The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Council Gets Tough On Overdue Water Bills

October 12th 7 p.m.

The La Harpe City Council took another step in getting tough on residents with overdue water bills.

The city council decided to have City Attorney Kurt Dittmer enter into talks with a resident at the Hancock County Housing Authority who is almost $800 behind on a water bill.

An agreement was reached earlier for the resident to pay the regular bill amount, usually around $50 each month, plus a $25 per month payment to begin to catch-up on the overdue amount.

This amount was determined after a financial survey was done on the resident. Since then, the resident has missed some payments.

The Hancock County Housing Authority said it would not be responsible for the overdue water bill.

They also have a policy where a resident who has their water shut off is evicted.

The council approved having a contract drawn up that says if another regular water bill payment plus the $25 per month payment is missed, the city will turn off the resident's water.

Water Superintendent Tim Graves said he did not believe Bob Lionberger of CCS Computers recommended the city change its water billing software as was stated at the Sept. 28 meeting. Graves said Lionberger had trouble getting through to technical support to address an issue with the software. It was a similar issue the software had during another software update.

The citywide cleanup is Friday, Oct. 16.

The council approved the low bid of $1,884.79 from Endres Construction to construct a wall that allows city employees working at city hall to access the downstairs bathroom without having to enter the police station.

This increases the privacy for the police while giving other city employees access to a bathroom inside the building.

The "yes" vote was 5-1. Council member Josiah Neff voted "no," stating he did not know enough about the project.

The project may be a first step in the city remodeling the downstairs garage area into a new council meeting chambers to provide easier access than the second-story meeting room. There was no vote taken on that project.

Council member Marcia Stiller asked council members to decide if they wanted to stock fish at the reservoir.

The fish biologist who looked at the reservoir earlier this year recommended stocking the reservoir each year. He suggested doing so in the fall because the fish were usually cheaper than in the spring.

The council approved the purchase of 10 barricades at a total cost of $460 from Barco Municipal Products.

The council approved applying for a parade permit for the Hometown Christmas parade on December 1, from 7 to 8 p.m. A permit is needed from the state since the parade is on Route 9.

Trick-or-treat night was set for Saturday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Graves asked the council to look into purchasing a trailer to haul a Snapper mower owned by the city.

Graves said he has been using his personal trailer to haul the mower within the city.

He needs to take the mower to Dallas City for maintenance and does not want to use his personal trailer. Council will get prices for a trailer for this purpose.

City Clerk Lucretia McPeak reminded the council that there has been no Motor Fuel Tax money from the state due to the state budget impasse.

Answering roll call were: Amy Palmer, Dave Mershon, Marcia Stiller, Kenneth Foster, Josiah Neff, Darrell Kraft, Treasurer-Marcia Neff, City Clerk-Lucretia McPeak, and Mayor-Ryan Kienast. Also present were: David Little, Wayne Humphrey, Dan Gillett, Doug Endres, Eric Moe, Tim Graves and Monalisa Graves.

Next council meeting will be Monday, October 26, at 7:00 pm, at city hall.

The regular city council meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.