These were among the topics of discussion at the Jan. 10 Highland City Council meeting.
Street and Sewer superintendent Robert Monroe announced the sewer expansion in the city is moving along very well.
City Clerk Mary Wiles told the council that representatives of White River Planning and Development have been at city hall assisting those who qualify for assistance with sign up fees. She said there have not been as many people taking advantage as might qualify financially. Monroe said there have been no complaints and the city has obtained right of ways for all needed property for the sewer expansion.
Under the report for the fire department, council discussed imposing annual dues for all homeowners in the city's coverage area. In many cities, the amount is charged to residents on their personal property taxes. This is something the city is working on.
Alderman David Harris asked where the line is drawn for the Highland Fire Department. Acting Fire Chief Kal Dienst explained the city has a county map which shows each department's district, explaining most of the area's aren't city-only fire departments, and are required to cover areas outside city limits.
He explained when Act 833 came in to effect, insurance companies will not allow any area to be without coverage, Townships and rural areas are still guaranteed coverage through the act. Dienst explained Highland's coverage area joins Center, Ash Flat, Hardy and Cherokee Village, and all departments offer mutual aid to one another if needed. The districts were originally designated by Quorum Court, and may be modified.
The city is also in the process of hiring a new fire chief after the resignation of former chief Johnny Rickman.
Alderwoman Mary Jo Clark, Parks and Recreation chairperson, said she had met with the engineer for the new city park and Carrie McIntosh with White River Planning and Development, and the park would soon be moving forward. Monroe also said he went down to the site and stepped it off and looked at trees that need to be cut.
Clark noted grade stakes have been placed for the basketball area, and clearing has began. There was no estimated date for completion of the city park which will be located in Hidden Valley on Lake Mirandy.
Under the new business, committee and chairpersons were appointed. Public Safety Chair is Joe Black, with Jeremy Stevens and Johnny Rickman on the committee. Street Chair is Lynda McGuire, with Larry Allen and Robert Monroe on the committee. Sewer chair is Danny Taylor, with David Harris and Robert Monroe on the committee. Parks and Recreation chair is Mary Jo Clark, with Ty Casey on the committee.
Council also received City Attorney Jon Abele's year end report. In final orders of business, council adopted a resolution to establish a meeting time of 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month, and council members agreed not to be compensated for attending meetings.
The public is always welcome to attend the monthly meetings held at Highland City Hall.