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Council summaries - Feb. 4 and Feb. 18, 2020

Individuals and media outlets are encouraged to contact the City Administrator for additional details or clarification on the following material. Regular meetings of the Crete City Council are held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City HallCouncil Standing Committees may meet prior. View a list of City Officials and current council and committee meeting agendas.

 

Summary for Crete City Council regular meeting - Tuesday, Feb. 18

Prepared by Tom Ourada, City Administrator

View Meeting Agenda and attachments

 

The Council voted to approve the Consent Agenda.

  • The City Council Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The Finance Committee Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The Legislative/Economic Development Committee Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The Personnel Committee Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The Public Safety Committee Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The Public Works Committee Meeting minutes of February 4th 2020.
  • The City Treasurer’s Report.
  • The Claims Against the City.
  • Sampson Pay Application #17 for $162,467 for Library Construction

The Council voted to approve a fireworks display on Saturday, April 25, 2020. This is for vendors to view fireworks to place orders for local sales for the 4th of July Celebration.

The Council voted to table a request for a parade by the Saline County Ag Society.

  • There were questions about the requests for the closing of some intersections and the police department and public works had not reviewed the tentative route.
  • The logistics will be reviewed and worked out then the request will be placed on the public works and council agendas.

The Council voted to approve the list of Non-C Liquor License Renewals.

The Council voted to extend the Keno contract of the current operator for one year.

  • The motion by Councilman Hinz was to extend the contract for one year and to review financials and performance monthly for six months. The motion also included the intent to provide notice to the current operator that the City will terminate the existing contract at the end of the one year extension.
  • The last term of the motion was to either prepare to solicit RFP’s for Keno Operators or to enter into a new contract with the current operator.

The Council voted to approve a new City Employee Timekeeping Policy.

  • The policy would round to the nearest fifteen (15) minutes before or after the hour of punch-in or punch-out. I will provide more information in a separate email.

The Council approved final plans and specifications for the Wildwood Pool splash area replacement and set a bid opening date of March 12, 2020.

  • The estimated cost is $286,520. I relayed to the Council that the LB840 Advisory Committee is considering funding this project pending the outcome of the actual bids in March.

The Council voted to approve Resolution 2020-06 restricting parking on 15th Street and Glenwood Avenue.

  • The northbound lane from the intersection north 30’ on the east side will be signed “No Parking."

The Council voted to approve the purchase of Lot 1, Block A of Belohlavy Industrial Tract II for $99,500.

  • This property totals twelve (12) acres.
  • There were test wells drilled on this property last year for a prospective water well.
  • The water chemistry revealed that this water is low in iron, manganese, and nitrates, thus needing no water treatment.
  • It is my hope to develop the only high capacity community water well on this side of the Big Blue River and raise our water capacity at least 20%.

The Council voted to adopt Resolution 2020-07 authorizing the Finance Director to be the Designated Officer for the Orscheln Credit Program. This is a typical agreement with our vendor debit cards.

Citizen Concerns:

  • Scott Kuncl addressed the Council concerned about demolishing the old library building.
    • He stated that he wished he would have addressed the Council sooner, before they made their decision and voted.
    • He and other Crete residents including Janet Jeffries, Gatsby Solhiem, and Jennifer Robison each voiced concern and asked the Council to reconsider their vote and ponder keeping the building and think about alternative uses.
    • There was much discussion, more than time and space here would allow.
  • Mary Moser added that she opposes demolishing the library as well and questioned if there was a hidden agenda.
  • Mary Moser also voiced opposition to the concept of roundabout intersections in Crete.
    • She said we don’t need a roundabout on 13th and Iris. Just avoid that area when it is busy. She noted that is what she does.
    • She pointed out that she lives in Lancaster County and that people in the county were successful in defeating a proposed roundabout in their county.
    • She asked how the City would fund a roundabout project. Mayor Bauer replied that it was currently in the exploratory phase.
  • Mayor Bauer explained all the points of the process the Council used to arrive at their decision concerning the Library.
    • He talked about the financial aspects of the decision.
    • He talked about the history of the funding of repairs and the challenges faced with this building over the years
    • He also commented on the open process and that we cannot control who gets information and who does not.
  • Councilman Hinz also talked about the old library as well.
    • He noted that we initiated conversations many months ago.
    • He also noted that we are going to attempt to utilize as much as feasible from the old library to retask into future projects.

Officer Reports

  • Joy Stevenson reported that the new Library is quite busy. There is a rush at 3:30 when school gets out until closing.
  • I reported on a number of items:
    • we are working on one of the Belohlavy Subdivisions in order to get it ready for Dana Point Development to meet their NIFA deadline to be successful in Crete.
      • We had a number of issues to work through in order to meet timelines for the Planning Commission and City Council moving forward.
    • The sidewalk and retaining wall issue that was reported to the Council was being addressed with the police and building inspector. In fact, a building permit to repair it was taken out the same day (yesterday) which will not stop the police action just in case there is no follow through.
    • The flood plain FEMA remap work that we hoped would occur in May or June now looks like it might happen more like fall to winter.
      • Olsson engineers have been very busy with the flood issues in Nebraska and have been late with the submission.
    • I asked the Council if they were ready for Kelli Bacon with SHPO to come to visit again.
      • Kelli is the CLG authority in the state.
      • CLG stands for Certified Local Government and is a way to develop and redevelop downtown.
      • It offers tax credits and the ability to control what the appearance is and who can do what in a coordinated effort that the downtown owners can control with oversight of the City in a limited role through a governing board appointed by the Mayor.
    • I reported on the materials that the street department has applied so far this winter in what I consider relatively mild so far.
      • 157 tons of sand or 314,000 pounds.
      • 78 tons of salt or 156,000 pounds.
      • 8,600 gallons of brine over 185 miles of roadway.
    • I also reported that the new snow blower will be here this week and I hope we don’t have an opportunity to use it until much later this calendar year.
    • We are meeting with our lender and bond counsel next week to look at funding for the street projects identified in the one year plan.
      • I walked through the timeline of the one year plan.
        • Plans and specs would be drawn up and approved in 2020.
        • Districts would be created also in 2020.
        • Bids would be let and awarded in early 2021.
        • Construction would begin and end in 2021 and possibly 2022.
    • I spoke of the poles (three of them) broken directly and indirectly by a truck driver by Runza that shut down the highway for a short time last week. Chief Hensel provided more detail.
    • I spoke of the disposition of the library contents.
      • The City would utilize whatever we can and store anything of value either financial, intrinsic, or sentimental.
      • Other libraries would be invited to take whatever they could utilize.
      • Then the City would declare the rest surplus for the public.
      • We would then establish a process for the public to access the library.
      • This would require insurance, hold harmless, no resale agreements, etc.

The Council Adjourned.

 

 

Summary for Crete City Council regular meeting - Tuesday, Feb. 4

Prepared by Tom Ourada, City Administrator

View Meeting Agenda and attachments

 

The Council voted to approve the Consent Agenda

  • The minutes of the Special City Council Meeting of January 16, 2020.
  • The minutes of the City Council meeting of January 21, 2020.
  • The minutes of the Finance Committee meeting of January 21, 2020.
  • The minutes of the Legislative Development Committee meeting of January 21, 2020.
  • The minutes of the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting of January 21, 2020.
  • The minutes of the Public Works Committee meeting of January 21, 2020.
  • The City Treasurer’s Report
  • The Claims Against the City, bills amounting to $771,360.

The Council voted to approve the Crete FFA Alumni’s request for a livestock exception permit for its Donkey Basketball event on February 9, 2020.

  • There is an ordinance prohibiting exotic animals in city limits without a permit obtained by Council permission. This action fulfills that requirement.

The Council held a hearing on the One & Six Year Plans for Highways, Roads, and Street Improvements.

  • This is required each year. It is to be completed by a certified street superintendent, a hearing held, and the governing body to vote on it. It is then submitted to the State Department of Transportation to be included in their annual STIP. Failure to submit these plans can lead to forfeiture of state funds, in our case over $600,000.The One Year Plan this year contains three notable additions.
    • A roundabout intersection at approximately 18th Street and Iris Avenue at a projected construction cost of $788,300.
    • A roundabout intersection at 13th Street and Iris Avenue at a projected construction cost of $1.15 Million.
    • Mike Malone, a civil and traffic engineer with JEO Consultants spoke on the practicality and benefits of roundabout intersections and the particular appropriateness of placing them in the locations proposed in the one and six year plan.
    • An asphalt overlay project on Linden Avenue from 13th Street up to and including the 12th Street intersection at a projected cost of $90,000.
    • The other one year plan activities are generally gap paving projects in North Crete.
      • As a side note, in a joint project with Doane University, we are allowing Doane engineering interns to select a gap project and perform parallel design work on it as we move forward with a consulting firm doing the other projects.
    • Greg Hollman spoke, stating he opposed roundabout intersections.
      • He noted “people didn’t know how to use them”.
      • He also stated “that if we built them, they should be large enough to accommodate trailers going to Lothrop Animal Clinic”.
      • He did say the one at 18th & Iris may help the issue of the slope in weather when it is slick.
      • Malone commented that education is an important piece to the proper use and implementation of roundabout intersections.
    • Dave Hansen, Chairperson of the Planning Commission, spoke and asked if the roundabout design would lend itself to added pedestrian safety in the area of the schools on 13th & Iris.
    • Mike Malone and I both commented on this. Mike talked of the fact that three sides of the intersection would have pedestrian crossings.
    • I spoke on the fact that we are moving the west north-south crossing to the Hickory Avenue intersection and adding flashers for safety and this would still be the case if or when a roundabout would be constructed at 13th & Iris.

The Council voted to approve Resolution 2020-04 adopting the 2020 One & Six Year Street Improvement Plans.

The Council voted to approve and enact Ordinance 2101 relating to committees, boards and commission meetings.

  • The Ordinance establishes how agendas are set, who sets agendas and how they can be amended.
  • The Ordinance generally follows the rules the Council has approved for how they operate and felt that consistency across all boards, committees, and commissions is desirable.

The Council reviewed the City Financial Statements for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

  • At the Finance Committee meeting, the Auditor went over the audit and commented on each governmental and business activity, noting the very good financial health of the City with an exception of one business entity to be addressed.

The Council voted to change the provider for Group Critical Illness Insurance from Transamerica to Assurity.

The Council voted to adopt resolution 2020-05 restricting the use of semis on Boswell Avenue.

  • This came about due to residents’ complaints.
  • The public works director is to sign the street from Highway 33 to the south end of city limits with MUTCD appropriate signage.

The Council voted to table Ordinance 2102 limiting the number of dogs and cats that may reside in a household in city limits.

The Council voted to approve and adopt a new volunteer policy.

  • The policy is city-wide and applies to all departments.
  • The policy adds that volunteers must be approved similar to new staff and that background checks be performed on each volunteer. Otherwise, there are very few changes from the existing policy that had been utilized by the Library.

The Council voted to approve changing the background check company we use.

  • We were using the Nebraska State Patrol. We switched to OneSource.
  • The State Patrol only did state records. OneSource does anything we need, International, National, financial, etc.
  • We occasionally hire people from out of state, and were unable to perform background checks on them. This resolves that deficiency.

The Council approved new playground equipment and installation services for the Library Park.

Citizen Concerns. There were no citizen concerns at this time.

Officer Reports

  • Joy reported on the new Library opening and the success they are experiencing.
    • Over 1000 visits have occurred since the opening last month.
  • I reported on several items.
    • We are working on a water well on the west side of the Big Blue River.
    • Our regular Monday department head meeting took place at the new library. We had to cut our meeting short as a group had the room booked for the hour after ours.
    • The LB357 Interlocal Review Committee has been selected and will begin meeting soon.
      • This committee is required by statute to comply with LB357 to evaluate the effectiveness of the cost savings of having interlocal agreements with regard to tax projects.
    • I spoke about having a design concept meeting with JEO moving forward to see the impacts of such projects on the area.
    • I advised the Council that the school superintendent and I had a meeting scheduled this week for traffic discussions in the area.

There were no other officer reports.