At the November 15 city council meeting, Mayor Steve Donney noted that Harmony had received a Small City Block Grant for over $1 million, which is one of the largest ones granted in the area. More details on the grant will be coming out later.
Sarah Scheffert from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, or SMIF, addressed the council. She thanked them for their past contributions to SMIF and noted that for every $1 they receive, $31 is invested back into communities in Fillmore County. SMIF’s three main areas of priority are early childhood, economic development, and community vitality. “We are very happy to work with the Harmony Community Foundation,” Scheffert said. “We are asking if Harmony would be able to contribute to SMIF again this year.”
The consent agenda was approved and included the minutes of the October 10 meeting, the claims and October checks, the cash balances, the cash in CD, and Resolution 22-14 certifying the results of the November 8 election. Steve Donney was re-elected as mayor, and Michael Himlie and Kyle Scheevel were elected to city council.
City Attorney Greg Schieber reviewed a street vacation request with the council. Roxanne Johnson has asked the city to vacate a small triangle of land that she owns before it’s sold to make things easier for the new owners when they build. The land should have been vacated earlier, but an oversight caused it to not to be. The council approved a public hearing at the December meeting. Johnson asked if the city would consider paying for the paperwork to take care of the matter if she pays for the survey. The total cost to the city would be approximately $150. The council agreed to add that to the resolution which will be voted on at the December meeting.
City Engineer Brett Grabau presented pay request #5 in the amount of $30,327.56 for Dairyland Power, which was the final pay request for the project. He recommended that the council approve the pay request contingent on his inspection and approval of the project, which they did. Councilmember Steve Sagen asked if Grabau had any updates on the cosmetic damages to the adjacent property belonging to Minnowa that they claim was caused by the project’s prime contractor, Generation X. Minnowa has asked that it be patched and repaired at Generation X’s expense. Grabau noted that a patch and repair would not be the best way to fix the damages. He also commented that he couldn’t say for sure whether the damage was caused by Gen X or not, but it would be up to the council do decide how to handle the matter. A motion was passed to table it.
No updates have been received from the DNR on the bike trail project in the last month. Bids for the project will need to be awarded by mid-December so the EDA is keeping an eye on the progression of the project.
The Harmony Fire Department will be making a recommendation soon for its new fire chief which the council will need to vote on.
As City Administrator Devin Swanberg has resigned with his last day being November 25, the council will need to conduct interviews for the next administrator before the December 13 council meeting. The council will work with Swanberg to pick a date and time.
Swanberg was able to obtain an explanation about the recent power outage in Harmony from the electric company and will disperse that information on the city’s social media and website.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on December 13 at 7 p.m.