The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Deb Olson, The Quill
Monday evening, September 26, at 7 p.m. the La Harpe City Council met upstairs at City Hall. It was a very long meeting, finally adjourning at 11:10 p.m.
After approval of last month minutes, City Treasurer Carmen Jackson requested instruction from the board regarding wages and mileage reimbursement requested by Mayor Kienast and Alderman Stiller to attend a meeting in Springfield. After discussion the council approved paying for mileage one way at $0.54 per mile and 4 hours of work for each at $20/hr.
During Committee reports it was brought up that Alderman Marcia Stiller had purchased 200 8-10 inch catfish for the reservoir at a cost of $190 from the ASC office in Carthage. This purchase provides the city with access to information and a continuing source to build a fish population in the reservoir. A $100 donation covered the cost of transporting the fish to the reservoir. The board voted to reimburse Stiller for the purchase.
There have been a number of complaints about parking on C Street near the light at the school crossing. Issues are arising when parents and grandparents come to pick up their students. The congestion is complicated when Chem Gro semis are trying to turn in this same area. The council decided to post signs for no parking from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to ensure students' safety when leaving school.
Justin Livingston thanked Max Owsley for his work on the dog kennels. It was mentioned that a water spigot closer to the kennel would provide easy access to running water for animals to drink and for cleaning out the kennel.
Tim Graves reported that filter media for the reservoir needs to be replenished. Alderman Mershon said to get it. Graves said that he needed 6 more water meters to be used as replacements which will cost between $800 and $900. He said the chlorinator system installation was done, but paperwork still needs to be sent to the EPA. He questioned the need for the City Attorney to be present at his evaluation. He noted that she questioned him about turning in schedules, sample collection issues, whether he can drive with the volunteer ambulance service during work hours for the city.
The attorney in turn advised because of privacy and the fact that personnel issues are involved, that it is not proper to disclose what happened in the evaluation. Diestler advised that it should be handled in executive session.
It was announced that City Treasurer Carmen Jackson is resigning because she is moving away.
Terry Pope of Hancock County Economic Development who was to address the meeting was unable to attend.
During Public Comment
Dave Clover spoke stating he disapproved the comparison of former Mayor Ken Brown to current Mayor Ryan Kienast. He also questioned the City Attorney's role in employee evaluation and her rate of compensation.
Dan Gillett again stated his position on keeping the parade on Main Street citing tradition.
Bart Thompson asked why there had been no update on the water sewer audit since Aug. and if his two Aldermen had a list of key holders to city property.
Council went into executive session at 8:15 to discuss performance of city employees, appointing a treasurer and pending/possible litigation.
The council came out of the Executive session at 10:07 p.m. Returning to Regular session, the board moved into new business and accepted the resignation of Carmen Jackson as City Treasurer effective October 12th. Kraft made the motion to accept Jennifer Ewing as new City Treasurer. Clerk Lucretia McPeak swore in the new treasurer.
Water Ordinance 2016-7 was approved by the council in the same form as was previously published in The Quill following the September 12th Committee of the Whole Meeting.
Open Burning Ordinance #2016-8 was passed whichstates that it is unlawful to burn within the city limits, including house hold waste, and wet leaves or brush. Dry leaves may be burned.
Eric Moe of McClure Engineering addressed the board regarding the facility plan. He will need at least one elected official to be present to witness opening of the bids. The council then approved the $52,000 cost of the project and approved the mayor to sign all project-associated documents.
When under old business the agenda stated that the council would discuss and take action that Ryan Kienast get presented with a bill it was instead, moved to resolve the issue in a closed executive session. In open session, 2 motions were approved: one by Kraft to have the city attorney resolve the Mayor's water bill, and another by Mershon to remove from the agenda the Nursing home water bill paying per Ordinance.
In other action the board
La Harpe City Clerk Lucretia McPeak (right) swore into office newly elected Jennifer Ewing of La Harpe Monday evening during La Harpe's regular City Council meeting. After an executive session, the council accepted Carmen Jackson's resignation as La Harpe City Treasurer and appointed Ewing as Treasurer.