Council President Elected, Utility Bonds, Fireworks Discussed at BB City Council

Council President Elected, Utility Bonds, Fireworks Discussed at BB City Council
(L-R) City Clerk Stephanie Wright, Mayor Rod Sonnichsen, Council President Jacob Holcomb, Chris Myers, Larry Miller during the Broken Bow City Council meeting on January 28

BROKEN BOW–A new council president was elected on Tuesday night to fill the position previously held by Rod Sonnichsen–who now serves as Broken Bow Mayor following the recall of former Mayor Jonathon Berghorst.

Jacob Holcomb will now serve as the council president following a nomination by councilman Chris Myers during the January 28 meeting.

A vacancy remains on the Broken Bow City Council for the east ward (east of 10th Avenue) in which a new council representative will serve a 34-month term. City Clerk Stephanie Wright said applications are available online or at the clerk’s office.

Brad Slaughter with Piper Jaffray spoke to the council about the city’s electric utility revenue bonds which were issued in 2014.

“We can save you a pretty substantial amount refinancing your 2014 bonds,” Slaughter said.

By refinancing the bonds the city could save approximately $2,300 per year over the next 12 years with interest rates dropping from the current rate of 3.43% to 2.15%. Slaughter added that the city could net approximately $193,690 following the approval of the resolution and ordinance–which were both approved by the city council.

“The resolution allows notice to be provided to the current bond holders of the 2014 bonds that they’re going to be paid off and the ordinance actually issues the new bonds with lower interest rates and allows us to essentially lock interest rates and refinance the debt so those are the two action items in front of you tonight,” Slaughter said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Jeff Pflaster appeared before the council to discuss the Broken Bow Fire Department fireworks stand. He said the fire department is having trouble running the stand and is reaching out to local organizations for help.

“We’re running out of manpower to run our stand and having a little issue getting some help running it. What we make at our stand all goes towards the show that we put on up here. There’s no extra profit for us in it at all,” Pflaster said.

Pflaster said the annual Broken Bow Fourth of July fireworks show costs between $6,000 and $8,000 each year and the department has enough funds to support a display this year and the next.

“We enjoy doing it. We’re just having a little trouble getting our stand going, that’s the main thing,” Pflaster said. “If we don’t have a stand we won’t have a show up here for the fourth so that’s where the money comes from for the show.”

Clubs, nonprofits, and sports teams are able to help run the stand as long as someone 18 or older is supervising. Pflaster said he and other members of the department are willing to set everything up but need the manpower to help run the stand when it is open. No decisions were made.

“We’ll still set it up for them, we’ll still deal with our dealer, we’ll set the trailer up, help them price it. All they have to do is run it,”  Pflaster said.

Also during Tuesday evening’s meeting the council approved signors of the city’s various bank accounts held at Bruning State Bank and Nebraska State Bank. The council approved the membership level of Class A Member to the Custer Economic Development Corporation.

During Comments by Mayor and Council Members, City Attorney Jason White asked if any council members were considering changing the meeting time back to 12 p.m. Sonnichsen said he would like to hear more input from the community. No decisions were made.

Sonnichsen also said he wants to add time for public comments at future city council meetings. He also encouraged the crowd to visit the city website’s Community Input Form. All messages will go to City Clerk Stephanie Wright.

The meeting adjourned at 6:27 p.m. and the next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 11 at 6 p.m.