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Harrington news

Fall festival, summer reading, rummage sale

 


HOHS

Monday, July 9, the Harrington Opera House Society met in the Art Room at 7 p.m. with Ed and Bunny Haugan, Billie and Gordon Herron, Mark and Sheryl Stedman, Linda Wagner, Marge Womach, Carol, Ellen Evans, and Becky Moeller present. Minutes and treasurer’s report were approved. It was reported that US Bank had approved the grant for $1,000. The building committee reported that the rest room molding has been done. Remaining projects include the handrail for the old stairs, weatherization, back stairs for the fire exit and installation of a gas furnace to reduce the electric bill. Discussion was held concerning the option of selling tickets or admission by donation. The general consensus was to try admission by donation for the rest of this year to make performances more available to families. The purpose of the Art Room was also discussed with the thought that perhaps it should be used strictly for “the Arts.” There is an opportunity for having a fiddler concert in October. The only event for the summer is the July 14 rummage sale.

Chamber of Commerce

The Harrington Chamber of Commerce met July 11 at the Post & Office with Tim Tipton, Paula Harrington, Cindy Haase, Jill Plaskon, Cherie MacClellan, Cade Clarke, Bunny Haugan, Heather Slack, Jay Gossett, Rollie Behrens, Dave Michaelson and Chris Paxton present. Minutes were approved and the treasurer’s report reflected a balance of about $9,000. Expenses from Cruizin’ Harrington were slightly more than the income; however, profit is not the goal. Members were well pleased.

Chamber had applied for a grant from Empire Health which did not come through due to stiff competition. Other options were discussed in an effort to move forward on the vacant lot project often referred to as Opera House Square. Chamber is restricted by the City Council on what can be done with the lot and Tipton will take the issue to the City Council. Some discussion occurred regarding using a silo top in the design of the park for the lot.

Preparations are being made for the Fall Festival. Plaskon received notice that people are coming for the Pinewood Derby. Slack received $150 from the Lion’s Club to pay for Fall Festival advertising which Haase will do. Due to the success of Facebook “boost” ads, the Chamber would like to use them again. The upcoming Chamber Newsletter will include a schedule of events which will include the parade, the Golf Course Raffle, lunch at the Golf Course, a beer garden, vendors, pet zoo for children, a bounce house, snow cone vendor and other children’s activities. Pastor Cade will have children’s games at the Nazarene Church. The FFA will have the Fun Run and a pancake breakfast. The Chamber Newsletter deadline for submissions is Aug. 24.

Other discussions took place regarding support of local businesses, including having the Small Business Administration do a presentation and use of Better Business Bureau signs.

City Council

On July 11, the city council met from 7:30 to nearly 11 p.m. with Mayor Dillon Haas, clerk Bunny Haugan, maintenance man Scott McGowan, and councilmen Davenport, Tipton, Cronrath, Slack and Schenk present; as well as three visitors, Jay Gossett, Marge Womach and Cherie MacClellan. After recognizing visitors, the mayor and council removed themselves for a 15-minute executive session on public employee performance. After those minutes passed, Councilman Cronrath told the public meeting that the executive session would extend another five minutes, after which they returned to the public meeting without comment on the private session.

Haas opened the Hearing for Historic Register Properties for the two buildings owned by Justin and Heather Slack on Third Street. The corner building was built to house the Harrington State Bank and the building next to it was for the Ivy Leaf Cafe. Major restoration has already occurred under their ownership, and the council is pleased with the improvement and business that they are managing. The Council voted 4-0-1 to approve the buildings for the Historic Register, Slack abstaining due to ownership. The Harrington Historic Preservation Commission wants to advertise for new members. They also requested funds for reimbursement for attending a workshop and funds for plaques for all buildings on the Historic Register. Council voted 5-0-0 to reimburse and all council members were in support of the plaques.

An update was given on the McGregor building. The city attorney is to draft a purchase agreement. The council needs Steven Marsh to return to work on the Capital Improvement Plan.

The Code Enforcement Officer has sent letters on two properties. Councilman Slack went around the town taking pictures to go with names and addresses to give to the Enforcement Officer. Discussion was held regarding the job description and duties which the council wants to pass via email by August 4, prior to the next council meeting.

The amendment to Ordinance #319 to create a legal right for citizens to have chickens within the city limits was found to be invalid by the city attorney. Ordinance #319 is a “zoning” ordinance and in order to make changes in it there must be a public hearing prior to any vote and the entire ordinance would need to be rewritten. It was suggested that the council have the city attorney draft a legal ordinance to suit their purposes.

Under the maintenance report, issues of property not being taken care of was discussed, which included right of way pieces, no man’s land and fire hazards. The maintenance crew is picking up the mowing of more of these pieces.

Tipton showed the council members a copy of a design or conceptual plan offered for the vacant lot. He is seeking approval from the council for the Chamber to move ahead on the project. If the plan were to be followed and all items in the design were purchased, it could cost from $45,000 to $200,000. For instance, the use of a silo could cost $60,000; however, there are several people who offered to donate a silo for the park. The Chamber and group working on the plans for the vacant lot are preparing to define the phases for development of the lot. Tipton added “no shovels yet”. The Council voted to encourage the vacant lot committee to go ahead with the project, 5-0-0.

Tipton and Slack brought information to the council from meetings of the Association of Washington Cities and made mention of the great quantity of information that they have available on their website.

Summer Reading Program

Under the leadership of Victoria Rice, the second session of the Harrington Library Summer Reading Program began at 2 p.m. with 13 present. The children and aides from the school program joined the local program for a fun and educational two hours of learning music notes and hearing about the different classes of musical instruments. Lynn Rice was recruited to play his guitar and discuss how he learned to play and sing. He stated that he began with easy chord books followed by music books. Learning to play any instrument takes time and practice. He also sang “Trail Songs” and had a good dialogue with the children. Several said that they have a guitar.

Victoria had the children make sentences out of the letters representing the notes and read to them about notes, and higher and lower pitches.

They enjoyed a snack time which was followed with a STEM Project: the children made plastic acoustics with toilet paper, sour cream containers wrapped in fabric with rubber bands over the top and then designed their own guitar pick. The children had fun with musical chairs which was played to classical music on string instruments. Each received an ice cream sandwich on their way out of the library.

HOHS rummage sale

Donors were plentiful for the July 14 rummage sale at the Opera House. Furniture and kitchen appliances were in abundance, as were glassware and books. Donors furnished the items and the items were then carried off by other donors. Many participated at both ends of the exchange, donating items and then making purchases. One would think that a sale in this extreme heat would not be successful, but for the bargains that were taking place, the heat seemed not to be a deterrent. Six hundred dollars was received in the one day sale, closing at 3 p.m. Tours were given of the Opera House by members throughout the day. One group from the west side was also researching the Hinshaw family. They admired Harrington Hillcrest Cemetery prior to making a trip to the Downs Cemetery to visit and photograph the grave sites there.

 

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