The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, June 18th.
Mandy Swanson and Brenda Lambert, officers for the Cozad B.I.D. (Business Improvement District) Board appeared to request recycling funds for their light project downtown.
The B.I.D. Board meets monthly and is always looking for creative ways to beautify the downtown area. They have purchased the benches, trash receptacles and planters on the intersection of 8th & Meridian and are responsible for keeping up the flowerbeds and trees, including the purchase of the plants, bushes and trees as well as the labor to maintain it. They also purchase the Christmas trees, lights and decorations for the intersection during the holiday season.
For 30 months the board has been working on a plan to install LED lights on top of every building within one block of 8th Street and Meridian. Permission to install lights has been received from each business owner and a bid has been obtained from Joel Pflaster of Flash Electric for $18,000 to install the lights and timers
“We began our installation with the Waypoint Bank building for demonstrative purposes, and have received numerous positive comments,” Swanson explained.
The board has made this project a priority over the past two and one half years and has $10,000 to fund the $27,000 project upfront.
“We are requesting $10,000 in city recycling funds,” Swanson said.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale informed Lambert and Swanson that the Wilson Foundation had met and agreed to donate $5,000 to the project.
“We have applied for a no-interest loan at the CDC and we can borrow up to $5,000,” Swanson said. “We would rather not have to borrow unless absolutely necessary and we are hoping that we can count on funding from the recycling for this downtown beautification project,” Swanson continued.
Council member Brian Montgomery questioned the project. “How will this help our downtown business that shut down at 5 p.m.?” Montgomery asked.
“I think that there are better ways to spend $27,000 and I just know that the city will end up taking care of and maintaining the lights once they start having problems,” he continued.
Council member Deb Leahy made a motion to give $5,000 from the City Recycling Fund to B.I.D. for the lights project Charlie Block seconded the motion. Council members Leahy, Block and Ron Olds voted yes with Montgomery casting the lone o vote.
“We receive $10/month from each business owner and will use this continued funding to provide the upkeep and maintenance on the lights,” Swanson assured the council.
Under Reports, Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that they are trying to finish up their work at the former Kildare Lumber site so that Paulsen’s can start their work on the alley project east of New Life Interiors.
Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that the sewer project out south of town had been completed and pressure tested. His department is working on routine summer maintenance.
Cozad Police Chief Mark Montgomery reported that the evidence room in the city building in not air-conditioned.
“Items in there get really smelly such as blood-stained clothing, “ Montgomery said.
“I am going to check into the costs of taking out the old door and building a new wall to get an airtight evidence room and submit this as a budget item for next year,” Montgomery continued.
Montgomery also reported that the pick-up was built on June 11th and that it will be shipped when all of the extra-added equipment is added.
Montgomery noted that the city had mowed the area surrounding the former Monroe Auto Building and that from now on Steve Gomez will be doing the mowing.
Mayor Nancy Meyer reported that she had met with State Senator Matt Williams concerning the tax rebate for Cozad’s volunteer firefighters. City Attorney Scott Trusdale has been requested to write an affidavit to be sent in and Fire Chief Travis Lee has been asked to supply the number of qualifying firefighters for this rebate for 2016.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, July 9th at 7:30 p.m.