New Years equates to new beginnings on the Harris City Council.
The first item on the agenda at the Jan. 14 Harris City Council meeting was to swear in the two new council members. David Maack and Doug Payne start their terms. Mayor Diane Miller was also re-elected and sworn in at the meeting. Maack and Payne are replacing Rodney Larson and Judy Hammerstrom.
The annual designation and appointments along with the updated fee schedule were also approved, which are required once a year. The designation and appointments outlined what areas of city business each councilmember would handle, such as who would be acting mayor, planning control representative and who would serve on the personnel committee. The fee schedule covers the cost of ball field use, building permits and
the amount that will be paid as a gopher bounty.
Oberloh and Associates was approved as the city’s auditor. The actual contract amount will be less in 2013 than the prior year. This was the result of requesting fewer copies of the audit than were prepared in prior years.
Chuck Schwartz of Stantec Consulting Services, the city engineer, brought to the council’s attention the county is in the process of drafting a transportation plan. In this process, there are some roads in Harris that the county intends to turn over to the city for maintenance. There would be a total of seven miles added. The city presently maintains 27 miles.
Schwartz suggested to the council that it respond formally to Chisago County with its opinion of accepting the roads. Although not required to, in the past Chisago County has brought the roads up to standard before transferring them to city control. Schwartz suggested the council take a road tour, review the condition and status of each road and what corrections need to be made. This could be anything from repairing a dangerous curve, fixing culverts that need to be replaced or addressing washout issues. It was decided to let the county engineer know that the city would be doing this in the spring, and the results would be forwarded to the county.
Schwartz also let the council know the Environmental Assessment Worksheet petition concerning the air quality permit of the sand fracking plant to be operated by Tiller Corporation was denied. No Chisago County County Board of Commissioners member requested the petition be reviewed. The county is moving forward on a traffic study to be done in Harris, partially funded by Tiller Corp. The study will stretch from County Road 30 to the I-35.
Tobacco license request
Harris 61 Stop requested a tobacco license. Harris 61 Stop is the former Country Store. New owners are taking over and have requested a license to sell tobacco products. When asked about what other changes would be made, the applicant mentioned longer hours. The new store will have newer pumps that will be operable by credit card, 24 hours a day. Their intention is to start with improvements inside the store and once the weather improves, make changes on the outside.
Ice fishing event date changed
The Planning Commission report mentioned that the second annual Groundhog Day ice-fishing event has been moved to Feb. 9. The event is held on Fish Lake.