By Genine Hopkins
Budd Lake Association members reported that water quality testing returned with positive results, noting that E coli was not detected and the waters continue to demonstrate improvement. The report was made before the Harrison City Council meeting on Monday, July 15, 2013. This improvement has been the result of the hard work both the Budd Lake Improvement Board and the Budd Lake Association and the groups hope to continue to show improvement, mainly with the concerns of excessive weed growth. Still, residents told the City Council, the water clarity was excellent.
The City Council also took a moment of silence to honor the passing of Howard Flower, former DPW Superinendent. Flower is survived by his wife, Leilani, who was the City’s Treasurer; his three daughters Jennifer Holte, Jaclynn Heinz, and Dyan Wood. Flower passed away on Friday, July 12, 2013.
Harrison’s Fire Department received a letter thanking them for their care and precision when responding to a fire at an Adult Care facility on Oaklawn on July 1, 2013.
“There was minimal water damage and the firefighters took care to prevent damage to the personal belongings of our residents,” stated the letter.
A motion to change the renewal date of the City’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage was made by Council member Chris Damvelt, supported by Council member Connie Cauchi, and approved unanimously. The move was made to minimize increases, and changes the date of renewal to December 1, 2013 as opposed to January 1, 2014.
“If we keep this policy’s current renewal date, we will see an increase of 40 percent,” stated City Clerk Tracey Beadle, “By moving the renewal date, if we do see an increase it will be much more modest.”
Beadle stated many of the changes and impending increases are being blamed on “Obamacare,” or the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
City Council members approved a new service agreement for maintenance of its generators. The bid by W.W. Williams is half of previous contract costs, and includes additional services not provided before. On a motion by Council member Damvelt, supported by Council member David Rowe, the council unanimously approved the contract for $2,390.
The council discussed purchase of property adjacent to city property on Westlawn, a lot approximately 188 feet by 188 feet. The City’s current property near the water tower is “L” shaped; purchase of the property owned by Bob Decker would square it off. On a motion by Council member Rowe, supported by Council member Don Kolander, the council approved a $1,500 offer for the property, which will be presented to Mr. Decker’s daughter.
Clare County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) deputy Kevin Roland, informed the council of June’s numbers. There were 469 incidents in the city limits, of which there were three burglaries, six animal control calls, 11 stalking incidents, 92 traffic stops that resulted in two traffic violation citations and two OUILs (Operating Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor).
Beadle reminded the council that the Harrison Street Fair is gearing up for a great 7th year, adding vendors and also a beer and wine tent, to be located near the old Surrey House. This will be the first year the Downtown Development Authority will be sponsoring the event. Additionally, the city was successful in its grant application to move forward on the Community Kitchen Project, part of the business incubator. The grant awarded was $20,000.
Discussion on how to move forward on holding property owners accountable for lawn/grass length continued. Beadle stated she spoke with City Attorney Jaynie Hoerauf who advised providing a second notice would be appropriate. Fire Chief and Code Enforcement Officer Pat Agin was present and took note of the advice.
Mayor Stacy Stocking stated that all employees, sans Fire Department employees, will be asked to submit a job description.
“Doing this will aid us by providing more structure and also during employee reviews and raises,” he told the council.
Stocking also reported that there are quite a few employees who are nearing the age of retirement. He suggested the city pursue where these employees stand.
“When they leave, it will be a tremendous loss of talent to the city,” he said.
Harrison’s Fire Department received and fielded 168 calls year to date (YTD), and Chief Agin requested the council approve entering into a “Mutual Aid Agreement” with Merritt. The council moved to have him do so.
Harrison’s City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to attend.