It’s still summer, but the Shelby County Board of Supervisors took action this (Tuesday) morning, to ensure the City of Harlan is bright and festive this winter. The Supervisors approved a $5,000 contribution from the building and grants fund, to go towards the Christmas Light Project. Officials with Shelby County, City of Harlan and Harlan Municipal Utilities are working together on the new project. The Hotel/Motel Tax Committee is also contributing as they approved a grant of $10,000 to the project.
Shelby County Auditor Marsha Carter told the board the plan is for the lights to be in tune with music. She said “There is a company out of Kansas City called Animated Lighting and actually does Christmas Lights for Disney. They go all over the nation and is working with a Council Bluffs Casino for one of their signs. They will do the Christmas lights with music. I think we have all seen that where the lights go with Christmas carols.”
The main lighting will go on the courtyard lawn on the east side of the square but Carter said lights will be over all over the square. The reason for the project is because Harlan was once known as Christmas city. Carter said “Everyone is working hard to get that name back. I remember as a kid Channel 7 would come up and film the downtown square.” The Christmas Light Project isn’t over with the one motion from the Supervisors. Carter said it will be an ongoing project with the plan to purchase an electronic tree down the road. This year and next year, the Harlan square will feature a real tree.
In other business, the Shelby County Engineer Dan Ahart discussed the recent closure of the bridge located on 1800th Street and Highway 191. The bridge has been closed because of damage and will not be repaired. Ahart said he is working with residence in the area to figure out a new entrance for all parties involved. According to Ahart, “Typically what we like to do is make sure the landowners and people affected are in harmony. Worst thing to do is have a public hearing where you have two separate groups, one for and another against. So what we try to do is get the harmony before the paper work. Then go through the Iowa Code to hold the meeting to hear the comments and then actions taken by the Supervisors to do that.”
So far the engineer said he hasn’t had any problems with the residents. The county will come in and obliterate the road and use the good materials from the bridge in other projects. Ahart said the project will start later this year and hopes to have the entrance created for the landowners along with the land that was county land, to be used for farm ground next year. No action was taken by the Shelby County Supervisors.