The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Police Chief Resigns, Council Hires Street Department Employee

By: Mike Rodeffer, The Quill

During Monday night's La Harpe Council meeting, Police Chief Justin Livingston turned in his resignation. He stated his last day would be tomorrow (August 15th).

He stated "It had nothing to do with the current council and mayor. You guys are doing a great job, you're doing good stuff and getting this town back where it's suppose to be.

It's just for the last 2 years I've been looking and I had an opportunity to take a job that's going to benefit me and my family, so I accepted it. I do appreciate the opportunity to work for the city the last 17 years."

Livingston stated he was willing to help the rest of the officers with paper work until they felt comfortable with it.

The council expressed their appreciation for his service and clerk Lucretia McPeak, on behalf of the council, presented him with a gift, followed by a round of applause.

The council also offered Trevor Finch a job as a street department employee at a salary of $30,000 per year. Finch will be on a 6 month probation period and be eligible for a 3% performance raise after 6 months. Finch will start work for the city September 5th. The council approved this motion with 5 ayes and Burford abstaining.

Employee Kenny Foster thanked Justin for helping him out while going through schooling and also, asked the council to do his transition period so he could become full time.

Employee Tim Graves informed the council that the 3 storm sewer holes that have been opened should be repaired tomorrow (Tuesday) as they just received the parts to make the repairs. Graves also asked that the council approve buying copper sulfate crystals to treat the reservoir.

Employee David Little said he would be getting 3 ton of cold patch next week as several roads were in need of repair.

Police Chief Livingston noted that they should be able to get their radios reprogrammed and not have to buy new ones. Livingston also said officers vests should be fitted on the 23rd of the month at a cost of $800-$1000 per person and they should last for 5 years. Livingston noted the property on 305 S 1st Street had been cleaned up.

Livingston stated he had issued a ticket and it had been paid for excess trash at 204 W 1st Ave. The owner asked for some time to do clean up to the property.

Dean Spangler spoke to the council about a St. Judes Benefit the nursing home was sponsoring. It will take place October 31st from 5-7 p.m. Spangler noted 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude, as the owners and employees of the nursing home are paying for all costs.

Eric Moe from McClures presented the council with an opportunity to apply for a $500,000 grant which could be used for the Southwest Water Main Project. Moe stated there is several criteria which has to be met and a plan or engineering design has to be in place in order to apply.

Moe stated the city would have to pay for the engineering design that would be $30,000-$35,000. He explained there would be fees to the regional council to administer the grant of about $35,000. He also stated inspections could run another $50,000.

This project had been discussed at length at the last committee meeting and the council all felt it was a project that needed done. The council approved the authorization of McClures to begin the process and design work needed for the project.

Dave Clover said Saturday, September 9th that the "Love La Harpe" committee was going to spread mulch around the city park. Clover thought it would be nice if any of the council or anyone else could help work with them.

In other actions the city council:

The council agreed to reimburse Clerk Lucretia McPeak for the gifts of watches to several past employees after Brown brought up the fact that McPeak had been paying for them out of her own pocket.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Present were:

Mayor Kat Hasten; Alderman, Randy Shumaker, Greg Wisslead, Brian Covert, Dave Clover, Jerry Burford and Ken Brown, Clerk Lucretia McPeak, Treasurer Crystal Graves, Attorney Chris Scholz; employees, Tim and Monalisa Graves, David Little, Police Chief Justin Livingston, Police officers, Kenny Foster and Larry Finch, Eric Moe from McClure Engineering, new hire Trevor Finch, ESDA liaison Max Owsley and approximately 10 residents and 2 reporters.