The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Council Approves New Liquor License, Toughens Stand On Delinquent Water Bills

by Michael Rodeffer, The Quill

The La Harpe City Council unanimously approved a "Class A" liquor license for new business owner, Robert Root of Stronghurst at Monday night's council meeting, August 13.

Mr Root purchased at auction, the former Tastee-Freez building with plans for reopening the restaurant in the near future. In his request for a liquor license, Root told the council that he just wanted to be able to serve liquor with meals. He plans on being open Monday through Saturday and at this time, only selling beer, maybe wine depending on public interest.

Root owns Kone Korner in Stronghurst, which he has now renamed "RIVALS ON MAIN" and he is soon to open up a sports bar and restaurant which he recently had erected at the south end of the lot adjacent to his ice cream parlor and grill. He is in the process of finishing that work in Stronghurst.

Root added that in La Harpe, he had planned on being open in a month but that he just wanted all work to be completed inside the building before it opened, so it might take a little longer.

It was explained that a Class A Liquor license cost $1500 in La Harpe and runs from May 1st through April 30th. Mr. Root made his payment through April 2019 which was pro-rated.

The La Harpe City Council also decided to tighten their stance on delinquent water bills. The Council unanimously agreed from now on, a delinquent water bill will have to be paid in full plus a $25 fine for water to be turned back on. Mayor Hasten-Reed stressed, "There will be no exceptions!"

City Water employee Tim Graves noted that he had to shut seven people off from water last month.

The La Harpe Fire Department was given unanimous approval to use the house at 404 E. Archer Street for Search and Rescue training. All voted yes with Brian Covert, a fireman, abstaining.

A request was made from La Harpe Police Chief Larry Finch if the City wanted to compensate Certified Fire Arm instructor Gary Smith of Blandinsville for recertification training of Marli, Lynn and Finch. The police officers must go through this recertification yearly. Smith had not charged the city, so the Council unanimously approved having Officer Finch purchase a Gift Card for Smith to show the city's gratitude.

Under Public Comment, Dan Gillett said he has received two quotes for new doors at the building which is rented from the City by the Historical & Genealogy Society on East Main Street. The lowest bid was from Cook's Glass of Carthage for about $1,165.00. Gillett had expressed concern about the existing doors rusting out and causing heat loss during the winter months. The Council was going to put the item on the next meeting's agenda.

Also, under Public Comment, Richard Wood again asked, "If" and "When" the dilapidated building just west of Wood Accounting business on Main Street was ever going to be cleaned up.

City Attorney Chris Scholz explained that he had been in contact with Tyler Ferguson about the clean-up. Attorney Scholz had sent Ferguson a document to sign and return and Ferguson will be able to start the clean-up or tearing down the building as soon as he produces evidence that he has liability insurance in case any nearby or adjoining buildings should receive damage in the process.

Attorney Scholz also updated the Council as to the status of the dilapidated building east of the City Park. He said Braden Finch has had a judgement placed against him in court by the City of La Harpe for approximately $7,000. Finch has since conveyed his title of the property to James Hilton.

Attorney Scholz has attempted to contact Hilton but has received no response. Scholz reported that he has filed new action against Hilton regarding the property since he is now the record title holder.

City Engineer Eric Moe of IMEG Engineering, is still waiting on comments from the state office of IEPA and federal office USDA concerning their water project grants and he is hoping to hear from them soon.

Mayor Hasten-Reed reported of a citizen who wants to put in a driveway which brings up three issues:

1. The culvert needed would have to be larger than allotted.

2. The water flow could be interrupted and cause water issues in neighboring basements and crawl spaces,

3. The citizen is invited to come to a council meeting to plead their case.

ESDA representative Max Owsley informed the Council that next month, there will be a county disaster drill in Warsaw. Owsley said this month was "National Preparedness For Schools and Campus Safety" month.

Owsley also noted that he was going to try to set up some classes concerning the use of tourniquets, etc. in conjunction with a "Stop The Bleed" campaign that is going on.

In other business the board :

The La Harpe City Council met at 7:00 p.m. at La Harpe City Hall and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was adjourned at 8:41 p.m..

Present were Mayor Kat Hasten-Reed, Council members Randy Shumaker, Brian Covert, Dave Clover, Jerry Burford and Kelly Harkey, Clerk Lucretia McPeak, Treasurer Maggie Link and City Attorney Chris Scholz. Councilmen Greg Wisslead was absent. Also present were ESDA correspondent Max Owsley, Richard Wood, Chad Burt, employees Trevor Finch, Tim Graves, Police Chief Larry Finch, IMEG Engineer Eric Moe, Robert Root, Dan Gillett and Michael Rodeffer, reporter for the Quill.

The next regular meeting is set for August 27, the fourth Monday.

All meetings are open to the public (with the exception of executive sessions).