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Cumming appointed to council seat PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   
Jessica Cumming was appointed to fill the vacant Holyoke City Council seat Tuesday, Nov. 16. Five interested parties submitted letters to the city clerk to be considered for appointment to the council. The seat became vacant when Ray Bailey died Oct. 22. Bailey was elected in 2008 and the term will end in 2012. Others submitting their names were Linda Langelo, Dan Waln, Frostteana Elmquist and Sandra Rafols.

Cumming, who is the accountant at PC Telcom, decided to enter her name after thinking about it for quite some time. She wanted to be a part of a team that strives to meet the goals of the community.

“I know the pride each resident has in calling this community home and I want to support the mission of maintaining and building high standards that make Holyoke great,” she said. “I’ve seen the need. There’s always a need for people to serve on the city council and I feel like it’s my part.” She also said getting some new perspective on the board is always good.

Cumming said working for a cooperative, she knows first hand the struggles that face rural organizations and the value in maintaining a strong relationship with the residents of the community.

“In order to maintain the quality of life the residents of Holyoke have come to appreciate, the Holyoke City Council must embrace commitment to high standards,” she said. “I would like to commit to being a part of the team.”

The 1996 HHS graduate and her husband Rick share five children: Brett and Bradley Cumming and Savannah, Slaten and Sabryn Burris.

Cumming earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from TUI University. She will take the oath at the Tuesday, Dec. 7 council meeting.


Visitor comments on alleys

Allen Reuter addressed the council about the alley behind his home. He and surrounding neighbors are concerned with the shape it is in and requested that it be oiled and redone. He noted it was previously oiled but was torn up after the fiber optic crew finished working in the area.

“Unfortunately, you look at all our alleys and we don’t have the money to maintain paved alleys,” City Supt. Mark Brown said. Mayor Orville Tonsing agreed there just isn’t money for something like paving alleys.

Councilman Kevin Scott asked if the city could maintain the alley at all by getting rid of the holes and raising it up so water would drain properly. Brown said some rock could be hauled in to fill the holes. He also said he needed to get together with the residents in the area to see what could be done.


City pool closed temporarily

Council members heard an update from City Supt. Brown

who notified them that the boiler at the swimming pool quit working Saturday, Nov. 13. The heat exchanger cracked and Brown said Wern Air Inc. is in the process of looking for a replacement or having a replacement built. Wern Air is the company that installed the computer control system about 15 years ago, according to Brown.

For now, the pool will be closed as the temperature of the water is dropping fast. Brown said the best case scenario will have the pool back up and running in four-six weeks.

The boiler handles the domestic hot water, heats the pool water and heats the main pool area. Brown noted the boiler room does have an electric wall heater so things shouldn’t freeze up as the weather continues to get colder. He also said the office has a separate heater so they hope to keep everything somewhat warm.

Mayor Tonsing said a special meeting may have to be called to act on the issue once Brown hears exactly what will need to be done. City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson said she put a call into the Conservation Trust to see if any money could be received for the repairs, but hadn’t heard back as of last Tuesday’s meeting. Funds were used from the Conservation Trust to repair the roof at the pool in 2008.


Final budget approved

During last Tuesday’s meeting, council members approved the final draft of the 2011 budget. Also approved was the first reading of the annual appropriations ordinance. The final reading and passage will be held during the council’s Dec. 7 meeting.

Total appropriations in the budget is $5,927,758 with the majority in the general fund, $2,382,437 and utility fund, $3,258,517.

Other appropriations were as follows:

Sale of Heginbotham Land Fund $366

Equipment Replacement Fund $229,115

Library Land Fund $983

Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund $5,496

Fire Pension Fund $19,650

Massman Memorial Fund $356

Contingency Fund $0

Cem Whit/Leeper Memorial Fund $2,438

Conservation Trust Fund $16,192

LeBlanc Estate Fund $7,208

Capital Reserve Fund $0

Spindler Library Fund $5,000


Other business

In other business Nov. 16, council members:

—voted to help sponsor annual Christmas lighting contest in cooperation with the Holyoke Enterprise, The city will provide a $100 first place prize, $50 second and $25 third for residential properties. They agreed to keep the same format where anyone with lights on their property will be judged on dates to be decided at a later date.

—allowed notice of electric rate increase to be published with a two percent increase scheduled in 2011 for usage.

—appointed Chris Lehman to serve another three-year term on the cemetery board.

—renewed liquor license for KS Plus Inc., Kwik Stop.

—approved holiday bonus for full-time city employees.

—noted the city employee and council Christmas party will be held Wednesday, Dec. 15 at Phillips County Event Center.