City Attorney Scott Trusdale swore Police Officer Nicholas Reynolds into office.A public hearing was held on the 2019-39 Economic Development Plan. Cozad Development Corporation Director Jen McKeone had proposed at the last council meeting to vote on renewing the half cent city tax on the November ballot instead of waiting until it expires in 2019. The vote will extend the period from ten years to 20 years until 2039. The proposal includes adding workforce and removing the cap on tax proceeds. The council members approved the plan.
A second public hearing involved the Conditional Use Permit application filed by the Cozad United Methodist Church to operate a Family Child Care Home (preschool). The Planning Commission had met on Monday afternoon and recommended approval of the application and the council members consented. The permit will be good for one year and will allow the church to get everything else settled with the state.
Under Old Business, the second reading of the ordinance creating a Redevelopment Authority as requested by the CDC took place. City Attorney Trusdale requested that the third reading be waived. “We need to publicly act on this ordinance tonight to meet the deadline for the November election,” Trusdale explained. Council members approved the ordinance.
Under New Business, Cozad resident Bill Clark and his wife, Sharon appeared with a request to establish a community garden on property owned by the City of Cozad north of the Cozad Community Schools District Office building. “I have been working on this project for over a year and thought that the garden would be established on property owned by the school district east of the football field, but the motion to establish it died for the lack of a second at the June school board meeting,” Clark lamented. “I visited with PJ Jacobson and he showed me the city property north of the District Office building. It is a huge site that is excavated with free ‘good dirt’ and mulch,” he continued.
Clark reported that it will cost the city nothing and that he has more than enough free seeds from Tractor Supply Co. and Kelly’s Hardware.
Mayor Nancy Meyer expressed interest in the proposal and told Clark and his wife that she wanted to check with the city’s insurance provider and that the proposal will be on the July 24th meeting agenda.
In other New Business an Interlocal Agreement for the joint center for dispatching services under the existing Interlocal Agreement dated September 12, 2006 was passed.
Approval was given to the Mayor’s reappointments to the following boards and commissions: Mike Neill and Randy Jacob to the Board of Public Works; Dreu Young to the Park Board and Tim Williams, Adam Boryca and David McNally to the Planning Commission. One vacancy on the Park Board exists due to former Activities Director Cory Spotanski leaving his position in Cozad.
Consideration was given to the estimated cost for the ‘pigeon project’. Jacobson had contacted Luke Peebles from the USDA who does animal control projects for Dawson County. Peeble’s estimate came to $4,972 for eradication of the pigeons in Cozad.
“I was the one who proposed this project, but after finding out that North Platte spent $8,000 on getting rid of their pigeons and it barely put a dent in their population I’m thinking this isn’t a wise expenditure of money,” expressed Councilman Brian Montgomery.
The council members unanimously voted to deny the ‘pigeon project’.
An extension request from 10-1-2017 to 10-1-2018 was granted for Jen McKeone as a grant administrator on a city project.
An introduction of an ordinance defining duties and responsibilities of the City Administrator was presented. Council member Deb Leahy cast a negative vote on moving it to the second reading, but it was moved with the affirmative votes of council members Montgomery and Ron Olds.
Cozad Fire Department membership applications were approved for Travis Stithem, Travis Munster, Tyrel Hite and Monica Earll.
The special designated liquor license application submitted by Travis Munster at Big E’s for a wedding reception at Chipper Hall on Saturday, August 5, 2017 was approved.
The final item of New Business was the approval of a ten per cent increase in health insurance premiums for city employees by Municipal Health Insurance. It was reported that it has been five years since the last increase and that the city was hit hard by claims this year for medical issues. The renewal, due August 1, 2017 received approval.
Under Reports Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that there is a lot going on at the library now with the NASA grant and the events leading up to August 21st’s eclipse. “We are still looking for a part time person and Youth Director Jessica Wall has turned in her resignation as she will be relocating to Kearney,” shared Yocom. “We look forward to hiring a new Youth Director that is as good as the last two that we’ve had,” she continued.
Streets and Parks Commissioner Jacobson reported that Bands, Brews and BBQs went well and that the additions to the swimming pool are being used and appreciated by patrons. His department has also been kept busy with the District Junior Legion Baseball Tournament at Muny Park.
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that his department is removing the old underground footings from behind the former Rialto Theater.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that they have replaced the old hydrant at 18th & C Streets and will be replacing one at 13th & E Streets. “We are pumping a lot of water these days,” Nichols noted.
Chief of Police Mark Montgomery reported that Bands, Brews and BBQs went very smoothly and that there were not any incidents.
Cozad Housing Authority Director Pat Hosick reported that a replacement for Cathy Walters needs to be made on the housing board.
City Clerk Susan Kloepping reported that the computer at the cemetery went out, the city saved $200,000 by waiting on landfill dirt and the Youth Sports Complex will be setting up a youth golf league. “Also, the State Auditors Office notified us that the CDC wasn’t included in the city’s audit and that she will be working on getting that corrected,” Kloepping said.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 24, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers in the City Office Building.