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Council remembers former member, businessman

The Farmington City Council took a moment to remember a former council member who recently passed away during the July 24 meeting.

Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers told the council of the death of Maurice Harrington.

Harrington, 89, served on the Farmington City Council for a number of years. He owned and operated Mid-States Laundry and Cleaners for more than 20 years and was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church as well as the last Charter Member of the Farmington Lion’s Club.

His wife, Clarann, also served on the council. Private graveside services were held earlier that day.

The meeting saw the council working quickly through a light agenda.

One item up for council action on the consent agenda included a contract for the city to purchase a residence at 810 S. Washington St. for the purpose of installing a storm water basin.

By coincidence, a resident from Edward Street was in attendance at the meeting to ask about work scheduled for his neighborhood.

Michael Dalton was inquiring about a letter he received from the city earlier this year discussing storm water drainage and work scheduled to address those issues.

Dalton said the work would take place in his backyard – an area experiencing soil erosion issues due to storm water run-off.

Beavers said the action scheduled on the agenda was the first step in beginning a resolution to the problem.

“The properties between Smith Street and Edward Street have a ditch that runs in behind their homes,” Beavers explained. “Through the years, it’s gotten to where the storm water flow is harder and harder to manage.”

Beavers said a study of the area showed the building of a storm water basin on Washington Street would buffer the heavy rain and storm water flow from about 45 to 50 acres of run-off – from Aldergate, Washington and South Jefferson Streets to name a few.

“It meanders down and goes by the (Church of Latter-Day Saints) on Henry Street and that’s where the problem starts,” he said.

The second step in the process would be designing channel improvements to help alleviate the problem. Public Works Director Larry Lacy said an engineering study on that portion of the project is expected to take place in coming weeks.

Additionally, Beavers said, there is a closely related issue regarding sanitary sewers in the area also surcharging in the area from sump pumps.

“We’ve already done some improvements over there in the past few years, but we’re going to do some more investigation to alleviate that problem also,” he said. “So, hopefully, by the time we get into next summer, if we complete these steps, (the residents) will be in better shape.”

The council approved the resolution for the purchase of the property in the amount of $75,000. Ward II Councilman John Crouch reported there is interest in others to purchase the home located on the property.

The council also approved a resolution for enacting a “letter of engagement” with Hocshchild, Bloom & Company LLC for auditing services. Crouch explained the Administrative Services committee put out eight bids and received three responses. One response – from Crouch’s firm – withdrew due to conflict of interest. The committee recommended the council approve the bid. Crouch said the decision was based on the depth of experience of the firm, need for rotation (from the previous firm of Thurman, Shinn and Company) and the price for the services – coming in $25,000 less than the bid from the other firm.

In other business, the council approved amendments to two sections of the municipal code. The first is amending the ordinance regarding zoning regulations on business signs near the downtown business corridor.

The second amended ordinance passed by council is for changes in the parking lot regulations. The first changes the minimum size of a parking space to 9-by-18 from 9-by-20. The change also removes the requirement of the blue striping of handicap spots as well as allowing rain gardens at the perimeter of parking lots from the former islands requirement.

Ward IV Councilman Vanessa Pegram reminded the Farmington Public Library will close from July 31 to Aug. 5 for the annual cleaning during the Public Services report. She also said the library has eclipse viewing glasses available for free – with one per adult.

Finance Director Michelle Daniels reported the June sales tax were up 2.3 percent over last year – although, the dollar amount collected was slightly below the previous year’s report.

Mayor Larry Forsythe read a letter from Dawn Chapman, president of the VFW Post 5896 Auxiliary, regarding a cross-country bicycle ride being made by Kaye Jordan, a Gold Star mother – a designation given to a parent who has lost a child in combat.

Jordan’s ride will have her in Farmington around the first weekend of August. The post is planning to host a dinner for her as she stops here on her way to Ground Zero in New York City.

Anyone wishing to donate for the dinner can contact Chapman at 573-518-6526.

The council next meets in regular session on Aug. 10.

Ward III Councilman Wayne Linnenbringer, at left, Ward II Councilman John Crouch and Ward I Councilman John Robinson visit before the start of the Farmington City Council meeting.

Ward III Councilman Wayne Linnenbringer, at left, Ward II Councilman John Crouch and Ward I Councilman John Robinson visit before the start of the Farmington City Council meeting.

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