The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

La Harpe Council Holds First Meeting of 2018; Extends Sympathy To Finch Family

by: Mike Rodeffer, The Quill

In a solemn and moving statement during Monday night's La Harpe City Council meeting, Mayor Kat Hasten spoke of her concern for the Jason and Carrie Finch family after the horrific death of their 19 year old daughter Maddie on New Year's morning.

Mayor Hasten said: "As a Council, as a community, as friends, as family, we would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the Finch family. The tragedy they have incurred is unbearable in most of our minds: I want them to know we will stand with them as a community.

Please, keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and please, continue to reach out to them as time goes on: I think it is of the utmost importance that they have their close friends and their family and this community to support them, whether it's a kind word, a kind act, taking them something to eat, just please remember to keep them in your thoughts and keep them in your mind, and not leave them to deal with this alone.

I'd also like to acknowledge our EMTs our police officers, and those who were at the scene. I can't imagine what that was like. We appreciate everything that you have done, and again, with the deepest deepest sympathies to the family, we are here for them."

January 8th was the first meeting of the Council in 2018. David Little reported that the water bill drop box has been broken and it is looked into for replacement. Water bills need to be paid at Fortress Bank or mailed.

The door and lock has been repaired at the sewer plant. Tim Graves told the council there was a water main break about 9:30 on this morning and it was repaired and finished around 5:00 p.m. Mark Stokke had been enlisted to help jack hammer the hard frozen ground so they could dig.

Attorney Chris Scholz noted that on January 4th, Braden Finch was in court and asked for time to obtain council and is due to be sentenced March 4th on contempt. As for Tyler Ferguson, a court date has been set for January 18th. Scholz said he is hoping to have additional discussion with Ferguson before the court date.

Scholz also said that the building between Ferguson's and the Fortress Bank building had been sold through a tax sale and if the council wants to obtain the same objective of demolition of that building, the new owner would have to be a subject of the same court proceedings as has been Ferguson.

Eric Moe informed the Council with updates on the Water Project and how it relates to Rural Development. There needs to be issues tended to prior to another meeting with Lynn Armstrong. These issues are being tended to. Council unanimously passed 5 motions on 5 separate ordinances regarding: animals, water, sewer and water usage charges, peddlers, and the cemetery.

The Council approved the motion to allow the city attorney to act on their proposed correspondence to American Legal Publishing Company regarding the City of La Harpe Code of Ordinance.

Attorney Scholz is preparing a memo for the IEPA concerning the tentative approvals of the new Water Plant.

Mayor Kat Hasten stated that Attorney Scholz had sent another amended agreement and again the party (former Mayor Ryan Kienast) would not sign it and continues to want to include placing blame on a city employee. Mayor Hasten stated, "I am continuing with, I will not sign it that way."

The Council discussed the possibility of asking for donations to help defray the cost of a deck at the Reservoir.

The Council approved spending $2,030.00 for training for the police department for Marlie Burt.

The Council approved paying for registration fees for two city employees Tim Graves and Daniel Carpenter to attend Watercon meeting in Springfield and one night hotel stay for Daniel.

The generator for the ESDA trailer is working and grants are being looked into for a warning siren for the city. There was discussion for grants for the StarComm radios and for insurance for the city employees.

It was discussed to change February meetings from 12th & 26th to the 5th & 19th due to mayor being gone.

Council was adjourned at 8:11 p.m. Present were Councilmen Clover, Burford, Olson, Shumaker, Wisslead, and Covert; City Attorney Chris Scholz, Mayor Kat Hasten, Clerk Lucretia McPeak, Treasurer Crystal Graves, and David Little, Tim Graves, Monalisa Graves, Eric Moe, Dan Gillett, Kenny Foster, Larry Finch and Trevor Finch.