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La Harpe Council Hears City Finances Are In Good Order

The LaHarpe City Council heard that its finances are in good order.

Greg Butler of Reusch, Butler, and Associates in Macomb presented his findings of the city's audit for its fiscal year 2015 finances.

Butler presented two opinions in his audit report. The additional opinion was needed because the city received federal money in fiscal year 2015.

The city saw increases in nearly every major fund. Most departments performed at or under budget. The city's attempts at catching up on road maintenance caused it to go a little over budget.

"I don't have any bad news to give you," said Butler. "You've stayed within your budgets. You're doing a great job of that."

The council heard from Dave Schaab, municipal marketing manager with Waste Management.

Schaab did not present any bids for garbage and recycling pickup. Instead, he asked the council members what they wanted priced and if they wanted any additional services beyond the current contract with Jackson Disposal.

Schaab said he would present bids for bags, bins, and carts. Waste Management has several communities that use wheeled carts instead of bags or bins.

The company maintains ownership of the carts, replacing carts if they are damaged during their intended use.

"We find that when a community uses carts for recycling, we see an increase of about 15 percent in recycling," said Schaab. "Just having the cart seems to increase participation."

Schaab said the cart curbside recycling would be collected every other week.

The council asked about electronic waste recycling. Schaab said his quote would include it as a feature during the two citywide cleanups held each year.

Minnie and Marco Cordenas Toto spoke to the council about possible liabilities to their business from other people mowing in the cemetery. The two are contracted to mow the city cemetery.

They said two other people mow and care for their family plots on a consistent basis. Another person mows sporadically.

Minnie said they are worried about the liability if someone who does not mow all the time accuses them of damaging a gravestone. They are also worried about how to prove it was not them.

The two asked for anyone who mows at the cemetery to have insurance and take full responsibility for any damages to their gravestone.

The council discussed if anyone else should be allowed to mow at the cemetery, how to handle proof of insurance, if the city should control proof of insurance or the contractor mowing the cemetery should control it, and the problems with people possibly damaging gravestones while en route to their family's gravestone.

The council ultimately tabled the issue.

Chad Endres of Endres Construction discussed the specifics of his bid for a roof on the stage in the city park. His bid of $9,762 included a nine foot tall roof anchored to the sidewalk near the stage.

This allows the railing to remain in place. The bid includes a metal roof with the look and pitch matching the shelter house in the city park.

It would cost $4,762.00 for materials, and $5,000.00 for labor, making it $9,762.00 total. He also gave a bid using common trusses for $10,762.00, and one using residential trusses for $11,162.00. He also assured the council the project would be secured for safety.

The council is still waiting on another contractor's bid. There were two bids submitted for the roof project. Neither bid has been accepted.

The council approved up to $200 to have Chris Aker's grind a tree stump at Carol Selmon's residence on a recently cut down tree.

Tim Carnahan will be back to evaluate the work done on the basketball court in the city park.

The council voted to spend $3,200 to have Southern Masonry repair the entire west wall of the museum building and take down the crumbling chimney at the building. The museum is paying for the needed roof repairs near the chimney.

This vote overrides an approval given at the last meeting which did not include repairing the entire west wall.

The council tabled a decision to repair an intake pipe at the reservoir which would allow it to be moved higher in the water.

Water Superintendent Tim Graves reported that the city had an EPA violation for an elevated level of Total Haloacetic Acid.

The Water Department has 30 days from receipt of the EPA letter to notify each water customer of the problem and the steps the city plans to take to correct the problem. A letter is being mailed to each residence and a notice published in the newspaper.

Graves said the city's Haloacetic Acid level was 0.62, just over the maximum allowable level of 0.60. He believes slightly lowering the chlorine treatment level will solve the problem.

The city corrected the way it has been billing for water usage at places where a single meter is used for multiple water users. This was done when it was discovered the billing method was not in line with a city ordinance.

The council is asking the Police Department to make sure it collects the $5 per night camping fee at the reservoir campsite. They also want to make sure campers are cleaning up their trash before leaving. There needs to be a sign at the Reservior of the camping charges. It is being addressed.

Public Safety Chairperson Josiah Neff is collecting police schedules after an incident at Summerfest last week happened without any police officers on duty. A shed was destroyed by someone driving through it with a vehicle. The complaint was not answered for five hours.

"It doesn't look good when we have a full time police department, and we do not have anyone on duty at a major event," said Mayor Ryan Kienast.

"Someone should at least be on call," said council member Kevin Mershon.

Clerk McPeak thanked Humphrey and Little for setting up the backdrop on the stage for Summerfest. She reported everything went well for the event.

The Classic Car Show Reunion is set for August 1st, at the La Harpe Park District.

The next Supervisor meeting will be August 6, at 4 pm, at city hall.

The La Harpe City Council regular meeting adjourned at 9:19 pm.

Present were council members: Mayor Ryan Kienast, Amy Palmer, Kevin Mershon, Marcia Stiller, Kenneth Foster, Josiah Neff, and Darrell Kraft, and Treasurer Marcia Neff and Clerk Lucretia McPeak.

Also, Water Superintendent Tim Graves, Wayne Humphrey, Dan Gillet, Greg Butler, Cindy Butler, Chad Endres, David Schaab, Minnie Cordenas Toto and Marcos Cordenas Toto, and Doug Endres.