A Harrison resident requested the city consider a blight ordinance at the Sept. 10, 2020, city council meeting.
The resident, who did not provide her name, asked the city to consider an ordinance that would enforce aesthetic standards for properties in the city. She pointed to the defunct school as one example.
“The biggest one in Harrison is the schoolhouse. Not only is it the biggest blight on the books but it’s a nuisance as well,” she said.
Councilmembers discussed the issue, including enforcement of current ordinances, but took no action.
The resident said that she wants the council to address blight to make the town a more attractive option for new residents.
“People don’t want to move here if they see rundown buildings,” she said.
The city did take action to hire a new public works supervisor. Mayor Hall recommended current city employee Kelly Kilian be promoted to the position.
Mr. Kilian received unanimous approval by the council.
The city also approved a wage increase for the position of public works supervisor as a condition of Mr. Kilian’s promotion to the role. The council approved a wage increase for Mr. Kilian from $15 to $18 per hour.
The former supervisor, Wesley Rice, is now employed as the head of public works for the city of Plummer.
The search for a city treasurer continues in Harrison.
“There’s a lot going on at city hall. Jessica is working her tail off. We have yet to find a treasurer. If you know of anybody Jess could really use some help. I could use some help,” Mayor Jordan Hall said at the Sept. 10 city council meeting.
Jessica Hutson was made interim treasurer in August to assist with completion of a city audit. Ms. Hutson previously held the role following the departure of Kara Henderson earlier this year.
Harrison City Council Members voted to reschedule a fee schedule review workshop to Sept. 22, 2020.
The city is contemplating utility and fee increases. Mayor Hall stated at a previous meeting the city had not seen a utility increase in approximately 20 years and was not collecting enough revenue to cover utility costs. The city is also considering fees for water shutoff services often requested by part-time residents of the city.
The workshop was originally scheduled for Sept. 21.
In other news:
• The city is working to address a malfunctioning valve impacting the discharge rate of the sewage treatment facility. Repair of the valve is anticipated to cost $900 to $1,200. Mayor Hall said that the valve has not caused an overflow.
• A bid of approximately $2,200 was received from Leader Communications for internet upgrades to the Harrison RV Park. Mayor Hall said he would seek a second bid. No action was taken.
• A floodlight was installed at the public restroom in the city park in Harrison.
• Mayor Hall announced that Harrison City Attorney Kinzo Mihara was nominated for a Carnegie Hero Award. In June, Mr. Mihara and another individual came to the aid of two victims whose helicopter crashed south of Rathdrum.
• The next city council meeting is Oct. 8, 2020. Due to COVID-19 city meetings are temporarily relocated to the Harrison Senior Center and limited to the first six members of the public. They can also be joined telephonically. Instructions to participate via phone are included on the meeting agenda posted on the city website prior to each meeting.