Highland Postpones Vote On Willow Creek Subdivision Street Light Project

By Stephanie Malench

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The Highland City Council met on February 1 via teleconference. During Citizen requests and comments, Sue Zobrist, manager of Highland Speedway announced that the schedule for this season will start on Sunday, March 14 and end on Saturday, October 23.

Zobrist also announced the Madison County Fair is scheduled for July 27 through August 1 for this summer. Organizers expect 25,000 people to attend the four day event.

Two resolutions were postponed regarding replacement street lighting for the Willow Creek subdivision. The first resolution would have allowed the city to enter a contract with the Willow Creek Homeowners’ Association to install new street lights.

The Homeowners Association had agreed to pay 75% of the costs for the poles and fixtures over three years in 25% increments, and the city would have paid the other 25%, done the installation, and provided the maintenance on the lights. The original plan would have split the cost 50/50 between the HOA and the city.

Councilperson Peg Bellm raised concerns that this was not a good time for the city to be spending money during the reduced income in the City due to COVID-19. The City’s share of the project would be $37,950 that was not approved in the 2021 budget in addition to the $20,000 it would cost in city labor that could be used for other projects.

The City would also be financing the entire project since the HOA does not collect enough in fees from the approximately 35 houses in the subdivision to pay for their whole share of the project at once.

Councilperson Rick Frey also raised concerns that approving the project would set a precedence for future agreements with subdivisions.

Dan Cook, director of Highland Light and Power, expressed concerns that although some of the lights are in ill-repair, that as trends change, the parts needed to repair the lights will not be available years down the road and that another large expenditure would need to be made to replace all of the lights again.

Interim City Manager Chris Conrad said he would go back to the table with the HOA and try to work out a new agreement.

The second related motion that was postponed would have allowed the city to approve bids for the purchase and replacement of the street lights.

The City approved an ordinance leasing the strip of grass between Chippers and the city parking lot at 1017 Main St. to DJR Properties which owns the building for $500 per year.

A resolution approving a change order to the public safety building construction project due to adding the construction and installation of the radio tower and associated equipment to make the project more efficient. $33,530.85 will be moved to the contract price for the construction project instead of an independent cost.

A motion was approved awarding a bid to Haier Plumbing and Heating, Inc. for $152,890 to complete the Keeven Water Main replacement project between the water treatment plant to the El Kay Meadows subdivision. The city now owns the main and will replace the stretch from the plant to Prairie Rd.

The final motion of the evening was a resolution approving an agreement with Warnermedia Network Sales for the Highland Communication Services and Turner Networks.

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