Herman residents might soon be able to pick up their mail again at the Herman Post Office. Mark Oachs, of Mark Oachs Construction, was present at the Herman City Council meeting on January 11 and stated that he feels the work could be complete by the end of the month. He is currently working on the inside walls and waiting for a few materials that were back-ordered. He expected those to arrive within the week. He added that sometime late last month a piece of the trim was taken which caused a delay in that work. The roofers and painters have finished their work in the building.
Also present at the meeting were four members of the Herman Fire Department including Chief Chris Vlaminck, Dana Blume, Michael Backman, and Tanner Lehman. They were at the meeting to share a proposal for fire department funds.
Backman told the council members that the department currently has $87,000 in their account plus another $9,500 in an equipment account. Each year funds come into the fire department fund from the township, City of Herman, donations, and training reimbursements. This amounts to about $67,695 annually.
The department is still paying off their heavy rescue vehicle. They have about $35,000 left on the loan. They feel they need to purchase some new turn-out gear for the 13 firemen, and also replace 26 SCBA tanks. The cost for this equipment and repairs is about $57,000.
Blume explained that the turn-out gear is outdated and really needs to be updated. The men also explained that the tanks are in need of replacing.
Their proposal was to use the fire department funds to pay off the loan on the heavy rescue vehicle and then finance the purchase of the new equipment. A low interest loan can be obtained for the equipment at a rate of 1.75 percent. The yearly payment for the equipment would be almost the same as the current payment for the rescue vehicle.
The fire department members also stated that they have six new members, and five of these are going through Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 training. This can cost a lot, but part of it is reimbursed.
Councilmember Jeff Nachbor stated that he did not object to the proposal but was concerned that the department might drain their funds. He added that it would be expensive to train the new members, plus add expense to the payroll.
The city council members voted to approve the fire department proposal and Mayor Paul Kirkeide will work with Chief Chris Vlaminck on the loan application.
The firemen also reported that the Lucas Device, ordered several months ago, is nearly completely paid for through donations. The city council members want to send a big thank you to Mike and Lisa Melchert for taking the bull by the horns and getting donations to cover this cost. They are only $3,000 away for completely covering the cost.
City Clerk Amanda Blume informed the council members that the Hoffman DAC will not be reopening. The Hoffman DAC stored and bundled Herman’s garbage bags in packs of 10 to be sold. These were being stored there for the City of Herman. The city of Hoffman will be looking for someone to rent the building and also will then need to relocate the pallets. DAC residents will be going to another county.
Mayor Paul Kirkeide explained the cost for the city to purchase the Gail Jones property which went back to the county due to unpaid taxes. The final cost for the city to purchase it would be $600. There would then be additional expense to clean up the property. The Council members agreed to the purchase and work on tearing down the house. They also discussed some other properties in town that may also be available to purchase.