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City Council handles routine business, make appointment

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington City Council Monday approved permits, accepted a franchise fee check, and appointed a new member to the Hartington Tree Board.

The Council approved a building permit for Michael Erickson for a new shed behind his Westfield Acres home. A building permit for Sheila Becker was also approved for a new home she plans to have built inside the one mile radius of the city.

Hartelco CEO Tom Noecker presented the Council with a $2,083 check to pay the cable television system’s annual franchise fee.

The franchise agreement, which was first signed between the Hartington Telephone Company and the city back in 1980, calls for the city to receive four percent of the annual revenue from the company’s basic cable package.

The Council also granted a variance to Hartington-Newcastle school for an addition they are building to the south of the current elementary school structure. The variance overrides current city code to make a plumbing change in the building addition.

The Council also approved the recommendation of Hartington Tree Board Chairman Dan Kathol to appoint Easther Larsen to the Tree Board. She replaces Andy Anderson, who resigned from the board.

Kathol said Larsen works at Bomgaars and has shown she is passionate about trees and shrubs. That’s the type of person we need, he said.

In other action, the Council granted a permit to Fly by Night Fireworks to once again sell fireworks in the city limits. In the past the Norfolk-based company has set up a trailer north of Casey’s General Store off of Highway 57.

Softball league coordinator Brice Grutsch presented some proposed equipment expenditures for the program.

The Council also reviewed an income and expense report from the Baseball-Softball Association. Expenses to date have been for tournament registration fees, new scorebooks and for umpires.

The Council also learned the baseball-softball Association recently received $500 from a special promotion conducted by Pearson Motor Company.

The Council has begun taking a more active role in the summer youth programs since last meeting with their auditor.

The auditor advised that they needed to keep abreast of expenses from the program, noting that several communities have had issues because they did not keep close tabs on such organizations.

Councilman Roman Sudbeck told the Council the landscaping project at the shelter house was completed earlier in the day. New landscaping was installed on both the north and south side of the facility. New sidewalk was also poured.

Council President Brad Peitz said the city may need to look into changing the Hartington Community Recreation Complex restroom doors.

The wind can cause quite a bit of damage to those doors when it blows, he said.

Something will also need to be done about parking at the facility, Peitz said.

“When that storm blew through it could have been a real disaster,” Peitz said, noting that people were parking in three-deep rows and not leaving space for cars to get out of the lot.

JEO engineer Baylor Bestgen was on hand to introduce himself to the Council. He will now have Hartington as part of his territory, so he will be working with the city on state road program assistance paperwork, to help get the city its proper amount of state highway allocation funding.

The Council also presented a $250 check from ACE to the Pleasant Dale 4H Club.

The next City Council meeting will be June 13 at 7 p.m.