At the May 9 Harmony City Council meeting, the consent agenda was approved and included the minutes of the April 11 regular meeting and the April 25 special meeting, the claims and April checks, two grants for the Harmony Chamber from the Harmony Area Community Foundation, and the cash balances.
The alley from Center Street East to 1st Street East is in very poor shape and in desperate need of repairs as is the alley behind the south manor. The council approved a motion to remove the asphalt in both alleys and replace it with gravel. The Center Street alley will need to be replaced during a future street project, but the other one can stay gravel as that would be consistent with the rest of the alley.
A number of liquor license renewal applications were approved.
Resolution 23-05 regarding the city’s new distributed energy resources and net metering policy was adopted.
A quote from MiEnergy was received for an electrical infrastructure upgrade in Harmony which would involve burying overhead wires. The estimated cost for the project is $100,000. As the lead time for ordering the transformers necessary for the project is over six months, it was recommended that the council approve the quote now even though it isn’t scheduled to happen until next year. The quote for the electrical infrastructure upgrade was approved.
Excess funds are available in Debt Service Fund 317 since the bond has been paid off. There is a total of approximately $37,500 which can be used anywhere as it’s unincumbered. As the sewer fund has a negative balance, it was recommended that the council move the excess funds there. The council approved the closure of Debt Service Fund 317 and the moving of the leftover money to the sewer fund. A motion to cancel fund transfers from the Water and Sewer fund to the utility bond fund was also approved as the utility bond fund is not in need of further transfers at this time.
Council member Michael Himlie gave the EDA Board report. The board is currently working on digital marketing.
Harmony Chamber of Commerce Director Allison Whalen asked the council for permission to move the bike share program rack. It currently sits on a concrete pad by the Visitor’s Center, but she would like to move it to the round cement pad by the gazebo with the other bike racks. The current spot would be landscaped and a seating area added. Council member Jesse Grabau noted that signage should be put up directing people to the new spot, which Whalen was planning to do. The council approved her request.
Whalen also asked for the council’s input on moving the Visitor’s Center’s three garbage bins. Currently, they’re stored in the storage room, but they have to be moved out every time the staff needs access to that area. If the bins were to be stored outside, people would more than likely throw their trash in them. The council discussed the matter, but wasn’t able to come up with a good solution at the time. Whalen asked the council how to proceed with some general landscaping around the center. The city has a budget of around $250 for that so she was told that she will need to keep the costs under that amount and turn in her receipts.
The Ninja Anywhere course will need to be set up at the trailhead parking lot on the morning of the 4th of July celebrations. Whalen asked and received permission to close the parking lot the night before to ensure that no one parks there.
The ribbon cutting for the splash pad will take place on June 5 at 11:30. Harmony was recently featured on an episode of Minnesota Live with a Zoom interview taking place at Gabby Lou’s kitchen. The show liked the interview so much, they have made plans to visit Harmony in the fall to film.
The Park Board is in the process of obtaining quotes to paint the basketball court and resurface the tennis court. They are also working on details to restart the tree program. Homeowners would be able to either plant the trees themselves or have them planted for them. Trees that will be planted in the boulevard will receive a discount. The council approved the tree program.
Arts Board Student Member Eva Hemenway has volunteered to run the board’s Facebook page and to start an Instagram page for it as well. She is also heading up a postcard contest with a deadline of May 12.
The fire department was able to sell their trailer and purchase a shipping container with the proceeds which will be used to store the fireworks. Around $500 was left over from the purchase, and the fire department asked for permission to use that money to pour concrete for the shipping container to sit on. The council approved the request.
The first game of the Rucker League season kicked off on May 7 with 45 participants and a cookout with food donated by Harmony Foods.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on June 13 at 7 p.m.