Proud" Harmony 4th of July festivities - flyers for this event will be posted throughout Harmony and published in local newspapers.

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