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Highland City Council Approves Digitizing Cemetery Records

     By Jake Leonard

“`Business in the January 4, 2022 meeting of the Highland City Council was rather light in their first meeting of the new year.

Following approval of the meeting minutes from the December 20 meeting and with no one in line to make public comments, the council proceeded to swear in Kerry Federer as Interim Fire Chief. The council then proceeded to new business items after the delivery of staff reports. Among remarks during staff reports was a discussion on terminal fees for gaming machines within the city. No action was taken on the matter, and the discussion will continue in February.

The first motion of the night was a resolution to support fair housing. The resolution is an annual resolution calling for fair housing in the City of Highland.

The second motion is for approval of a Vivicast system participation agreement in relation to carriage of Bloomberg Television through Highland Communications Services (HCS). Bloomberg Television is a multi-national business news network based in New York City that also operates a newswire service founded by businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The carriage deal would allow HCS to carry Bloomberg through the end of 2024 if approved by the council.

The third motion for approval was an authorization for the city to enter a contract with Pontem Software for cemetery records management.

Leading up to the motion, the committee tasked to evaluate proposals for cemetery records management for the city with ten vendors including Pontem.

Pontem will install a data management application on the city server, convert legacy cemetery data, implement an integration of client-provided geodatabases, enact staff onboarding and training, and establish a searchable online platform to find burial information and location.

The initial project cost comes to $17,455 with an annual operational cost of $2,280. Once the scope of work is accepted, a payment of $12,955 will need to be paid to Pontem. The city had already paid a $1,000 deposit on the project. The project, barring any potential unforeseen delays, should be completed within a 10-week period.

The fourth motion in consideration was for authorization to enter a contact with DocuSign for electronic signature services. The contract comes at a cost of $9,611.50 for a one-year contract agreement.

A lease agreement for shared space at the Korte Recreation Center was the fifth motion on the docket. Stephanie Boyce and Bodz by Boyce LLC desired to enter into an agreement to lease space at the center for training and workout space. In the agreement, the Korte Center will receive 20 percent of proceeds collected by Boyce in addition to requirements that Boyce must acquire commercial general liability insurance coverage.

The issue of authorizing the purchase of two new dump trucks for water distribution and sewer collection, as well as for the Street and Alley divisions of Public Works was the sixth motion on the agenda. The purchases will replace a tandem dump truck in the Water/Sewer department and a single-axle dump truck in Streets and Alleys. Both vehicles needing replacement were manufactured in 2001. Upon replacement, the former vehicles will be retained as backup trucks.

Finally, the City of Highland motioned to enter a renewal agreement with St. Jacob Fire Protection District for ambulance services. The district will pay the city $71,487 for the first year of the agreement, with St. Jacob’s residents agreeing to pay charges set forth for ambulance services. The agreement is for two years through 2024. The initial figure was based on current levy rates, with the payment needing paid by November.

In other business, a motion was place on the floor to approve expenditures for the period of December 18-31.

All motions in this meeting passed unanimously.

The Highland City Council will be back in session on Tuesday, Jan. 18 unless another date is set by the Council.

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