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City Commission flips calendar early, starts tackling 2013 issues

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 2nd, 2013

HURON – On the last day of 2012, the City Commission looked ahead to the new year by renewing professional contracts and approving the pay schedule for city employees, both union and non-union members.

But 2013 begins with uncertainty in one area as the board failed to agree on how the city will handle towing services. That issue will likely be considered again next Monday.

Commissioners are giving city workers a 2.5 percent wage increase plus a one-time $500 health insurance bonus if sales tax revenues increase by 3 percent.

The city is saving money on its health insurance premiums because the deductibles have been increased.

Contract amendments with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3A and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 169 also reflect the wage increase and bonus.

Commissioners renewed the contract of City Attorney Gerry Kaufman with a retainer of $4,493 per month and the contract of golf professional Jim Bigelow for $18,296.

But commissioners voted 3-1 against a towing services plan recommended by Public Safety Commissioner Mark Robish that would have meant a rotating monthly schedule with Lincoln Auto Salvage and Rudy’s Towing & Repair. Mayor David McGirr was not in attendance Monday.

Both companies submitted proposals for towing services at the request of the city. There was some concern about setting a precedent with future goods and services provided to the city when they are under the amount needed to call for bids.

Commissioners gave second and final reading of a health insurance for retirees ordinance that means retired city employees participating in the city’s health insurance program will transfer to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, commonly known as COBRA.

After COBRA, they will be able to purchase insurance from an exchange in 2014 as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, the board adopted a resolution for the special assessment roll for curb, gutter and pavement improvements completed this year.

Representing the Huron Christian Church, Garth Couey said the congregation has concerns about the fact that the estimated cost of the project rose about 25 percent, and that members were not aware of the project itself until after the petition for it had been filed.

The project cost was higher because one stretch of road required extra gravel work to make it stable. That fact was unknown until the work got under way, said City Engineer Mike Wever.

Commissioners also:

• Said the Tuesday solid waste collection routes will be done on Wednesday due to the New Year’s Day holiday. But containers should be set out Tuesday night because routes can start as early as 6 a.m. and trucks won’t be rerouted.

• Approved a change order and final payment for street improvement work done by Asphalt Paving & Materials Co. of Huron. The change order reduces the cost by $306,242 because two streets won’t be paved until next year to allow time for the ground to settle after underground work was done. The final payment is $68,840.

• Approved a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license for a chamber mixer Jan. 8 at the James Valley Community Health Center in the Huron Mall.

• Adopted a resolution setting fees for city services for 2013.

• Reappointed Rick Sabers and appointed Perry Danforth to the Golf Course Commission. Danforth succeeds Todd Evans whose term is expiring.

For the complete article see the 01-01-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-01-2013 paper.

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