The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday evening.
Three members of the Cozad Tourism Committee, Karman Morse, Cozad Chamber of Commerce Director, Caroline Gaudreault, Robert Henri Executive Director and Rose Mapel, Rustic Milling & Craft appeared to request the council’s permission to place the 50 state barn quilts on the West outside museum wall. This barn quilt project is a joint effort between the tourism board and the museum.
Originally these were to be placed on the east side of the Old Mill being renovated by Machelle Smith, but due to insurance and other issues a new location is being sought.
Paulsen Inc. had been contacted by the tourism committee and the museum board and been told that the new wall could support the barn quilts without damaging it.
Morrie Andres, a member of the 100th Meridian Museum Board, also appeared and asked the council members if they had any questions. Andres explained that the museum board had discussed the proposed project, but was waiting to clear it with the city first before preceding any further with plans.
“With all the trouble we’ve had with that wall you’re wanting to drill holes in it now?” council member Brian Montgomery asked.
The other council members echoed Montgomery’s concerns and it was brought up that the ‘green space’ might eventually be used to show movies on the wall as well as other possibilities. Council members voted unanimously to not have the quilts placed on the museum wall.
The tourism committee was directed to seek another place for the barn quilts to be hung.
In other business, Cindy Schneider appeared in regards to the annual Alzheimer’s Awareness Day scheduled for the longest day of the year, June 21st that is the first day of summer.
“This year’s theme is “What Will You Do to Fight Alzheimer’s? Put Your Passion to Good Work On the Longest Day”, Schneider said.
“The entire county will come together from 2 – 6 p.m. in the Veteran’s Memorial Park for awareness activities and games,” and we would request use of the park and additional picnic tables from the city,” Schneider explained.
Terry Streetman, Chairman for the Nebraska Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be in attendance, as he is so impressed by this collaborative awareness day by the citizens of Dawson County. Donations will be accepted at the park and at the free movie “Leisure Seeker” that will be shown at the Sun Theatre in Gothenburg at 7:30 p.m.
The council also considered the bids received for the 4th & N Street Sanitary Sewer Extension as recommended by Olsson Associates. Jacob Reiter from Olsson Associates shared that four bids had been received for the project with the highest bid being $145,000 and the lowest for $47,860 from Midlands Construction, Inc., Kearney, Nebraska. “The bid from Midlands Construction, Inc. is 35 percent below the engineer’s estimate and we recommend that you accept it,” Reiter said. “The work is scheduled to be substantially completed prior to June 29th,” he continued.
Council members approved the bid for the sewer project from Midlands Construction, Inc.
Tim Hansen, representing the Citizen’s Advisory Review Council appeared to present the Citizen’s Advisory Report.
The CARC met on May 29th to review the six-month activities of the Cozad Development Corporation. All loans made by CDC are in good standing. A review of the financials was completed and all uses of funds are in accordance to the Economic Development Plan. The CARC will operate on the existing plan until October 2019. Activities over the past six-month period included the sale of 829 Meridian (Dawson Home), the transfer of the Colorado Biolabs building to Colorado Biolabs for the fulfillment of their lease obligations and the acquisition of 813 Meridian, the former Hoff’s Tops building. The CDC also acquired seven residential lots north of Hendee Drive in Cozad.
The CDC has been actively trying to fill the vacant restaurant buildings downtown and along Highway 21.
The CDC will be choosing the winner of the “Win This Space” contest on June 15th. This contest has been a huge marketing boost for Cozad and as a result, CDC Director Jen McKeone has been asked to present about downtown Cozad at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.
In an attempt to encourage the tradition of entrepreneurship to continue in Cozad, the CDC has sponsored a Business Plan Basics Class during the month of May and a Biz Kids Camp for youth.
Planned activities for the next six months include the acquisition of twenty-one residential lots and to begin building spec houses this summer. Work is also being continued on making the Cover site at the Interstate 80 exchange ready for development and they are still working on recruiting an additional hotel.
“Our committee is very pleased with the progress of the CDC over the past six months, and we are looking forward to the future planned projects,” Hansen concluded. “Former CDC Director Robyn Geiser did an amazing job during her tenure and present Director Jen McKeone continues to do an amazing job as well,” Hansen added.
Under Reports, Jimmy Weinmaster reported that Josh Morse had been hired for the street department. His department has kept busy repairing a seal in the swimming pool, cleaning up the municipality after storms and is already starting to spray for insects.
Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that they are working on moving the pole and the underground electrical line at the former Kildare Lumber building site.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that they have been working on a main break at H Street & Highway 30. “The main is shut off so no one is without water other than ‘Grow & Mow’ and they are working with us on this,” Nichols explained.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that the Summer Reading Program is beginning this week with 155 K – 5th graders registered so far and that nine students are enrolled in the cursive writing class.
Yocom also reported that approximately 250 were in attendance at the first Music Mondays evening and thanked Jimmy Weinmaster, Scott Hergenrader and Fred Starr for their help in getting the barricades and everything set up on Monday.
Police Chief Mark Montgomery reported that his department had cleaned up one problem area and that things were going good.
Council member Ron Olds reported that a letter had been sent to Senator Matt Williams in support of the 17 members of the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department who had not received their $250.00 tax refund. It has been determined that many other fire departments throughout the state experienced this same issue.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale reported that the property on North Meridian would be closed in a week to ten days.
Under Citizen’s Comments, Cozad Community Health System Administrator Lyle Davis appeared to report that Mayor Meyer, the hospital board and he had met with Ken Klassmeyer in regards to the future of Cozad Care & Rehabilitation Center.
Davis reported that the hamburger feed at the care home sponsored by the CCHS raised $17,820.00 for the employees at the facility who were shorted a pay check. Pat Leahy asked what other communities are doing in regards to their care home facilities. Leahy was told that Elwood and Callaway facilities are city-owned.
According to Klassmeyer, Cozad Care & Rehabilitation Center had nine corporations on top of each other according to Klassmeyer that isn’t a good plan. Golden Living Center does own the building and wants to lease it “It is probably best to look at a local corporation to own it and retain community control,” Klassmeyer recommended.
Mayor Meyer will be contacting Klassmeyer in hopes that he can attend the next council meeting. “We want to protect those beds and those jobs in our community,” she said.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 18th beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the City Office Building.