A deer in Harrison has a bright red trash can lid stuck around its neck.

At its regular monthly meeting last week, the Harrison City Council discussed several important issues of city governance, though none painted such a vivid mental picture as the animal with its new oversize necklace. The city is hoping to get the lid off but hasn’t quite managed to corral the doe yet.

“It’s city property, and we want it back!” said Public Works Supervisor Carlos Hill, smiling and laughing along with the councilmembers. Others who had seen it around town reported it was having no trouble eating, and its mobility seemed to be fine.

Hill also reported that with the city RV park closed for the season, work could begin on several repairs and maintenance items related to the park and other city property nearby. The most pressing of these were ongoing vandalism at the bathrooms there, which were often used by visiting boaters. The council speculated about the possibility that teenagers were challenging one another to cause the damage.

Councilmember Rusty Riberich, who teaches at St. Maries High School, said he firmly believed that the best way to prevent future destruction was to react quickly.

“We don’t slow down, we don’t stop, we are unaffected by vandals,” he said.

Hill said that all damage and repairs would be addressed as soon as possible.

Jim Kimball, an engineer coordinating the city’s wastewater treatment program, said he had run into some regulation issues with the funding he hoped to get for the city. The city has a temporary moratorium on adding new water and sewer hookups to its municipal system because of pollution. Kimball has been working on a long-term solution to this problem and also interim upgrades so the city can lift the moratorium.

Kimball spoke for about half an hour explaining the science he is using on these projects and explaining how the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) did not see the value in some of his methods. Ultimately, he said the city needed to pass a bond for about $2 million to fund the improvements.

“This is a lot of technical information, information that’s over a lot of our heads,” said Councilmember Joe Cornell. “We want to move forward, we want to solve these problems, but as much information is here, it’s still too vague.”

“If we’re talking about a bond, then we’re going to the public, and we need to be able to explain to them what we’re buying with the money,” Riberich added.

The council agreed to meet in a special session Nov. 30 to go over and clarify what Kimball needs to apply for IDEQ funding. He will have met with the agency by then. The application deadline for the funding is Jan. 23 of next year.

Jim Roletto with HMH Engineering also addressed the council to encourage the city to apply for more grants to improve the quality of roads and other infrastructure. He explained potential methods for doing so, and also said that holding public hearings would improve the city’s odds for receiving more funding. The council scheduled a hearing for 5:00 p.m. Dec. 9, an hour before their next regularly-scheduled meeting.

Lastly, the council went over changes to its personnel policy for city employees. Members debated the length of time an employee should work for the city before being eligible for health insurance and other benefits, drivers license and auto insurance requirements for employees, and whether employees should be compensated for overtime hours with time off, overtime pay, or be given the choice. The council decided to formally adopt the new policy at a later meeting.

The council will next meet at 6:00 p.m. Nov. 30 for a special session at the senior center in Harrison, and its next regular meeting will be Dec. 9 at the same time and place. City Hall can be reached at (208) 689-3212.

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