The Lexington City Council approved an agreement with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) for aquatic habitat and angler access rehabilitation at Kirkpatrick Memorial Park Lake during their recent council meeting.
Under the agreement the city will contribute $100,000 toward the project with NGPC expected to contribute up to $150,000. The city is also applying for a Clear Lakes Grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
City Manager Joe Pepplitsch noted the total for the rehabilitation project would be about $500,000 if all the grants come through. The city has already removed trees from the west side of the lake and thinned out scrub brush and dead trees around the remainder of the lake, he said. They will be working with the Dawson County Museum to finish the thinning of trees and brush immediately behind the museum later this spring, as part of the lake falls on museum property.
“Hopefully we will have plans in place in about two weeks. That’s my goal,” said Pepplitsch. “On the west side of the lake we will create an area where people can get down and fish. The east side is shallow and needs dredged. Eventually we hope we can let people use kayaks on the lake.”
The city has already removed junk fish from the lake and taken game fish to the lake at Plum Creek Park. When the rehabilitation at the Kirkpatrick Lake is complete the city will restock it with new game fish, said Pepplitsch.
In other business the council approved the 2018 Action Plan, which involves identifying planning efforts such as comprehensive planning, housing studies, business targeting sessions, infrastructure needs assessments and putting them into a workable one-year “to-do” list.
In their last item of business at the meeting the council approved Ordinance 2406 to re-appoint Pepplitsch as Lexington City Manager. His salary was set at $123,600 per year effective March 26. The council moved to suspend rules and that motion carried, placing the ordinance in effect immediately.
During the round table discussion, Pepplitsch noted that the next council work sessions would be April 14. He also said Dawson Area Development will be submitting an application to the Rural Workforce Housing Fund in an effort to get more housing units built.
Assistant City Manager Dennis Burnside noted that last year a grant had been submitted for planting trees on the peninsula at Plum Creek Park. “However, by the time the work was finished it was too late to plant last year. The trees are now set to arrive in April and we will have a contractor plant them,” he said.
Among the varieties to be planted are elm, coffee, wild plum, sandcherry and other smaller bushes.