The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, April 10, 2017.

Certificated staff contracts for the 2017-2018 school year were approved for Jordan Cudney, High School Assistant Principal/Activities Director; Michelle Irvine, High School Family and Consumer Sciences; Bethany Hyatt, School Psychologist and Hannah Gilg, Elementary Teacher.

Also approved were the resignations of the following certificated staff members effective at the end of the current school year: Sophia Weinert, High School Mathematics; Susan Armstrong, Third Grade Teacher and Mary Poore, Middle School Language Arts. Replacements have already been hired for Armstrong’s and Poore’s positions.

In other business, approval was granted to sponsor the 2017 Summer Food Service Program in the Cozad High School Cafeteria.
Board members voted to waive rescheduling the missed school day on January 16, 2017 due to inclement weather.

Salary advancement applications were accepted for Heidi Cover, Brent Frauen, Karen Klein, Kylee Kuecker Barry Mraz, Ashley Simpson, Erica Wieseler and Morgan Williams.

Superintendent Joel Applegate reported that seven companies would be touring facilities for the food service program on Tuesday, April 11. School representatives will then review their bids with the checklists they have created.

Applegate noted that speaker Kevin Honeycutt made outstanding presentations throughout the day to students, staff and the community on Wednesday, April 5. He has been invited to return next year and focus on the entrepreneurial opportunities available in our community and on our poverty level students.

Applegate also reported that he had contacted a company in Colorado for bids on a new modular for the elementary. In the meantime, the same school district that had a modular for sale and the district lost out on during the bidding process now has a two-room rectangular wooden building for sale for sale. Facilities Director Lonnie Dutton will be going to Scotia to check it out prior to the district placing a bid.

Bids on the locker room improvements are being finalized, as are the specifications for the boiler room updates.

Applegate told the board that he is prioritizing the capital improvement funds available for the summer months. “I would like to hire our own people, perhaps classified staff members to paint in our classrooms and hallways,” Applegate shared. “The shrubs in front of the high school will be removed and replaced with cement, new LED lighting will be installed in the elementary gym and the high school library which will result in energy savings,” he continued.

According to Applegate the school’s Suburban is getting old and he is seeking a 1-ton van that can pull a trailer to replace it. “We also need to replace our food van as it doesn’t meet our future needs,” emphasized Applegate.

One furnace in the elementary needs to be replaced and it is hoped that carpet squares can replace the current carpeting in the elementary classrooms on a rotational basis with some rooms completed each summer.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 15, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (Noon) in the superintendent’s office in the district office.

As the Spring and Summer months continue to heat up the 100th Meridian City, the Cozad City Council approved and addressed many items on their meeting’s agenda in preparation for the warmer climates.

Chris Barnes approached the City Council about hosting the Dawson County Relay for Life event at Veteran’s Memorial Park on June 2nd from 4 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Barnes asked if the closing of F Street along with 9th and 10th Street around the park would be possible during the event. City of Cozad officials approved the street closings. Barnes also asked about additional picnic tables and dumpsters being added temporarily for the event. The City Council and supervisors didn’t see a problem with that proposal and approved the hosting of the event.

The formal reading of the minutes from the March 20th meeting was waived and approved as presented.

All claims were approved with no exceptions.

The Wilson Public Library recently hosted a Severe Weather Presentation that was well attended. Dawson County Emergency Management Coordinator Brian Woldt was the presented during the informational meeting. The showing of Moana was very well attended with over 40 viewers in attendance at the Library.

The staff of the Wilson Public Library is currently preparing for the upcoming Summer Reading Program.

Giving voice to children in history; Andrea Warren, the author of, ‘Pioneer Girl’ the book chosen for One Book, One Cozad will be at the Library on April 24th with scheduled visits to Cozad Elementary as well.

Water Superintendent Dallas Nichols expressed that the Lift Stations are in and are being installed. The installation is going as planned.

As the Streets Supervisor along with being the Parks and Recreation supervisor, PJ Jacobson spoke about the status of the parks for the upcoming Summer season. The City of Cozad staff is working on turning the water on for the sprinklers and the new Pet Waste Stations have been installed at Muni Park. The Swimming Pool managers for the upcoming season are taking certification classes in Kearney.

Cozad Rescue Unit Chief Travis Lee announced that Cozad was awarded the highly acclaimed Leo J. O’Brien Jr. award at the NEMSA Conference. The award was given to the Cozad Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Unit for its continued humanitarian efforts to give back to the community of Cozad and surrounding areas with their annual soup supper that has raised over $60,000 in total that has been given to the Med Center in Omaha, for the Cozad Area Food Pantry, Relay for Life and the Make a Wish foundation.

Travis Lee also mentioned that initial plans are being worked out for City of Cozad staff CPR courses to be scheduled.

City Council member Charlie Block asked his fellow council members about the allotment of hiring a Utility Superintendent/City Adminstrator as part of the approved budget for this past term. It was mentioned by Cozad Mayor as well as Block that a committee would be created to address which direction to go with that position.

The next regular scheduled meeting will be April 24th at 7:30 p.m.

The TRIBUNE-Area postal carriers have seen an increase in the number of encounters with dogs recently and they’re asking dog owners for help.

“We’re very concerned about the increase in the number of close calls involving dogs as carriers attempt to deliver the routes safely,” said Cozad Postmaster Tess Kaiser. “We’re asking pet owners to please restrain their dogs for the safety of letters carriers and the communities of Dawson County.”

Kaiser says the request for restraining dogs includes those who live in rural areas.

“We take the safety of our employees very seriously,” said Kaiser. “We will not wait until a carrier is bitten before taking preventative action. A dog that runs loose not only affects the delivery of the dog owner’s mail, but often the delivery of their neighbors’ mail as well.”

National Dog Bite Prevention Week is April 9-15th. Nationwide, 6,755 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2016, including 40 in Nebraska. Many of the bites resulted in medical attention beyond first-aid, and several resulted in postal carriers being unable to return to their normal duties for a period of time, including a carrier who was attacked when a customer opened the door to his house and a pit bull charged past him biting the carrier on her thigh, as well as cuts and bruises on her leg, arm, and elbow. So far in 2017 there have already been 12 dog attacks to Nebraska postal carriers.

Kaiser shares the following tips on this important issue.

• If a postal carrier delivers a certified letter or a package to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
• Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from postal carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
• The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a postal carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.