The Cozad City Council met for a regular meeting on Monday, July 24, 2017. Deputy City Clerk Kelly Peden presided.
A public hearing to receive testimony concerning the application of MAD Food Services LLA, dba Bella Italia Restaurant in Cozad for a Class I liquor license was held. A Class I liquor license is for beer, wine, distilled spirits on sale only.
Appearing were Bella Italia owners Mark and Maria Diaz and their attorney, Mark R. McKeone.
“The Diazes have had a temporary liquor license since taking over the restaurant and now need to apply for a permanent license,” McKeone explained. “Bella Italia has become a ‘landmark’ in Cozad and brings a lot of customers from outside Cozad who are looking for an upscale dining experience that includes a glass of wine,” he added.
There were no comments from council members or the audience other than compliments for the Diazes on continuing the fine food and atmosphere at Bella Italia.
“The police department has had no issues with the temporary liquor license,” commented Cozad Chief of Police Mark Montgomery. “Mark, Maria and Victor are a quality family and I support their application for a permanent license,” Montgomery continued.
Council member Deb Leahy made a motion to approve the application that was seconded by Council member Brian Montgomery. The motion passed and it is hoped that the application will be approved by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission at their August meeting.
Under Old Business, further discussion and consideration was given to the proposal for a community garden north of the Cozad Community Schools District Office Building that was presented by Bill Clark at the July 10th meeting. Clark was available to answer any questions.
Mayor Nancy Meyer informed Clark that the city’s insurance company expressed concern about the project because of liability reasons.
Council member Ron Olds spoke in favor of the project but felt it would be difficult to control.
Council member Montgomery asked Clark if he could just start the garden plots on the property that he owns at 16th & F Streets in Cozad. “There is no water available at the proposed site and you do have access to water on the property you own,” stated Montgomery. Council member Charlie Block also expressed concern that water wasn’t available at the district office site.
“I will start on my own property with the garden plots if necessary, but am thinking of a much larger area,” Clark replied.
Council member Block made a motion that received a second by Council member Olds to deny the project. Motion carried.
“Please don’t give up on this as it is a good idea,” Block told Clark following the vote. “I have been turned down twice now, by the Cozad School Board and now the Cozad City Council, but I will begin looking immediately for another site,” Clark said after thanking the council and mayor for their consideration.
In other Old Business, the reading of Ordinance No. 1472 defining the duties and responsibilities of the City Administrator was waived and moved to the third reading at the next council meeting. Council member Leahy cast the lone vote against the ordinance.
Under Reports, Lights Commissioner Britt German reported that his department is busy with daily duties and the removal of the platform, poles and transformers behind the former Rialto Theater. “The poles are crooked and everything will be moved underground to enhance this inviting grassy area,” according to German.
German also reported that the stoplights at the intersection of 8th and Meridian had ceased working last Friday and that they are now set to flashing red lights. The cog mechanism broke and I am checking at a place in Texas for parts,” he noted.
Streets and Parks Commissioner PJ Jacobson reported that work has begun building a new bathroom at Sportsman Park. Jacobson has also received numerous complaints on the debris being blown from the Monroe demolition.
“I also want to thank and compliment Cozad resident Heidi Revelo for the work that she has done in one of the berms located on the east side of the Muny Park walking trail,” Jacobson said. “The toadstools she painted and placed in the berm along with the solar lights are a welcome sight and we appreciate her work on this,” Jacobson commented.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that the library continues to be busy providing eclipse education to the community. She has made presentation at Meadowlark Pointe, South Central Developmental Agency and has another presentation at the Cozad Elks Club scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 3rd at 5:30 p.m. Arturo Martinez will have an eclipse education event at Maker Club this Thursday (today), July 27th at 4:00 p.m.
“We have over 85 barn quilts on display in the library now and will have 100 up as per our goal by August 11th to coincide with Quilts Around the Block,” Yocom said. “We will also have the NE 150 Quilt Winners Display from August 8 – 25,” she continued.
Cozad Rescue Chief Travis Lee reported that they had made 51 calls in June as compared to 29 in June of 2016. “We are 60 calls ahead of last year and are very impressed with our ‘rookies’ who are responding to calls and doing well,” Lee said.
Lee also reported that the CVFD would be taking the 99B ambulance and the C60 rescue truck to the Sandhills Open Road Challenge Shoot-Out on August 11th to assist with anyone injured in a wreck on the one-mile races. “We have done this in past years and our presence is always appreciated,” according to Lee.
Police Chief Montgomery reported that his department has been keeping busy.
Council member Block reported that City Attorney Scott Trusdale, CDC Director Jen McKeone and himself had been making presentations about all of the positive things taking place in Cozad and being planned for the future in Cozad. Organizations or businesses interested in the presentation may contact McKeone at 308-784-8006.
City Attorney Trusdale pointed out that the ballot for residents to vote on the city sales tax for the November election would be available at the next council meeting and that it is virtually the same as ten years ago. This year’s ballot will be asking for a twenty-year period instead of a ten-year period.
Mayor Meyer asked if there were any ordinances about putting up tents in the parks and other city-owned areas. She has had inquiries due to the eclipse on August 21st about camping out in tents due to the motels already being full.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 7, 2017 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers in the Cozad City Office Building.
Good effciency is always the goal and the Lexington Board of Education took a few steps towards better efficiency recently by approving of the purchase of a VOIP ShoreTel phone system for the whole district. Along with the phone system that cost $157,509, there is a five-year support option from InPath.
The Lexington School Board also approved the purchase of commercial washing machines and related equipment for the amount of $17,228. The washing machines will be located at the high school and be used to wash athletic uniforms by the coaching staffs.
There were motions of a rooftop HVAC unit being installed at the District Central Office. The motions were tabled to a future meeting.
The Lexington School Board approved the sale of a cable crossover machine that was a piece of weight lifting equipment at Lexington High School.
To keep their teachers best equiped, the school board approved of the purchase of high school government, sociology and psychology materials from McGraw-Hill Education in the amount of $21,359.
Putting their best foot forward to insure that the school district safety was the school board in approving the 2017-2018 safety and security plans for the Early Learning Academy, Morton Elementary, Bryan Elementary, Sandoz Elementary, Pershing Elementary, Lexington Middle School and Lexington High School. Along with the safety and security plans, the student/parent handbooks for the upcoming term were approved as well for all levels: ELA, elementary, middle school and high school.
The revision, addition and elimination of many Lexington School Board policies was approved as well. Many of the policies were to assist the school district to run more efficiently.
The next regular scheduled meeting of the Lexington Board of Education is on August 14th at 7 pm at the Lexington City Council Chambers.
Some of the unsung heroes of each and every small community that deserve to be honored are the Volunteer Fire Departments and members of the Rescue Unit. The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit is seeking your assistance to be the best that they can be as they rely upon donations to purchase extra fire and rescue along with material for community service projects, recognition awards and other specialized items.
Along with their emergency duties when the calls come in, the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit give tours of the vehicles along with the fire hall. The Rescue Unit provides standby services for Cozad school activities and many other activities that occur in Cozad. The Fire Department host Jr. Fire Patrol for area 5th grade student along with teaching weather spotter classes.
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit does receive tax dollars that goes towards the purchase of new trucks, ambulances and other major equipment purchases, but to be the most effective fire and rescue department, they need more than just the basics to perform to the best of their abilities.
Thus far in 2017, the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit has responded to 102 rescue calls along with 18 fire calls.
The Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit hopes to combine your donations and previous donations to make sure the department can continue to meet and exceed the needs of the community of Cozad.
If you choose to donate to the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit, you can send the funds to PO Box 154; Cozad, NE 69130.
Dancing to the music were the members of the Cozad High School Jazz Dance Team as they received stellar reviews while attending the 2017 Universal Dance Association (UDA) Camp held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The team is anxious to share all they have learned during performances for this upcoming year.
The team was very successful, scoring numerous superior and excellent ribbons, and several Drill Down ribbons.
Biz Tvrdy received a ‘Pin It Forward’ award from a UDA Staff member.
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