Pat Bailey from the Minnesota Department of Health attended the Harmony City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to present the city's Wellhead Protection Plan to the council.

The plan includes an inventory of potential contaminant sources, a plan of action to manage those sources and an alternate water supply and contingency strategy in the case of a water supply emergency.

The document is required for each city in the state of Minnesota and they are updated about every 10 years.

Bailey told the council that one area of concern, determined during the formation of the protection plan, is an old well located behind QUARTER/quarter Restaurant. She said there seems to be an old well abandoned when the current well was drilled. However, there is no evidence that the abandoned well was properly capped.

"This is based on a well log from 1915," she explained. "They did not necessarily do what we would normally do today to seal an old well. So, that stands out as one of the biggest issues."

When highlighting the city's plan of action in the report, Bailey noted that the priority is to address the issues with both current wells and to properly seal that old well if it is found.

The report stated, there are no contaminants that have been sampled which cause any great concern.

Following the discussion, the council accepted the report. Once the Department of Health approves the report, it will be returned to the city.

In a related matter, it was noted the city has been approved for a DEED grant in the amount of $250,000 to dig a new well and build a water tower in the northeast part of town, in the new industrial park.

City engineer Brett Grabau noted that the cost estimate in the grant application may be higher than the council remembered as a larger tower was included than was originally planned.

The city would likely be able to obtain a low-interest loan for the rest of the costs.

Once the city signs an agreement with DEED, accepting the funds, the city has 18 months to complete the project. "We are anticipating a 2015 summer project," Grabau noted, saying the city would have enough to consider with the upcoming First Avenue Southwest project this summer.

He told the council that he anticipates returning to the city council meeting in March with a plan for the new well and water tower.

In regard to this summer's street project, Grabau explained Fillmore County had approved the plans, as it is spearheading this project due to First Avenue Southwest also being a county road.

"Now I need your blessing to go ahead and seek bids for the project," he added.

The city approved the plans and specifications for the project and gave Grabau the necessary approval to go forward with the project.

The council also approved a parking resolution that would restrict parking on one side of the street in question, from Fifth to Eighth Streets, due to the narrow width of the street in that area.

Finally, city administrator Jerome Illg noted he and Ron Gregg from the Fillmore County Highway Department, drove the street and noted a few areas of concern. Included in their discussion was the need for striped crossing-areas by Center Street and by the high school, pedestrian ramps will be created at each. Gregg also noted that the sidewalk on the west side of the street needs to be maintained, which it is not currently being done.

It was noted that this would be taken care of as part of the city crew's snow removal routine.