The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 5th.
A public hearing took place to discuss approval of an amendment of the Redevelopment Plan for a building in northeast Cozad that had been recommended by the Community Redevelopment Authority of the City of Cozad (“CRA”). The amendment would provide TIF (tax increment financing) as was provided in the past for Hunt Cleaners, Rodeway Inn and Cenex. The proposed amendment had been sent out to every tax-asking entity with no replies or issues returned.
Resolutions to approve the Plan Amendment and the Redevelopment Agreement were both approved.
Under Old Business, the ordinance on snow relocation that had been tabled at the January 22nd meeting was once again discussed. This ordinance would amend a section of the Cozad Municipal Code regarding snow and ice removal.
City employees Mike Steinwart and Fred Starr were present at the meeting. Steinwart explained that out of town tractors with blades making large piles in the streets are one of their main concerns. Steinwart also made note that snow removal from driveways and parking lots were a much bigger issue to the street department than snow removal from sidewalks.
The proposed ordinance included moving snow and/or ice from lots, driveways and sidewalks, owned or controlled by them onto public streets alleys, sidewalks, or other public property; provided that in the downtown business district snow and/or ice from sidewalks may be pushed into the gutter of the street.
Council members agreed that parking lots needed to be included in the ordinance and sidewalks removed. City Attorney Scott Trusdale told council members that he would “clean up the ordinance” and the item was tabled to the February 19th meeting.
Council members also revisited the proposal by the Cozad Library Board for additional part-time incentives as tabled at the January 22nd meeting.
The Cozad Library Board has proposed four hours of PTO (paid time off) per month for part-time employees who work 40 hours per month and eight hours per month for those working 80 hours per month. The same regulations for using the PTO would apply as for full time employees.
Part-time employees would also appreciate the yearly lab work that full time employees receive. Library board members recommended that the lab work benefit begin after three years of employment.
Discussion ensued on how long an employee should wait until receiving PTO and the yearly lab work. All council members agreed that the time should be ‘bumped up’ so as to not spend time and money always retraining part-time employees. It was also agreed that if and when passed the new benefits are retroactive for part-time employees who have worked at the library the required number of tenure years.
City Attorney Trusdale noted that the council would need to pass a resolution and offered to make a draft of the proposal for the next meeting.
Under New Business, the ordinance amending the Municipal Code per the update by the state legislature was approved. This is done annually with the changes required by legislation passed by the last session of the Unicameral and is mostly procedural in nature.
Jill Nelsen, owner of Cork & Cap Liquor appeared to request a liquor license for the Turkey Federation Banquet scheduled for February 23rd at Chipper Hall. Nelsen’s request was approved.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols had visited with the Board of Public Works concerning water and sewer system extensions. His crew is busy making sure that they keep water flowing below ground level.
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that one of his crew is undergoing back surgery this week and that crewmember Dustin Smith will be attending transformer school this week.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that they would be 99 percent finished with inventory by Friday. Yocom thanked the council members for listening to the library board’s proposal for part-time employees incentive and also thanked Steinwart and Starr for snow removal.
Yocom also reported that they have received state level accreditation through the year 2020 and have achieved the ‘silver level’ in Nebraska libraries.
The next regular meeting for the city council is scheduled for Monday, February 19th at 7:30 p.m. in the City Office building.