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Harmony City Council Report: Council looks at police contract, new squad car

Fri, Mar 16th, 2007
Posted in Government

HARMONY - Fillmore County Sheriff Daryl Jensen attended the Harmony City Council meeting on March 13 to talk about the new police contract. The council approved the contract, with no changes being made from the previous agreemeent. Jensen presented the council with a quarterly activity report for July-September 2006, which covers the Harmony, Canton and Mabel areas.

Jensen also spoke with the council about purchasing a new squad car. The deadline for ordering a new car is April 1, and the sheriff's department has been looking at prices from local dealers. According to Jensen, the council should consider the fact that Harmony currently has no video system in their squad cars. The video system would record every stop made by the squad car.

Another thing for the council to consider is the fact that there will be new mandates for radio systems in 2013.

"It's easier to do the equipment updates when purchasing the car," stated Jensen. He added that it would be better for the city to be in line with the mandates now instead of having to purchase new radios in the next six years. The fire department and ambulance service will also have to comply with the radio requirements.

Jensen mentioned that there have been a few complaints from citizens regarding the response time of the police officers. He said dispatchers assess each call as it comes and determines if it is an emergency, and who to call.

"It's my personal opinion that these guys do an excellent job," said City Administrator Jerome Ilg. "We get a lot of coverage for what we pay."

Jacobson Addition

Several people living in the Jacobson addition in Harmony also attended the meeting to hear the proposed cost of street and utility improvements in their neighborhood. Devin Scrabeck has purchased a lot in the addition, on 5th Street NE, and in order to build a home there needs to be connected to the main water line.

Brett Grabau from the engineering company Boonestroo & Associates presented the council with an estimate of $110,517 for the project. The price includes improvements to sanitary sewer, water main, utility service and street improvements, all on Fourth Avenue and Fifth Street Northeast.

According to Grabau, the drainage that is already present can be maintained with this project. The streets will be 32 feet wide and paved.

The city will be assessing 50 percent of the street improvement costs to the adjacent land owners; the cost will be divided up equally between six lots. The council requested Grabau have Boonestroo look into extending Fifth Street to the west to connect near 2nd and 4th avenues. They will also look at extending to the east, and will contact the land owner there to discuss the possibility.

A public hearing on the project will be held before the next council meeting on April 10.

Dobey Days

Corey Scrabeck gave the council an update on the celebration he is planning for the weekend of August 17-18, now called "Dobey Days." The celebration is being set up as a salute to veterans, and will take place on the Scrabeck property on the south end of town. According to Scrabeck, there will be military vehicles there, possibly some tanks and a Black Hawk helicopter, several food vendors, six bands playing over the two days, and a skydiving group called Sky Cleaners. Scrabeck is looking for donations of American flags, and a large flag will be the backdrop behind the stage where the bands will be playing. Alcohol will be served, and he will be applying for a temporary liquor license. He is also working on getting a golf tournament set up for the weekend and bus services. Camping will be available on site.

The area of the celebration will be fenced off, and there will be a fee charged at the door. When asked by Mayor Dave Kingsley about underage drinking, Scrabeck stated there will be armbands for people old enough to drink, and people underage will have a mark on their hands with permanent marker. There will also be security walking around to keep control of the crowd.

Parking issues were also brought up, and Scrabeck isn't sure about parking yet. It was mentioned that the tree dump is a place where people could park. The fire hall parking lot will not be available.

Money earned from the event will be donated to MACV, the MN Assistant Council for Veterans, which helps veterans and their families. Scrabeck would like to make this an annual event.

Private Sewer

The home of Miles Petree and Lisa Miller has had some problems with the sewer, and they would like their own sewer line. Ilg has looked into the cost. According to Ilg, boring would save on street repair costs, but the cost is $5,700 without the manhole. Trenching would be the easier way, and would cost around $4,500. Some of the cost would be assessed by the homeowner. Council members will be contacting a nearby landowner that would also benefit from this connection.

Other business

• A 3.2 liquor license was approved for the Harmony House.

• A full liquor license was approved for the On the Crunchy Side restaurant, by owners Miles Petree and Lisa Miller.

• The council approved a revolving loan by the EDA for up to $5,000 on the purchase of a business and up to $12,000 for equipment.

• The council is going to work on developing a plan for if the power ever goes out again, including possibly purchasing another generator.

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