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Highland Swears In Officials, Hires Conrad As Permanent City Manager

By Stephanie Malench

The Highland City Council started its May 3 meeting with a special session swearing in of all of its returning officials (Councilwoman Peggy Bellm, Councilman Rick J. Frey, City Treasurer Neill Nicolaides, and City Clerk Barbara Bellm) and new mayor Kevin B. Hemann, who had served as interim mayor the past two meetings after the passing of  Joe Michaelis on March 24.

At the beginning of the regular session, Hemann proclaimed the month of May Motorcycle Awareness month. The proclamation also recognizes A,B.A.T.E. (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) for continually promoting motorcycle safety, education and awareness.

A special event application was approved for the VFW Post 5694 and the American Legion Post 439 to hold their Memorial Day Parade on Memorial Day, May 31, beginning in the St. Paul Parking lot at 1:00 p.m. and ending at the VFW, 1900 VFW Rd.

The organizations also requested the city donate $200 to the Highland High School band to participate, which will be paid out of the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund.

Another special event application was approved for St. Paul School to close Lemon St. between 8th and 9th streets on May 13 for Student Appreciation Day.

The Mayor reappointed and the council approved five members to the Industrial Development Commission- Jim Meridith, Diane Korte-Lindsay, Jon Greve, Marshall Rinerer, and Josh Kloss.

A resolution was passed authorizing $795 in Hotel/Motel Tax money to be used for Parks and Recreation Google Virtual Advertising.

Interim City Manager Chris Conrad was promoted to full City Manager. Conrad’s salary and benefits will total $167,693.16, of which $140,004.80 is his annual salary.

A notice of municipal letting was opened allowing for the purchase of 23 new lights for the Willow Creek Subdivision. The current lights are 35 years old an replacement parts are no longer available. The City will pay $400 towards each light and the homeowners association will pay the rest, with the city then taking over ownership, maintenance and replacement of the LED lights.

A second notice of municipal letting was approved for the purchase of a new 4×4 pick up truck for the parks and recreation department.

Two bills were passed waiving the normal and customary bidding procedures and authorized the purchase of dispatch consoles and appliances for the new public safety building.

An ordinance was passed declaring miscellaneous items of surplus property to be disposed of as scrap as the items were damaged and irreparable. Another ordinance was passed declaring a 1998 Ford Ranger Pick Up as surplus due it having been totaled in an accident where the repairs would have cost more than the value of the truck.

A third ordinance was passed authorizing the sale or disposal of transformers and a generator belonging to Highland Light and Power.

The city also approved an ordinance waiving collection of recapture fees  related to construction of roadway connecting Quail and Falcon Drives. The empty lot owned by Bill and Wanda Fennel was used to continue the roadway and construct an underground sewer. They now plan to sell part of the property to Feldman Homes to be a 9 home subdivision to be annexed into the city.

A change order was approved for the recently completed traffic signal project at U.S. 40/Hemlock/Frank Watson Parkway for an increase in final cost by $5,141.82.

A collective bargaining agreement between the city and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 3672 on behalf of the Emergency Medical Technicians was approved, including blat rate increases for EMT-B’s to keep them above minimum wage.

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