The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Council Sets Halloween Night

Votes To Bill Kienast For Unpaid Water Bills

by Michael Rodeffer, The Quill

Monday evening, discussion came up at the La Harpe City Council's second regular meeting of October about the unpaid water bills of former Mayor Ryan Kienast.

The council had offered Kienast the opportunity to have the issue dropped if he would sign a mutual agreement with the City which the council had directed their attorney to draw up and present to Kienast.

Kienast has refused to sign the agreement, La Harpe City Attorney Christopher Scholz reported.

The agreement in part reads:

The respective claims of the parties result from water and sewer bills sent by the City of La Harpe to Kienasts in 2015 and 2016 for utility services provided at the rental property located at 118 W. Main in La Harpe.

A dispute had arisen over the calculation of the bills. The Kienast's paid the utility bills under protest.

The city believes that there are amounts still due and unpaid. The purpose of this settlement agreement is to resolve the claims of both parties.

In consideration of the mutual promises of the parties to forgo collection or payment of the disputed amounts and to forgo litigation over them, the city hereby releases the Kienasts and Kienasts hereby release the city...from any and all claims which they now possess against each other, or which may arise in the future, relating to water and sewer bills for the Kienast apartments for utility services in 2015 and 2016.

In regards to the ongoing issue and Kienast's refusal to sign the contract and finalize the issue, a motion was made to proceed with collection and "to bill Kienast Apartments & Annex for water charges from May 15th, 2015 to January 16, 2016, according to the water ordinance set in place at that time.

Five council members voted for the motion and one voted "no" (Greg Wisslead). The motion was approved.

Tim Graves reported that he had performed a walk-through at the Bushnell water plant. It is reverse osmosis which is one option the city is looking into. Graves is planning to look at an Ion-exchange system in the near future and will be able to compare the differences.

Clerk Lucretia McPeak reminded the council that "Trick or Treat" night would be October 31st from 5-8 p.m. Anyone who wants to participate is asked to have their porch light on.

Josh Mercer of WIRC talked about the surveys needing to be returned that were sent out to one section of La Harpe. Mercer stated that 75% must be received in order to go forward with the grant process. He also stated that all information would be held confidential. The city is going to work with him to get more surveys returned.

In other action the La Harpe City Council made motions to approve the following:

Answering roll call October 23rd were trustees Jerry Burford, Kenny Brown, Brian Covert, Randy Shumaker, Greg Wisslead, Treasurer Crystal Graves, City Clerk Lucretia McPeak, and Mayor Katherine Hasten. Dave Clover, arrived at 7:04 p.m.

Also present were city attorney Christopher Scholz, city employees Larry Finch, Tim Graves, Monalisa Graves, Trevor Finch, along with City Engineer Eric Moe, Josh Mercer of WIRC, Michael Rodeffer of The Quill and four guests.