Humboldt city position is dissolved

By ROBERT WOLF

editor@messengernews.net

HUMBOLDT – An experiment to combine the position of Humboldt Chamber Commerce Director with the Humboldt City Recreation Director has fallen through, City Administrator Aaron Burnett said at Monday’s meeting of the Humboldt City Council.

Two years ago the council merged the two positions.

However, the workload has proven too much for one person, according to Burnett.

“The park board and the Chamber had decided to part ways on the combined Chamber/recreation position” Burnett said.

The Chamber asked that the city consider a new Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant position. The person would be a city employee but under the Chamber and paid by the Chamber. Chamber board members would take up some of the responsibilities of the former director.

The council approved the new position.

In other business, the council:

  • Decided not to take action on a request to place a memorial cross in the right of way of 16th Avenue North from Deb Ruberg to remember her son, who died in an accident. City Attorney Eric Eide advised the council not to act on the request because the cross would fit the definition of a sign and signs are prohibited on the right of way. Also the cross could be considered a violation of the First Amendment separation of church and state, he said

“I don’t want to sound unsympathetic. I understand the family had a great loss,” said Councilman John Sleiter. “I think we are opening up a big can of worms. It could turn into a real mess down the road.”

Councilman Joe Hadar said some states are issuing generic memorial signs that can be put out which are nondenominational. He suggested the family approach the state about the idea.

  • Tabled a request from Humboldt Community School District Superintendent Greg Darling for a sidewalk along Wildcat Road.

Councilman Joel Goodell said many children walk along the shoulder of the road and he could see how it would be a concern. But the council is unsure how to pay for the sidewalk.

  • Approved a 10-year development agreement with Precision Tank of Virginia, Ill., to build a new facility in Humboldt. Groundbreaking has already begun. Burnett said the agreement was for 10 years rather than the usual five because the company was being recruited from out of state. The agreement allows for a 100 percent tax abatement the first year, decreasing every year until 10 percent the final year.