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Armstrong council OKs 3 percent raise

October 1, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Over concerns by one council member, the Armstrong City Council Monday approved a 3 percent raise for full-time employees - a total impact of $3,476 on the city budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

Council member Adrian Hagebock reported the personnel committee's recommendation for the raise to the council.

"With today's economy, I don't know if we should be giving raises. That's my opinion," observed council member Warren Haeckel.

Hagebock said though with unemployment approaching zero percent in the area, a raise might be needed to keep good employees.

"If you've got good employees, you've got to keep them," Hagebock said.

Council member Dave Grussing said too that the cost of hiring new employees would more than offset the raise, so he moved the raise be approved. The council approved, with Haeckel voting against the motion.

The council also agreed to send a letter to the United State Postal Service advocating that it keep the Armstrong Post Office open at least six hours a day.

According to a letter from Karen Lenane of the Postal Service, the Postal Service is conducting a community survey to determine how to best provide postal services.

Unless more than 60 percent of the community wants to conduct a discontinuance study, Lenane said the Postal Service intends to maintain the Armstrong Post Office with six hours of window service each weekday.

Council member Don Leach said the city needed to get GKN and Art's-Way to both weigh in on the issue since they're major local businesses.

The council agreed to a letter of support to keep the Post Office open for at least six hours a day. Mayor Marv Dailey said a copy should also be sent to the U.S. representative.

Maintenance director Tom Leach said water leaks had been fixed at several locations in town and that the pool had been drained and the water shut off.

Connie Thackery, city clerk, said an announcement would be put in the Armstrong Journal Oct. 10 that yard waste pickup would start Oct. 15. She said pickup could go into November.

The council also discussed a possible city-wide burning ban and tabled bids for a roof on the water plant. Council member Dave Grussing asked that the motion be amended to solicit bids in January for March opening, and the council approved.

The council also agreed to waive subdivision rules for Art's-Way property for a playground requirement. Also approved were two resolutions - one to set a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Valley Vue urban renewal plan and the other to set a public hearing on Nov. 12 on the proposed agreement for private development between the city and Casey's General Store.

Haeckel asked about when repairs would be made to the old water tower, and Leach said Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, S.D. may be able to inspect it in November.



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