The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, April 9th.
Terry Galloway, representing the firm Almquist, Maltzahn, Galloway & Luth presented the 2016-17 fiscal audit. The audit was acknowledged and filed accordingly.
Cozad Development Corporation Executive Director Jen McKeone led a public hearing to obtain public comment prior to the review and consideration of two proposed amendments to the redevelopment plan, including two specific redevelopment projects. Both of these projects involve seed corn companies who were ready to begin at the end of October and are adding a significant investment to their properties.
“I didn’t want for them to have to wait for six months to begin construction but told them they would be at risk for some utility and infrastructure costs,” McKeone explained.
Both projects will receive their tax-free increments each year after taxes are paid.
Council members approved the two resolutions dealing with the review of the Redevelopment Plan, the review of the Cost Benefit Analysis and the CRA’s (Community Redevelopment Authority) recommendation of the projects. They also authorized the CRA to enter into the Redevelopment Agreement and Resolution authorizing the CRA to enter into the Redevelopment Agreement and to take all actions contemplated in the Agreement, including the issuance of Tax Increment Financing. Finally, the Redevelopment Agreement and resolutions presented as reviewed and recommended by the CRA were approved.
Under New Business, Bruce Grupe, P.E. with Olsson Associates appeared concerning the Cozad Alley Improvement between Avenue H and Meridian Avenue. Olsson Associates requested the approval of the plans and specifications for the alley improvement between Avenue H and Meridian Avenue from 8th Street to 9th Street and that the Council set a bid date for April 26th.They also want to advertise for the bids starting on April 12th. The estimated range of construction cost for the project is between $65,000 and $100,000 with the bids to be opened on April 26th. Project completion date has been set for August 15th. According to Grupe, the project includes the widening of the existing alley pavement from 11 feet wide to 18 feet wide. In the south half of the alley the project proposes to pave approximately 958 square yards of the existing parking area abutting the west side of the alley. “Additionally, the plans propose to construct a gravel parking area abutting the west side of the northern half of the project. An alternate bid is included to pave this parking area that would provide 16 parking stalls when completed,” Grupe shared. “Signage to indicate the alley as ‘One Way’ from north to south is also to be included in the bid,” Grupe continued. Council members approved the plans and specifications and to advertise as needed.
Council members also approved the claims excluding none.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that his crew is getting caught up and are waiting on cement to complete a project on East 13th Street. He also noted that the BPW Board had approved the first phase of getting a sewer out by the Hunkes. “We’ve experienced some problems with the water line out by the racquet ball club,” Nichols lamented. “We’ve already spent $2,500 for boring and now need to hire someone to ‘dewater’ and an excavator to complete this project which will bring the total price to at least $10,000.”
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that his crew has been keeping busy changing out poles. On Saturday they spent the day changing out transformers.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that the new lights had been installed and that it is much brighter in those areas.
“Joel Pflaster is going to turn in the rebates and we should see a savings in our monthly bill,” Yocom said.
Yocom thanked BJ Steinwart and Scott Hergenrader for putting in vents to deal with a circulation problem and thanked Brian Woldt for his well-attended weather emergency program on March 28th.
Police Chief Mark Montgomery reported that the police department has been keeping very busy.
“We had a stabbing incident last Friday involving two teenaged boys and we’re really seeing a rise in drug activity this last eight weeks,” Montgomery reported.
“We’ve received lots of calls involving the use of methamphetamine and cocaine and heroin are coming back,” according to Montgomery.
Montgomery praised his department and their diligent efforts with special note made of the officers who are working on big, long cases.
“Please keep a positive attitude as we work on the drug and clean-up issues in our community,” Montgomery concluded.
Under Citizen’s Comments, Cozad Community Health System CEO Lyle Davis appeared.
“Our policemen are busting their tails and I encourage them to keep it up,” Davis commented.
“We all need to step up and clean up this drug issue in our community and surrounding communities,” Davis went on to say.
Davis’s main reason for addressing the council was in regards to the texts and phone calls he began receiving three weeks ago concerning the Cozad Care and Rehabilitation Center. “Several residents have asked me if the hospital could purchase the property, but hospitals are getting rid of care homes because they lose money on them,” Davis explained. “I am concerned about the 94 jobs and the 85 residents at our facility. Prior to Skyline taking over our facility it was a profitable business and I want the city to keep an open mind as all of this plays out. ”
Davis had visited with Cozad Care & Rehabilitation Center CEO Barry Emerson who had told him an audit was underway and every attempt is being made to stabilize the situation with Medicare and insurance money still coming in. “I’m just asking the council to be prepared to be at the table to talk about keeping it open and protecting it,” Davis concluded.
City Clerk Susan Kloepping reported that the Dawson County Board of Zoning Regulations committee would be meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17th.
Mayor Nancy Meyer lauded Cozad linesmen on National Linesman Day that was celebrated on April 9th.
Mayor Meyer also made note that the Tree City Recognition Day is scheduled in North Platte on Tuesday, April 17th.
At 9:05 p.m. the Mayor and council members entered into executive session by request of City Attorney Scott Trusdale to discuss a lawsuit.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, April 23rd at 7:30 p.m.