HUMBOLDT — Humboldt council members voted Monday night to give a helping hand to Don Leapheart to open a laundromat at 612 Bridge St.
Leapheart, recently retired Iola fire chief, operates a coin laundry in Iola, Soap and Suds, and said he thought Humboldt a was ripe location for another since the town had none. To accommodate 10 washers and 10 dryers, Leapheart said he needed larger utility lines, which led to a request for assistance.
The decision was to permit Leapheart to purchase through the city about $4,000 worth of materials to install larger water, sewer and gas lines, with the city standing cost of labor with its employees.
Leapheart said he was confident the business would be a success, but if not promised to reimburse the city for labor costs. He anticipates opening the laundry in February or March.
Humboldt’s support came on a unanimous vote.
Linda Guiot, a representative of Eagle Med air ambulance service, told about a plan by which families may pay $65 a year and then receive free transport (above whatever insurance pays) if the service is required for illness or accident.
Guiot said a single helicopter flight costs more than $25,000, and that many health insurance plans don’t cover all of that expense.
She asked Humboldt to permit residents to purchase a membership in the air ambulance program by way of utility bills, which would reduce annual cost to $60. She also pointed out that companies and some cities enroll employees and their families as a work-related benefit.
City Administrator Cole Herder asked council members to defer action a month, while he looked into whether having Eagle Med premiums a part of utility bills would be a burden. He also will have a recommendation on whether to give the program as a benefit at the council’s Nov. 10 session.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— A conflict of interest policy will be added to employee handbooks and set standards for employees dealing with purchases and to avoid things that might be considered inappropriate.
— Dana Peters, Humboldt, began work in the clerk’s office Oct. 6. City Clerk Jean Flores will retire in September 2015. Her assistant, Staci Johnson, will move up and Peters will take Johnson’s place.
— Herder will recommend in a few months how the municipal pool should be managed in 2015. USA Pools managed it the past two years for about $50,000 each year. This year’s experience, Herder said, wasn’t what was expected, including the company pulling out without formally closing the pool down for the season.
— Sharrows have been painted on Humboldt streets to guide bicyclists. Herder said a group of 30 from Tulsa had planned to be in Humboldt last week to use local parks and the Southwind Trail, but that weather postponed the event. Two did come by car to look at what is available, he said.
— Storm siren issues have been resolved, Herder said. Now, they will be tested at noon each Friday with a two one-minute blasts, the second signaling all clear. The sirens sound for three minutes to summon volunteer firefighters.