HCVB Halloween Frolic logo

The Hiawatha City Commission met on Monday evening and heard from Hiawatha Chamber and Visitors Bureau’s board president Kate Miller regarding the group’s plans for the annual Halloween Frolic.

With some concern about the ability to extend Hiawatha’s longtime tradition in a year where so much has been wiped out due to Covid-19, Miller said the Chamber has plans in place to hit the 106th anniversary of the first Halloween Frolic. The Halloween Parade will look different this year — with a similar look to a cruise night with the HHS band on a flatbed and floats. This will be an all inclusive parade and the general public is encouraged to decorate their vehicles and join in.

Miller also asked for approval for two nights of trick-or-treating, which will help extend the record-setting Halloween Frolic’s status, as multiple nights are required. The commission approved the request, setting Oct. 29 and 30th as open nights for trick-or-treating. There will be no Business Trick-Or-Treat this year.

The Chamber also has many of their other regular events planned, however some may be virtual.

Hiawatha Parks and Recreation director Stacy Jasper said she is still finalizing fall and Halloween plans for events sponsored by the city and will share details with the commission at the next meeting.

In other business:

The commission approved a request from Dave Nachtigal to open burn the waterway at 1010 N 6th St., as well as an amendment to the Sanitary Sewer Peak Flow Management Program, Pump Station Analysis and preliminary Engineering Report with Olsson.

The group also approved starting wages for the new Utility Clerk and Parks Maintenance Operator I, agreed to a payment of $195,190.09 to AHRS for the Street Sales Tax Project, and awarded the bid for foundation repairs at the Iowa Street water tower to J&B Contractors in the amount of $12,000.

Police Chief John Defore addressed the commission, first asking the commissioners to consider allowing the new School Resource Officer to bank 40-plus hours to be used during holidays and snow days. Defore said he would come back to the next meeting for an answer.

Defore also gave the commission the planned route for the HHS Homecoming Parade on Oct. 9. The Commission approved the PD leading the parade from 1st and Oregon, down Oregon, then turning north on 7th Street, and back east on Miami, pending changes due to the status of road construction at that time.

Defore also said that the PD worked with the Northeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging to give away 1,246 meals on Sept. 3 and 17th, and noted that the relationship with NEKAAA is one the department hopes to foster.

City Administrator Mike Nichols informed the commission that owners of five of the 12 properties that were set for public hearings on Oct. 19 had submitted acceptable plans to remedy their properties, leaving seven properties still up for hearings.

HPR Director Jasper told the commission that HP&R, along with the HHS football team will be hosting a flag football camp in place of the season, starting next Wednesday evening.

Morrill Public Library Director Erin Verbick also gave a report, stating that the library had received $18,000 in SPARK funds, that circulation has been expanding, and that the library remodel is very nearly completed.

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