McLouth residents gather to light first Mayor’s Christmas tree
by Dennis Sharkey
Although the city of McLouth has existed for more than 120 years, it’s the first time they’ve had a Christmas tree.
Mayor Keith Meador last week thanked Mary Garcia and her family along with the Recreation Commission and city residents for the Christmas celebration and tree lighting event earlier this month.
“A lot of the citizens of McLouth had nothing but wonderful things to say,” Meador said. “The young at heart of all age groups had a tremendous time.”
Meador said he did some research and as far as he could find, it was the first ever official mayor Christmas tree lighting.
“It was the most unique evening I have ever had as mayor so far,” he said. “I had never got to do anything like that before.”
Plans are already being discussed for next year.
In other city actions:
• The council met in closed session to review bids for city attorney and auditor.
• The city updated its ATV permit rules to include the use of safety belts and to follow all federal regulations.
• City Clerk Kim Perry said she is preparing for the city election in April. The mayor and two council positions will be up for election. The filing deadline is Jan. 25. The application fee is $5.
• Councilman Harlan Woodring suggested the city give employees safety performance bonuses on a yearly basis. The suggestion came after the news that the city was accident free in the last year which will affect insurance rates in a positive way. Woodring said the bonuses are a savings compared to what the employees save the city in insurance claims.
• The council approved three budget transfers. Up to $20,000 will be transferred from the city’s general fund to the capitol improvement fund. That will leave the city with a balance of about $21,000 to finish the year. Up to $10,000 will be transferred from the gas utility to equipment reserve fund and another $10,000 to the capitol improvement fund.
City Administrator Carl Chalfant requested the transfers and said the money will be spent on replacing a city tractor and other equipment. Money sent to the capitol improvement fund will be saved for water line projects in 2012. The city will not undertake any water line projects in 2011.
• The council approved a contract with Rural Water District No. 13 for 2011. The costs remain the same with a $30 base rate and $4 per 1,000 gallons. Chalfant said there is not an increase in this contract, however, there has been discussion about rates increasing. He said he will attend the next water board meeting.
• The council authorized Chalfant to purchase a new 92 percent efficiency furnace for the fire department.
• The council approved the purchase of a hard shell cover for the city’s skid loader.
• The council approved about a dozen changes to the employee policy book.
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