City Council Recognizes Life-Saving Volunteers & Library Director, also Discusses Water/Sewer Rates

City Council Recognizes Life-Saving Volunteers & Library Director, also Discusses Water/Sewer Rates
The city of Broken Bow recognized life-saving EMS volunteers during the September 22 council meeting. (L-R Back Row) Councilman Chris Myers, Andy Holland, Cody Neville, Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Sergeant Shane Fiorelli, Ahren Finney, and Councilman Jacob Holcomb. (L-R Front Row) Councilman Larry Miller, Jeremiah Daugherty, Lacey Fiorelli, Officer Coby Cassidy, Kacey Woodliff-Finney. *Renee Sommers and Lawrence Stump not pictured.*

BROKEN BOW—Many of Broken Bow’s emergency services volunteers were recognized during the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 22. Ten volunteers received certificates and life-saving pins for their work in providing life saving measures on June 14, 2020 and June 26, 2020.

Ahren Finney, Shane Fiorelli, Andrew Holland, Kacey Woodliff-Finney, Renee Sommers, Lawrence Stump, Coby Cassidy from the BB Police Department, Jeremiah Daugherty, Cody Neville, and Lacey Fiorelli were all greeted with applause upon receiving their certificates and pins for their efforts.

The City of Broken Bow also thanked the 9-1-1 dispatchers who worked the night of the calls: Doug Daake, Andrew Swanson, Shiann Tucker, and Corey Clay.

“Upon arrival to an emergency call, our volunteers must decide what medical services to render and in some cases, the victim may not have a pulse and requires immediate action to be taken by emergency medical volunteers. During this action, CPR is administered and a heartbeat is reestablished and a life is saved. The City of Broken Bow mayor, council, and its community have the honor tonight to honor those who save lives,” City Administrator Dan Knoell said.

Andy Holland with Broken Bow Fire and Rescue also broke down some of the EMS calls for the 2019-2020 budget year which included approximately 343 calls as of Tuesday. He said emergency crews transported 197 people from the City of Broken Bow, 45 rural Broken Bow, two from Berwyn, and one each from Anselmo and Ansley to Melham or other healthcare facilities. On average by days of the week, Holland said the most number of calls take place on Sundays, followed by Fridays and then Saturdays, mostly between 6 and 7 p.m. and 8 and 9 p.m.

Library Director Joan Birnie was also recognized upon her retirement after 33 years with the Broken Bow Public Library. She began in 1987 as a library assistant, was hired in 1989 as a full-time librarian, became President of the Nebraska Library Association in 2005-2006, received the Excalibur Outstanding Public Librarian Award in October 2007, and played a vital role in the library remodel which was completed in January 2018.

Mayor Rod Sonnichsen congratulates Library Director Joan Birnie on her retirement along with her husband Dave Birnie.

The library will host an open house on Monday, September 28 from 2-5 p.m. to show appreciation to Joan. A plaque was presented to Birnie on Tuesday night. Stay tuned to KCNI/KBBN this week to hear more from Joan!

Following the recognition of EMS volunteers and Library Director, the council opened numerous public hearings throughout the meeting, with no input from the crowd. The council discussed no parking on the east side of South 13th Avenue between South G Street and South H Street (Ordinance 1231). An ordinance to not allow parking on portions of the east side of the street was approved in 2013 and City Administrator Dan Knoell said this new ordinance extends the no parking zone due to the narrow road. The remaining two readings were not waived and the council will revisit this ordinance at the next meeting.

Public hearings for Ordinances 1232 Water Rates and Ordinance 1233 Sewer Rates were held with Water/Wastewater Superintendent Darren Marten saying neither water nor sewer rates had been increased since 2013. Both increases have been recommended by the Board of Public Works, according to Marten. The readings were not waived and both ordinances will be heard again.

A resolution to amend the spending limit for department heads and city administrator was moved by Jacob Holcomb to be postponed until the October 13 meeting.

The annual Housing Authority Report was presented by Executive Director Dawn West and the request for the waiver of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Funds was approved in the amount of $24,931.60. These funds are to be placed in a CD jointly owned by the City of Broken Bow and the Housing Authority to be used to repair the retaining wall along Highway 21/8th Ave. near the Custer Heights property.

In years past, the city council has granted the ability to do a waiver of the PILOT funds in order to pave streets and repair other properties.

Housing Authority Executive Director Dawn West presents the annual report to city council and city staff.

West thanked her commissioners and staff as well as EMS volunteers for their help during a boiler emergency and carbon monoxide issue back in December. Many of the Housing Authority plans have been altered this year due to COVID-19 but West said many projects were still accomplished including new HVAC units, elevator maintenance, flooring, appliance replacement, and sewer line repair amid the 40 apartments at Custer Heights and 45 houses with a staff of four full-time employees and janitorial staff. West said the Broken Bow Housing Authority has joined forces with the Ansley Housing Authority, which adds 20 apartments to the total number of housing units.

Other approvals included the following:
• Appointment of Mike Garner to the Library Board for a term ending February 2022
• Appointment of Dan Knoell (current City Administrator) as the Zoning Administrator
• Manager application for a liquor license for G4C, Cobblestone Hotel & Suites
• Loan with Bruning Bank for a John Deere 3039R Compact Utility Tractor in the amount of $27,385.97 with Mayor Rod Sonnichsen as the authorized signer on the loan
• Loan with Nebraska State Bank for a Cat 938M Wheel Loader in the amount of $171,041.87 with Mayor Rod Sonnichsen as the authorized signer on the loan
• Job title change of the Fire and Rescue Coordinator to Emergency Services Director
• Starting of the assessment process for South 19th Avenue
• Use of KENO funds in the amount of $6,909.78 to fix the lighting and replace flags in the One Box Park

The council adjourned at 6:42 p.m. on Tuesday. The next Broken Bow City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 13 at 6 p.m.

Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Sergeant Shane Fiorelli, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Lacey Fiorelli, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Kacey Woodliff-Finney, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Jeremiah Daugherty, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Cody Neville, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Officer Coby Cassidy, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Andy Holland, Councilman Jacob Holcomb
Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Ahren Finney, Councilman Jacob Holcomb