BROKEN BOW–The Broken Bow City Council made its way through a packed agenda on Tuesday night. Mayor Berghorst proclaimed the month of March as Gambling Awareness Month during Tuesday’s evening’s city council meeting. The council also appointed Stephanie Wright as Zoning Administrator because the council felt the position did not justify a full-time employee. Mayor Berghorst asked the council about increasing Wright’s wages as an incentive for the extra responsibilities, but no decisions were made on the matter as of Tuesday night.
Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Kennedy spoke before the council regarding Market in the Square, which saw 24 vendors on its biggest last year. She said the market has become a pride of the community and is drawing more interest. The council approved reserving parking stalls on the east and northeast side of the square on every Thursday from May 16 through September 19.
A second reading of Ordinance 1194 was heard regarding North 17th Subdivision. The ordinance states “an ordinance of the city of Broken Bow, Nebraska approving the plat of North 17th Subdivision being within the extraterritorial jurisdiction but not within the corporate limits of the city of Broken Bow.”
As of March 26 the city council meetings will be held at the Broken Bow Public Library in order to allow more room and better use of audio equipment than is available in the conference room at the Municipal Building.
Carlene Albin spoke before the city council regarding the Indian Hills playground equipment. Last year, the city council decided to table the purchase of equipment. Albin, also a member of the Park Board, had previously donated $15,000 to the city for use of the playground. The council approved moving that money to the Custer County Foundation so that money can be fundraised for all-inclusive/accessible playground equipment.
“The money has been sitting in that account for over two years now and hasn’t gotten any bigger. So I would like to move it to someplace where some interest can be earned on it if nothing else and we can use that money, besides fundraising as well, on this project,” Albin said.
Albin said her dream is to see equipment that can be used by all kids as she said there are 142 students in the area with special needs. She believes it would be an asset to the community including wheel-chair friendly equipment as well as special sensory panels. Her vision is a $300,000 park in which the money would be raised through fundraising.
Councilman Rod Sonnichsen expressed concern of the safety along North 17th and he and Albin discussed fencing that would also be installed when a park would be built.
Other items included approval of closing South C Street from 9th Avenue to 10th Avenue on March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of a car show fundraiser for Mark Lewis.
Nicole Bailey was approved for a two-year term on the Planning Commission, Jim Duncan to the Planning Commission for a three-year term, Paul Holland and Ryan Vonderhoe to the Park Board, and Rick Maas to the Community Redevelopment Authority Board.
Public Hearings for water and sewer rates were tabled.
The council approved Ordinance 1197 Amended Wage Ordinance. Treasurer Nancee Coufal said there had been a discrepancy with the police department handbook that needed to be adjusted to match the three and a half percent increase.
Payment of $1,041.00 was approved to JEO Consulting Group Inc., for Flood Risk Reduction as well as approval for the Handibus Operating Assistance for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. This approval will allow the city to apply for continued grant funding for the Handibus.
Street Superintendent Bud Clark broke down some of the high priority projects in the one and six year plan, which the council approved. Some of the projects included portions of North 5th, South 1st, and near the Melham park/pool/hospital area.
City offices will be closed on February 18 in honor of Presidents’ Day and the next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26 at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building.