BB City Council Discusses Utility Bills and Economic Impacts of Coronavirus

BROKEN BOW–A seven-minute long meeting was held via teleconference by the Broken Bow City Council on Tuesday, March 24. The consent agenda was approved and included minutes of previous meetings, bills, February treasurer report, Broken Bow Ambulance and Fire Department Rosters.

Click here to view the full agenda.

The motion to approve the consent agenda was made by council president Jacob Holcomb with the stipulation of postponing the approval of the Ka-Boomer’s Enterprises, Inc. Fireworks Application. Holcomb said he would like to further discuss the application fees with the rest of the council and involve the firemen and Lions Club.

Jacob Holcomb said he would also like to discuss unpaid utility shutoffs with the rest of the city council. City Clerk Stephanie Wright said the next round of shutoffs are scheduled for March 31 and follow last month’s unpaid bills. Holcomb added that he believed these scheduled shutoffs are not due to the coronavirus.

Holcomb added that utility extensions related to the COVID-19 outbreak have been a hot topic on the national level and wants to work together to come up with a plan for the future.

“Going forward I do think it’s something we should take into consideration and it should be something that we come discuss as a council,” Holcomb said.

City Attorney Jason White echoed the need for a plan going forward that involves the ability for citizens to request an extension time frame and be held accountable for paying their bill.

“As a city we can do whatever it is that we deem fit or deem just and I do think that we can make extensions to the disconnect, in other words leave the power on, but what we’d like to see is a little bit of accountability,” White said.

Any future policies would be set by the utility board. No decisions were made on Tuesday night.

Broken Bow Mayor Rod Sonnichsen closed the meeting by saying, “Please keep a level head. This is uncharted waters with this COVID-19. I don’t believe we’re done with it but we will be and we’re going to be stronger for it so hang in there, we need everybody.”