BB City Council Merges Streets & Parks, Appoints New Water/Sewer Superintendent

BB City Council Merges Streets & Parks, Appoints New Water/Sewer Superintendent
Broken Bow City Council discusses water and sewer rates among many other agenda items on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

BROKEN BOW—A shift in power will take place within the city offices following the Broken Bow City Council meeting held on Tuesday, October 13. Darren Marten was appointed as the Overseer of Streets and Parks after Ordinance 1234 was approved by the council. The ordinance combines the offices of the Overseer of Streets and the Parks Superintendent.

City Administrator Dan Knoell said the title of “Overseer of Streets” is already written in city ordinances and in many municipalities, park departments already fall under street departments. Knoell said they are just putting parks back where it belongs. Mayor Rod Sonnichsen said both departments will operate out of the same building.

With this change, both the approval of the Overseer of Streets and Parks job description was approved as was Ordinance 1235—Amended 2020-2021 Wage Ordinance which includes the new title as well as the recently approved Emergency Services Director title for Andy Holland.

Craig Cranwell was appointed by the council as the Water and Sewer Superintendent, a position previously held by Marten.

Prior to his new appointment, Darren Marten addressed the council regarding increased water and sewer rates, neither of which have been increased since 2013. Both increases have been recommended by the Board of Public Works, according to Marten.

For example, he said residents with a ¾” service will increase $3.47 per month based on 10,000 gallons of usage. The set fee for sewer will potentially be raised from $23.62 to $24.62 across the board as well as an increase from $2.50 to $3.00 based off of 1,000 gallon usage.

Readings for both ordinances were held and will be heard one last time before a vote takes place regarding water and sewer rates.

Following a public hearing, the council approved Ordinance 1231 which will prohibit parking on the east side of South 13th Avenue between South G Street and South H Street. Dan Knoell said the road is narrower with a width of 23 feet, compared to the average 28-foot width. He said the ordinance adds one additional block of single side parking because it is already so from Highway 2 to South G Street.

Resolution 2020-11 was approved which amends the spending limits and time frames of spending for department foremen, department heads, and the city administrator. Dan Knoell said this will allow for better supervision of purchases and spending of city funds.

“The reason for this request of the council is because prior to tonight and this resolution, there has been no true limit set forth. There was a dollar amount, but this dollar amount was not restrictive via no time, no nothing,” Knoell said.

Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Kennedy spoke before the council and gained approval to block off parking stalls on both the east side of the square and half of the south side of the square on October 30 for the chamber’s Sidewalk Spooks and Trunk or Treat Around the Square from 2 to 5 p.m.

Kennedy said children are not permitted to cross Highway 2 during this event and that police/fire/EMS crews will be on the south side of the square to help monitor traffic.

In addition, the council approved the city administrator to approve street closings for reoccurring events such as Market on the Square and other regular events.

The council also approved the annual certification of the Handibus funding and set a hearing date of Tuesday, November 24 for the Board of Equalization and levying Special Assessments in connection with the 2018 South 19th Avenue and South G Street Paving Improvements. City Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Wright said notices will be sent to property owners and that the hearing will take place during the regular City Council meeting.

Tuesday night’s meeting adjourned at 6:33 p.m. and the next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27 at 6 p.m.