At the May 14 Harmony City Council meeting, Jeremy Kruegel from Wheeler’s asked the city and its contractors not to use the Wheeler’s parking lot to access the city’s north lift station. He had previously brought the issue to the council’s attention several years ago and is still having issues. “The city has their own access to all that,” he said. “They don’t need to be on Wheeler’s lot.” City Maintenance Director Chris Johnson assured Kruegel that the city workers do not use his lot anymore for access. However city contractors often do. Kruegel felt that it was the duty of whoever was bidding the jobs with contractors to pass on the information about his parking lot. The council agreed to make sure that neither the city maintenance workers nor the contractors use the parking lot at Wheeler’s. If, for some reason, it is necessary to park there, Kruegel will be contacted first to get his permission.
Fillmore County Assessor Brian Hoff was present at the meeting for the Board of Review. Several Harmony residents were present to ask questions about their assessed property value. Hoff was able to answer their questions and no further action was taken.
Harmony resident Marilyn Ludens addressed the council regarding a trailer that has been parked on the side of the highway near her home for months. She has spoken with the trailer’s owner who was not amenable to moving it. “Enough is enough,” she said. “What can we do?” Council member Tony Webber noted that while there is nothing the city can do right now based on city ordinances, a committee will be reviewing and updating the parking ordinances which should bring a resolution to the situation.
A temporary liquor license and noise permit was approved for the Conservation Club for the dates of July 3 through July 7.
The council discussed a potential street and utility project for 2020. The project would include streets on the south side of town, and is estimated to have a total cost of $1.2 million. If construction is to be started in 2020, the surveying needs to begin as soon as possible so that the design plans can be completed over the winter months. “If we don’t do something with it, the road bed is going to become very deteriorated because of the condition it’s in,” City Administrator Jerome Illg said. The council granted permission to begin surveying efforts.
During a recent pole study, it was determined that two of the electrical poles near the football field need to be replaced. Illg suggested that the city install the electrical lines underground instead as that would make more sense and would streamline the connections there. The council approved the underground lines.
The sewer main in the North Park area of Harmony is not placed very far into the ground and so the city has had issues with it freezing up in the winter months. Several options for mitigating the issue were explored and discussed by the council such as converting the sewer main into a forced line, asking business owners on the line to run their water during the winter, etc. The council will continue to investigate the matter.
Maintenance Director Chris Johnson reported that the new refrigerated sampler has been installed at the wastewater treatment plant.
At their last meeting, the Harmony EDA decided to continue with the housing incentive program as it has been successful thus far. The surveying for the bike trail extension from Harmony to the Iowa border is nearly complete. The community marketing video that will be shared online is underway and shooting for the video will take place at the end of May. The EDA is also currently looking into options for providing transportation to Harmony residents who have limited means of traveling out of town. Semcac does offer rides in Spring Valley and Rushford and could possibly do so in Harmony as well with minimal user fees. The EDA is considering purchasing and maintaining a van that could be run by Semcac. A survey may be conducted later to determine potential usage and feasibility of such a program.
The Parks Board reported that a tour of the city’s parks has been completed, and only minor repairs and touch-ups will need to be done to get them ready for the summer.
Children’s author Kristen Halverson will be at the Harmony Public Library on June 5 at 3 p.m.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on June 11 at 7 p.m.