Harris City Council briefs

The following actions and discussion points were addressed at the June 6 and 12 Harris City Council meetings.

Fire Department officers
On June 6, the council held a special meeting to appoint the officers to the Harris Volunteer Fire Department. All positions were filled by candidates both the department and the city deemed qualified for the job. The department has a new chief, Larry Eckl, who was chosen from two candidates who were vying for that position.

City audit
At the regular scheduled meeting of the council on June 12, Larry Oberloh of Oberloh & Associates presented the audit of the city financials for 2016. Oberloh presented an unqualified or “clean” opinion of the financial condition of the city. Oberloh used standards for the operation of a city and audited internal controls and compliance. The city’s internal controls are not in compliance due to the limited and small staff that the city has. There is also a legal compliance checklist that the state auditor requires to be done. The city passed all items on that checklist.

Dog kennel, animal
Andrew Nybeck requested a temporary residential dog kennel conditional use permit. Nybeck has 15 dogs on a property owned by Marilyn Nybeck. The request was first presented to the Harris Planning Commission, which held a public hearing on the issue. The Planning Commission then passed the request on to the council with the recommendation that the permit be issued. The permit was granted but with conditions. First, it is a temporary permit and will expire. Also, the permit limits the number of dogs to the original 15; no more can be added. And no breeding of dogs can take place. All dogs on the property have to be licensed, and Nybeck must provide records of immunization for rabies on each dog.
The council also approved an annual animal permit to David Maack. Each spring, Maack brings onto his property 25 goats, two horses and 35 chickens. The goats are used to reduce the buck brush and other brush. The horses keep the grass down, and the chickens provide eggs.

Car show permit
Don Duchene requested and was granted a special event permit for a car show to be held at 42300 Flink Ave. Aug. 19. Duchene has been holding this Rat Rod Resurrection car show for five years. There have been no problems and no complaints from any neighbors.

Skate park
City clerk Joanne Dargay brought back an issue that had been addressed at the May meeting: the construction of a skate park in the city.
Dargay had received requests from a few kids as well as local business owners. The business owners would support such a venue because the kids are now using their railings, steps, doors and sides of buildings as surfaces on which to ride their skateboards.
Council Member Dan Sculley questioned the project first, asking if there were any grants available for the construction of the park. The answer was that it was unknown if any grants were available. Sculley then pointed out that the city was being asked to pay for the construction of the park, pay for the maintenance of the park, pay to inspect the park and also pay for the insurance that would be needed. Sculley questioned if this was the right venue to deter the unauthorized use of other properties.
Members of the council questioned whether this was a council issue or a parent issue. It was agreed upon that there is a need for something for the children to do, but that the skate park may not be the best solution.

Water system problems
There have been issues with the water system that need to be corrected. Public works employee Alan Teich brought an estimate to the council of what it would cost to correct three issues. The issues are to clean out the lift station for the wastewater treatment facility, locate a water main and locate a leak in the water system. The method determined the best way to locate each of these three issues is by hydro-excavation. Teich presented a bid from one company that would hydro-excavate to locate the items, but it would be up to the city to repair the items. The cost is $3,500 per day. Teich could not confirm if it would take only one day to complete. George Valvoda of People Service will locate at least two other bids before action is taken.

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