City Council Feeling More Confident about Opening Swimming Pool

BROKEN BOW–Following Governor Pete Ricketts’ new Directed Health Measures for next month, the Broken Bow City Council discussed opening the city swimming pool by the middle of June. The council met on Tuesday evening via teleconference and Mayor Rod Sonnichsen said an official decision regarding the pool will be made soon.

Many of the council members said they felt more confident about opening the pool (more so than during the April 28 meeting) after talking with Parks Superintendent Darren Marten and pool manager Laurie French.

Concerns centered around restrictions being too cumbersome for pool staff to enforce as well as the financial aspect of opening the pool. Marten said even with an extra staff member at the front desk, costs are not expected to go above the projected budget.

Council members also voiced their support for opening the pool mid-June and recognized that kids and families have been cooped up since March.

“I’m all for opening it. I think it’s a great thing to have. We’re already locked in a majority of the payments on it, you know, with the bond issue and stuff. I think it’s precisely what our community needs right now. It’s not a contact sport, but it’s a chlorinated safe environment,” Myers said.

Limited access to certain pool activities might come into play and the council along with City Attorney Jason White also suggested having pool patrons sign a waiver to release the city of any liability if someone were to contract COVID-19.

The council talked about the possibility of resuming in-person meetings sometime in June in order to address some bigger topics that would be difficult to discuss via teleconference.

The council approved a motion made by Larry Miller for one last 45-day extension to property owner Justin Russell regarding the house located at 631 South 9th Avenue. Russell stated that most of the work done thus far has been on the inside of the house but  he is in a position to move forward on the exterior. The motion included bringing the house up to code so as not to be deemed as unsafe or depreciate the value of nearby homes.

Police Chief Steve Scott said a fire damaged the home in 2012 and papers were served in 2018. Chief Scott said the property is dangerous to public health and depreciates other properties. Multiple extensions have been given during the last year and a half and Chris Myers said the council needs to establish some consistency and enforce city ordinances.

The annual Market on the Square will move forward from June 4 through September 17, 2020 after the council heard from Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Kennedy and voted to approve use of the downtown square.

Kennedy said she has been working with multiple state entities to ensure the correct safety and social distancing requirements are followed for the market.

City Clerk/Treasurer Stephanie Wright was informed by the Nebraska League of Municipalities that the documents for allowing baseball and softball have not yet been approved. No decisions were made about the use of municipal property until new documents are received and a special meeting might be necessary in order for a vote to take place.

After a closed session, the council then voted to approve Resolution 2020-4 – Authorizing the Support of Repurposing The Custer Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program.

The meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m. ad the next city council meeting will be on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events
June 1 – Park Board Meeting at 5:10 p.m.
June 8 – Board of Public Works Meeting at 12:30 p.m.

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