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Council discusses budget; community worship service held

 

November 23, 2017



City Council

The Harrington City Council met at city hall November 16 for a public hearing on the preliminary budget for 2018. Present were Dillon Haas, Bunny Haugan, Peter Davenport, Mike Cronrath, Levi Schenk, Justin Slack (by phone), Jerry and Karen Allen, Billie and Gordon Herron, Marge Womach and Cherie MacClellan.

Similar to last month's council meeting, statistics were given for the 2018 budget. Calculating expenses and revenues, Mayor Haas worked through all the columns to fill in the blanks. When the council got to the columns dealing with the sewer system and the revenues for it, they addressed the desire to increase the rates for vacant buildings in which the sewers were not being used. This would affect the Herrons and Allens, as well as others who did not attend either meeting.

Discussion covered where the actual expenses are incurred for the sewer system and what percentage of those expenses were due to actual use. The discussion then jumped to actual expenses for the water system by comparison, and what rates are charged for non-use to owners who leave for several months at a time. Councilman Davenport had prepared information for the council members and landowners affected by the proposed rate increase to show his understanding of the issue to retain the present rate for vacant buildings. No vote was taken. The Herrons and Allens agreed to accept a minor increase in their rate but were opposed to paying a full rate for a system not in use. Following those remarks, these visitors left, and the council continued on the list on other budget items. Due to the length of the discussion, this reporter was not available for the conclusion of the meeting.

Community Thanksgiving Worship

On Sunday evening, November 19, the Harrington community united for a pre-Thanksgiving worship service at the Harrington Opera House by invitation of the Harrington Ministerial Association. As early as 4 p.m., musicians began bringing their equipment for the Praise Team to lead the congregation in song. The group was set up by 5:15 and began their practice in the auditorium. The Praise Team was composed of Tony Hamilton on guitar, Sheryl Stedman, Jen Mallery and Meagan Mallery handling rhythm, Becky Hardy on keyboard, Stephen Hardy on electric guitar, Darren Bowers on drums, Jon Larsell on banjo and Dillon Haas on guitar. Prior to 6 p.m., Becky Hardy began prelude music on the keyboard.

Welcoming remarks and a prayer were offered by Pastor Cade Clarke of the Church of the Nazarene. Worship by the Praise Team began with "Come Into His Presence", "Hosanna, Hosanna" and "Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart." They concluded with "Good, Good Father." The offertory, "In This Very Room," was played by Linda Wagner on the grand piano, and sung by Rollie Behrens and Beth Oestreich. Scripture readings from the Book of Psalms were read by Jo Gooley of St. Francis of Assisi.

Pastor Michelle Mitchell of the United Methodist Church gave the sermon: "Jesus." She spoke of unity in the fellowship and unity in Christ. One needed to be listening quickly to catch all that she had to say. A few of her remarks follow. "Christians sometimes suffer from a Jesus-deficit disorder. Christians are so busy with all good things; most of what we value is good. There is only one thing really, Jesus Christ. Not doctrine, not ethics, not good teaching. In the Book of John, Chapter 5, Jesus reprimanded them, 'You study diligently, testify about me and yet you don't recognize me.' Jesus Christ is beyond anything we can imagine. Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. There was that book some years ago titled What would Jesus Do? Too often people try to copy Him, try to act right, do right. Surrender to Jesus, let Him in your heart, make Him your life, your center. He is in God, and God is in Him. When you accept Him, He is in you and living through you."

As Dr Mitchell said at the beginning of her message, this is not a typical Thanksgiving message, but definitely "what I am most thankful for."

The Praise Team sang and played "Give Me Jesus." Pastor Tony Hamilton gave the benediction and Billie Herron played the postlude on the grand piano.

 

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