By Jordan Gerard
Editor, The Caledonia Argus
Before moving ahead with replacing carpet in the upstairs portion of the City Center building, the Hokah City Council is looking for explanations and solutions from its leasee, Hiawatha Valley Education District (HVED).
At the regular council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 5, City Clerk Lindsey Martell said the city received a request from HVED executive director Deb Marcotte for new carpets on the second floor.
However, the council wants answers for damages that happened while HVED has leased the space, before it moves ahead with the expense. The lease states that expenses will be split 50/50. Damages were reported to the council by city staff and police officers.
The council also discussed starting lease negotiations with HVED for the next year. The council agreed to contact the board of directors and invite them to the next council meeting.
Public Library report
Hokah Public Library director Kirsten Plummer said Joan Mitchell was hired as the new library clerk and it was working out well. She also reported she would submit a revised draft of a staff conduct policy to the council, something that has not been part of the library policies previously.
Plummer reported the county received over $5,000 in funding from Houston County, which means they won’t have to ask the city for extra funds this year. Along with that, all five county libraries agreed to standardize wages between themselves, in order to reduce competition among themselves.
Finally, Plummer said the board plans to go ahead with its library fundraiser in December, providing that Covid-19 does not hamper it. The library also has two traveling exhibits on display: karst geology and water quality. Plummer also thanked Public Workd Director Matt Vetsch for his help on fixing the book drop roof and painting it, coming in on his time off.
The council approved Lance Ross as the new fire chief, replacing Vetsch. Ross reported the city does not need to contribute any funds to the Fire Relief Association this year, as the fund is in the positive according to the audit report.
The city received two donations in the amount of $250 from Barbara Woolley, for the fire department and first responders.
The next meeting of the Hokah City Council will be Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 6 p.m.