The Odessa Record -

HOHS events through December; Council receives thorough treasurer report

 
Series: Harrington News | Story 51

October 17, 2019

Courtesy photo

The Harrington Town Square "wall project" (a single layer of brick owned by the city) is underway. The ground has been excavated and seven trees have been planted with electricity and water being planned for the lot in the near future.

HOHS meeting

The Harrington Opera House Society met for its monthly meeting October 7 with Mark and Sheryl Stedman, Carol, Linda Wagner, Ed and Bunny Haugan, Gordon and Billie Herron, Karen Robertson, Patra Canfield and Kris Moritz present.

The building committee reported that the yearly elevator inspection and maintenance by Mobility Concepts was reviewed. The projects of the lobby door handle latch and the installation of the gate for the long staircase are still hovering. Building winterization will be scheduled for the end of December, following the last event of the year. Mention was made of the defibrillator unit and a floor plan for the location of the fire extinguishers. A request has been made for a hand rail to be placed on the lobby staircase on the descending right-hand side. An evacuation chair for the long stair case topic was revisited with the plan now to consult with Scott McGowan on proper equipment for purchase.

Upholstering the auditorium seating was favorably discussed. Billie Herron offered to bring estimates back to the group. Lighting was determined to be the next step for the current Rummage Room work, which must follow the removal of the sub-ceiling planned for this winter season. HOHS is hoping to be able to return to a music program in the Art Room with lessons on piano and other instruments.

The recap of events of Fall Fest was favorable for both days of the Rummage Fundraiser, in spite of the weather. JayDean Ludiker and Group Therapy were deemed a grand success with a full house. It was noted that the audience really seemed to enjoy the sing-along. The scholarship fund-raiser's silent auction was a real crowd pleaser as the results were read from the stage. Both groups were touched by the generosity of the attending patrons.

New events for the schedule: Carol announced an end of season Rummage Fundraiser set for October 26. A Mark Twain show has been scheduled for Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Patrick Treadway will present "Memories with Mark Twain," a humorous one-man show crafted from Twain's own words and spirit. Treadway is an actor trained at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, a puppeteer and visual artist. He has entertained in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene since 1988. Local flutist, Alicia Mielke is scheduled for Nov 17 at the Opera House (preceded by "Barn Concerts" on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 1 p.m.) A Community Thanksgiving service is being planned for Nov. 24, Sunday, at 5 p.m. Pictures with Santa and the Christmas Rummage are scheduled for Dec. 7, hours to be determined. Dec. 11 is set aside for a program by the local school, with details to be forthcoming.

City Council

The Harrington City Council met Oct. 9, with Mayor Justin Slack at the helm and a full council (Schenk, Davenport, Tipton, MacClellan and Luck, as well as City Clerk Bunny Haugan, Asst. Clerk Janice Cepeda (Jantz), Treasurer Mike Cronrath and guests Jesse Silhan, Marge Womach, Dave Buddrius, Denisa Holling and Lauren Stout. Several additions were made to the agenda including an update on the budget and a report from the treasurer. Minutes of the September council meeting were approved, as were the bills presented. Numerous questions were raised regarding specifics of bills. Minutes were not taken for the Special Meeting on September 30.

Mike Cronrath, City Treasurer, gave an in-depth presentation to the Council regarding how the treasurer accounts for money and the checks and balances that occur. He handed statistical spreadsheets (Final Treasurer's Report for Sept. 2019) to the council members and visitors. "Daily community members pay fees or donations in cash and checks. The clerk writes receipts and makes deposits. These deposit sheets list the specific fund to which the money goes." The most frequent payments the city receives are of course the water, sewer and garbage bill, but these too must be divided including the taxes. Cronrath brought out the deposit pad and showed the council how the list is made on the edge of the deposit slip. He went on to state "The treasurer gets a copy and logs this money into each separate fund." He gave a brief explanation of the inter-fund transfer (IFT), claims or payroll. The spreadsheet showed each of the various funds: current expense, water, sewer fund, sewer construction, garbage, sewer bond redemption, sewer bond repayment, street, arterial street, street construction, cemetery, cemetery endowment, cemetery improvement, library, capital improvement, criminal justice, water deposit, claims clearing, payroll clearing, developmental reserve, water reserve, sewer reserve, treasurer's reserve and intergovernmental reserve. At the conclusion of his presentation one could see how the treasurer and city clerk work together to ensure that the checks and balances show accurate results.

Council discussed the Small Water System Funding and the need for the five-year loan of $34,500. Steve Marsh (of the engineering firm TD&H) says "go forward," which would mean that the water rates will necessarily rise by $2.77 per month in order to pay back the loan. Motion was made by Davenport with second by Schenk, passing, with a vote of 5-0.

Council discussed the Dept. of Ecology and suggestions by Andy Tom (contractor) regarding the $22,000 grant and the upcoming $22,000 loan. A motion to go forward with the project (for the hydrogeology report and equipment) and accept the $22,000 grant was approved 5-0. Scott McGowan, who was not present at this meeting, has declined to gain accreditation with the Dept. of Ecology, and the city will continue hiring a part-time person who has the level II accreditation for the state's requirements.

The Dept. of Ecology requires Daily Monitoring Reports as a part of the Waste Water Treatment Plant project. In 2015, Mayor Haas failed to meet the state's requirements, and the city was fined and managed to get it reduced to a period of probation. The DOE contacted the operator for Harrington stating they had changed the format and assigning a date for the report to be turned in, but she was not able to be in town to process and present the papers. DOE had notified the mayor, clerk, and maintenance man that the form was not being submitted. When the city received the notification, McGowan was the only one able to provide the information, and he did not respond. Consequently, the city has received a $5,000 fine for failure to comply. Since the city has been on probation, there was no room for discussion.

Mayor Slack informed the council of the progress on GIS mapping of the city's buried lines: 65 sewer main lines, 77 manholes, seven storm water mains and 38 fire hydrants. These are all displayed in color on maps for easy reference. "There is a long list of city assets that can be added, which makes this a fantastic asset management tool," commented a council member.

Tipton gave an update of the Town Square "wall project" which is the single layer of brick that the city owns which stands against the north side of the Herron's building. Crews are working on the wall daily. He reported that the excavator worked 6½ hours grading Saturday, that seven trees were planted (all were sponsored) and that over $9,500 was raised on the Friday and Saturday of Fall Festival with more coming in from alumni by mail. Electricity and water are being planned for the lot. Tipton is continuing to work toward obtaining another grant to keep the project going.

Other issues included Haugan reporting that a customer who purchased a building permit about two years ago, has since decided not to build and wants a refund on the permit. Since the city already earned the money, the council could not refund any money. Per the applicable ordinance, after this length of time, the customer would need to purchase a new building permit as that permit has now expired.

Mayor Slack stated that there will be a 2.1 percent garbage fee increase as of February 1, 2020. Local Fire District #6 wants to incorporate Harrington City into their district, and the city residents will have to vote on it. Presently, the city is not in their district and receives coverage from the district in exchange for their water and sewer fees. The Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council will meet in Wenatchee, and council member MacClellan will attend.

The public hearing for the preliminary 2020 Harrington city budget will take place Nov. 13, during the regular City Council meeting. At this same meeting, the public hearing on revenue sources and levy setting will also take place.

 

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