Money allocated to library fund, code enforcement car: Council approves use of up to $100,000

HARRINGTON — The Harrington City Council approved the allocation of up to $100,000 of the $149,250 in extraordinary revenue from the City’s Capitol Improvement Project, CIP, fund towards various needs after a heated discussion during its April 20 meeting.

The CIP fund is fueled by transfer taxes given to the city after private property sales. Councilman Wayne Porter said he was contacted after the city council workshop on April 13 by citizens who thought this money came from the 49 percent tax increase issued last year instead.

“The only thing that bothers me is when people put the stuff out: don’t put the half-truth out, put the whole truth,” he said. “Just don’t go out there and say ‘These six clowns sitting around the table are going to spend our money like that.’ It’s not a budget item, it’s free money.”

The purchase of a code enforcement car for City Hall was approved up to $25,000 as the current car has ‘died’ according to City Manager Terry Tieman. Excess funds will remain in the CIP fund for other needs.

The city will also be putting aside $75,000 of these funds to go towards the new library project.

“We’re not handing it to them, we are allocating it, we’ve made the commitment to give them that money if the library plans go forward,” Mayor Anthony Moyer said.

Ms. Tieman clarified during the meeting that she wishes to also purchase camera systems for the library, public works areas, wells and the parks and recreation building. The council did not approve these purchases, instead they approved price checking for the systems before purchasing.

“I stand behind this. I may not stand behind the amounts,” Mr. Moyer said, adding that he thought of the requested items as ‘corrective actions.’ “I do believe I’m frugal. I don’t want to buy used stuff anymore. I’m tired of paying the cost of keeping things up and running. We can’t continue on like that.”

Public hearings scheduled, honorees discussed

Public hearings will take place during the next city council meeting to be held on May 18 at 7 p.m. to discuss rental license fines and the “proposed funding of up to $520,000 of a general obligation bond to finance the cost of inflow and infiltration repairs,” according to Ms. Tieman.

The funding is part of a grant and loan package through the U.S. Department of Agriculture which includes the loan and a $580,000 grant.

“My understanding is that you have to borrow the money to get the grant money. We will be able to pay this loan back relatively quickly,” Mr. Moyer said.

The council also decided to place a plaque inside the new parks and recreation building to honor all those who have been “instrumental in establishing the Harrington Parks and Recreation Department,” such as William (Bill) Falasco, according to Ms. Tieman.

“Certainly they [Mr. Falasco and his wife Faye] have done a lot,” Marie Cunningham said. “Linda Chick started parks & Recs, then Donald Porter and Cheryl Lahman. I want to give maximum credit to Linda Chick in this and she should not be overlooked in these discussions.”

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