The Lexington City Council reviewed plans and specifications for the Kirkpatrick Memorial Park Lake restoration project and authorized the city to send out requests for bids at their April 24 meeting.
City Manager Jo Pepplitsch noted clearing and grubbing activities have already occurred around the lake with the exception of a small piece behind the Dawson County Museum. “We now need to reshape and stabilize the banks for more gradual grade and to create angler access,” he said.
Pepplitsch noted the plans call for a stair step drop with a concrete pad at the water’s edge along Seventh Street, and also some pads in lake corners. “There needs to be a lot of dredging on the southeast corner of lake, which is the shallowest part at this time. We want a 12-13 feet depth there with 17 feet down the lake’s center and 15 feet along the west side of lake,” he said, noting those depths are necessary for improving fish habitat.
The plans also indicate where added parking will be, with paving for handicapped access first, then as funds allow. Sidewalk access is planned on the lake’s west side with improved access on all sides.
More park development is also planned, said Pepplitsch. “The spoils from the dredging and grubbing will be used on the north side to build some type of sledding and climbing hill in the future.”
Goals of the project are to improve: 1) Lake water health; 2) fish habitat; 3) and provide additional recreation such as kayaking, etc.
In other business Delpha Albus, president of the Lexington Public Library Board, presented the annual library report. Assistant City Manager Dennis Burnside noted the council report is required to maintain Nebraska Library certification.
Albus discussed the Library Initiative Grant, which is funded by the Lexington Library Memorial Fund, the Lexington Community Foundation, the Emerson Fund and the Lexington Friends of the Library. The grant provided a total of 27 programs for the community to attend for free during 2016-17, she said. “Twenty-one of the programs were adult and family programs including the monthly “Booked for Lunch” program and six were children’s programs.”
Children’s programs offered during 2016-17 were presented as part of the 2017 Summer Reading. Lexington Public Schools transported students to the library for many of the performances that included: “The Little Mermaid” with the Crane River Theater, “Legos with Curtis Monk, the Lego Man,” and “Storytelling and Music with Dino O’Dell.”
Friends of Lexington Library assist with the Books on Wheels program, the Monday Afternoon Book Club and the Novel Stitchers. They have also helped introduce new technology - the library mobile app, which utilizes Auto-Graphics, and the Overdrive app.
Some major maintenance and building repairs were required last year when a water pipe leading to the overhead fire sprinkler system cracked in the east entryway on Jan. 7, 2017. Water leaked through the ceiling area, which in turn burst through the ceiling tile and began to seep through the building, all the way to the circulation desk. Repairs were quickly made and the library only had to close over a weekend.
Albus pointed out some key library statistics, noting that even with the increase of home computers and access to all types of tablet devices, the 23 public access computers are used daily throughout library hours. “There were 20,479 logins for the year on those computers and there is constant wireless usage, as often people will sit in their cars outside the library to access the free Wi-Fi. Last year there were a total of 29,247 logins on the wireless. The library is still an important, vital resource for Lexington,” she concluded.
In other business the council approved a request by Derek Haines on behalf of the Lexington Housing Authority to wave the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), which has been done in the past.
The council also adopted Resolution 2018-06 authorizing the sale of property at 204 E. Fourth St. to Rick Price. It was noted the remonstrance period had passed without any petition of sale being filed.
The final action included setting a council work session for 8 a.m. May 19.