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Harrington news

Second Street project special meeting; PTA fundraiser for curtains


--Photos courtesy of Taunya Sanford.

Alyssa Oestreich and son Bayler, above, and Katie Steward and son Jack, below, spent time before Christmas with Kindergarten students at Harrington Elementary building houses out of graham crackers and decorating them with help from a family member.

City Council

A special meeting of the Harrington City Council was held December 20 with two items on the agenda: an update on the Second Street project and completion of the 2017 budget. Present were council members Richard Becker, Michael Cronrath, Peter Davenport, Levi Schenk and Justin Slack, mayor Dillon Haas, clerk Bunny Haugan, maintenance supervisor Scott McGowan, Bo McCanna of Belsby Engineering and visitors Crayton and Beth Oestreich, Stacey and Lance Rasmussen, Paul and Madison Charlton, Linda Wagner, Marge Womach and Cherie MacClellan.

McCanna, the Second Street project engineer, brought diagrams to show the property owners on the street where they had previously expressed concerns that the project was planned to have swales. "Swales are not likely in the final product," he said. With several pages of diagrams he readily discussed the sidewalks, gravel area, storm drains, parking lane, grass or no grass areas. After much planning and diagramming, his goal now sounds as though his intent is to "leave each homeowner's front yard as-is." The major issue of water directed to the base of the elevator is not resolved yet. Even at this late date, no specifics had been written for the council and property owners to read. But assurance was given that a summary would be provided the next day (which did in fact occur, and it is available for review by any interested persons).

Some of the specifications that McCanna sent to Harrington included that the Transportation Improvement Board is "requiring two 11-foot wide travel lanes and 8-foot wide paved parking on the west side of the street. The west side of Second Street will have a 1.5 foot wide, 6-inch tall curb and gutter adjacent to the 8-foot parking lane with 5-foot wide sidewalk against the back of the curb and gutter. This will shift the sidewalk approximately 12 feet toward the center of the road from its current location. The east side of the road will have drivable rolled curb and gutter adjacent to the 11-foot travel lane with 8-foot gravel parking behind the rolled curb and gutter. The sidewalk on the east side of Second Street between Lincoln and Douglas will be constructed in the same location it currently is. The sidewalk on the east side of Second Street between Adams and Douglas will be constructed 8-feet east of the rolled curb and gutter, behind the 8-foot gravel parking strip. An underground storm drainage system will be constructed to convey runoff to a swale located in the City's right of way adjacent to Third Street between Lincoln and Adams." Although none of the homeowners present had indicated a preference for decorative rock, McCanna noted that if the budget allows, "it might be possible to place decorative rock in some areas."

The homeowners seemed pleased with the presentation and with McCanna's adaptability to make the plans meet the owners' preferences which were based primarily on upkeep and maintaining a uniform appearance. This portion of the council meeting concluded and those interested solely in the Second Street project excused themselves as the meeting continued.

Following last week's somewhat contentious council meeting regarding Sheriff Wade Magers' new contract as presented by Mayor Haas, Councilman Slack met with Haas. They agreed to meet with County Commissioner Rob Coffman and Sheriff Wade Magers regarding the law enforcement contract. Lack of communication by both parties (city and sheriff) affected the original negotiations and resulted in unresolved issues. On December 20, when Magers, Coffman, Slack and Haas met face to face, they discussed the new proposed contract for $25,000. From that discussion, the proposal was brought to the council for approval. A new contract was not available for signatures at the time, but the 2017 budget now reflected this adjusted amount. The current contract, which is valid through 2019, was not discussed, and no actual contract was viewed. The new proposed contract is a major unforeseen increase in the city's expenses. This meeting left it unclear as to how much of the potential tax revenue increase would actually be received by the city in what had been promised to be a 60-40 split with the county (Public Safety Sales & Use Tax, 3/10 of 1 percent). The meeting then proceeded to other issues affecting the 2017 budget.

The apple maggot quarantine has caused some necessary changes in the hauling of refuse to a transfer station outside the quarantine zone. Harrington (and Sprague) can either take their garbage to the transfer station in Lincoln County at $96 per ton until March, when their rate will be $98, or transport to Spokane which is more expensive. It was decided that our hauler, Empire Disposal, will begin hauling to Lincoln County immediately, as Ritzville will not accept refuse from Harrington after January 1.

A line item for an enforcement officer was added to the budget, as was money for the "income survey" that will take place this year. Several minor changes were made in the budget and the council approved the City of Harrington budget for fiscal year 2017 and authorized the mayor to sign Ordinance 494 adopting the annual budget.

PTA soup bar

On December 22, in the Harrington school multipurpose room from 4:30 to 8 p.m., the PTA served a soup bar which consisted of five large pots (taco, potato, chicken noodle and two chili) served with homemade rolls and a brownie. They reported a very good turnout, with the Odessa-Harrington basketball team playing against Reardan. At only $5 per bowl, all that remained for choices before the dinner was even over was chili or chili with roll and brownie. This event was another project of the energetic PTA in their desire to furnish the stage with new curtains. The fabric is expensive, so watch for their next event and be supportive.


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