Representatives from Harter’s, Richard’s Sanitation, and Hanson Waste Removal were present at the January 11 Harmony City Council meeting to discuss contract options with the council. At the December meeting, the council had awarded the contract to Harter’s but approved a motion to reconsider. Both Harter’s and Richard’s Sanitation would switch residents over to using garbage totes rather than the current bag system and would offer the city a discounted rates for its dumpsters. Hanson Waste Removal would continue with the bag system as they feel it’s the fairest way to handle trash pickup for customers. All three bids included weekly garbage pickup and biweekly recycling pickup. A motion was approved to award the contract to Richard’s Sanitation with 65 gallon garbage bins and 95 gallon recycling bins. Residents will have the option of paying for two garbage bins if they prefer. Starting in April, the trash pick-up in Harmony will take place on Wednesdays.
The utility rates and fees were reviewed. Garbage fees were changed to $12.50 and recycling to $6 starting in April when Richard’s Sanitation takes over. The per hour labor for Public Works was increased to $50 for weekdays and $75 for weekends and holidays. City Administrator Devin Swanberg recommended adding a separate rate for micro distillery liquor licenses with cocktail rooms as currently it’s an add-on license which means that they end up paying more overall than other liquor licenses. The council approved the ordinance change.
The consent agenda was approved and included the minutes from the regular December meeting, the claims and checks from December, the cash balances, and a liquor license application from Harmony Spirits.
The EDA asked the council to approve the sale of 1.09 acres of land to Kevin and Tonya Reicks of KTNS Trucking Corporation. The couple is planning to build a large unit storage facility on the land along with a headquarters for their trucking business. The council approved the sale.
The Residential Rebate Program was approved for renewal in 2022. The program was first established in 2014 allowing a cash rebate of up to $12,000 for projects including new home construction and renovations. The program has been very good for the City of Harmony, receiving national attention and positive feedback. Two homeowners received the rebate in 2021.
The Downtown Revitalization Program was also renewed for 2022. $40,000 will be available each year the program is active for renovations to downtown buildings.
A revolving loan request from Amy Rain of The Shop A Cut Above the Rest was reviewed. The funds would be used to refinance and purchase the building Rain’s shop currently occupies. The EDA recommended that the council approve the loan, which they did.
Chris Giesen presented the EDA’s annual report. Over the past year, the EDA has worked with 44 individual current or prospective businesses in a variety of ways including projects, financial packaging, business planning, etc. Three new revolving loans were awarded and since the Harmony EDA’s beginning in 1989, they have awarded a total of 71 loans.
A mock-up of the proposed bathrooms/picnic shelter building was received from the project engineer. The total cost will come to about $150,000. A motion to send out for quotes was approved.
The council thanked City Clerk Eileen Schansberg for her almost 25 years of service to the city. Lisa Morken has been hired to replace Schansberg.
The next Harmony City Council meeting will be held on February 8 at 7 p.m.