Amidst rumors, mayor says library is not being closed
Though there wasn’t much on the agenda for the July 3 meeting of Holyoke City Council, Mayor Orville Tonsing thought it was important to address the status of the City and the Heginbotham Library.
Since the beginning of this year, the city council and the library board have been working together to address several needs on the library grounds as well as re-establish guidelines for who is responsible for what at the facility.
A special work session was held May 21, and the council and board are still working toward an intergovernmental agreement. While some details are still undecided, Tonsing said that one thing is clear — there has been no talk of closing the library.
It was brought to his attention that there have been Facebook posts suggesting that the City wants to close the library.
“This is the furthest thing from being the truth,” he said. “Nobody has even mentioned that.”
Council member Kevin Scott agreed, pointing out that at the May 21 meeting, they specifically said that they would absolutely not be closing the library.
Planning commission board seeks 2 new members
At last Tuesday’s meeting, Scott also reported that the planning commission board is looking for two new board members to serve. The open seats include one full six-year term and a term that expires June 2020.
Board members must be registered voters living in the city of Holyoke. Though the board doesn’t have a regular standing meeting, members meet when needed to approve future developments and zoning, taking recommendations to the city council.
Interested individuals should contact the City office at 970-854-2266.
City Superintendent Mark Brown reported one power outage July 1, caused by a squirrel. The electric department also finished service for the new hangar and pilot lounge at the airport and for the new pavilion at the fairgrounds. In the water and sewer department, blackflow testing is finished, and they are preparing for a full audit by the State on both water and wastewater. Street crews have been picking up branches and cleaning storm drains. All three of the departments have been making preparations for the upcoming sealcoating.
At the airport, preparations are being made to move the Automated Weather Observing System. Brown also recently ordered a load of 100 Low Lead and expects Jet A will need to be ordered soon as well.
He also contacted Spelts Roofing to address a leak in the roof over Brown’s office and the women’s bathroom at the City office.
Police Chief Doug Bergstrom reported that Holyoke Police Department handled or generated 265 calls for service from June 14-27, including code enforcement. They made four arrests, wrote 11 citations and four reports, and gave out 39 warnings. Code enforcement handled eight animal complaints, nine dogs at large, 20 ordinance violations and three tree ordinance violations.
City Clerk/Treasurer Kathy Olofson read thank-yous received by the City. She also informed council members that they have until July 30 to decide whether the City will participate in the next election.
City Attorney Al Wall reported that the meeting with the codification representative went well. Olofson agreed, noting the finished product is expected to be well-done.
In other business at the July 3 meeting, Holyoke City Council:
— Forwarded the $22,058.50 payment received from the O’Neals to CIRSA to pay Steve Dawes’ attorney fees.
— Allowed special event permits for the Phillips County Fair beer garden July 25-28, waiving all local permit fees.
— Appointed Gene Bittner to another five-year term on the housing authority board.