Gordon City Council Minutes November 12, 2015

Notice of the meeting was given in advance by publication in the Sheridan county Journal Star, the designated method for giving notice as shown by the affidavit of publication on file in the City Clerk’s office.  Agendas of the meeting were simultaneously given to the Mayor and all members of the Council.  All proceedings hereafter shown were taken while the convened meeting was open to the attendance of the public.

A meeting of the City Council of the City of Gordon was called to order at 6:00 p.m. November 12, 2015 in the City Council Chambers of the City Auditorium.  The Mayor noted the location of the Open Meetings Laws in the back of the room.

Present:  Grant, Bounous, Evans, Morgan, and Russell.

Absent:   No One.

Motion by Grant, seconded by Morgan to approve the minutes of the October 8, 2015 meeting.  Ayes:  Bounous, Evans, Morgan, Russell, and Grant.

Motion by Morgan, seconded by Evans to approve the September 2015 Treasurer’s Report. Ayes: Evans, Morgan, Russell, Grant, and Bounous.

The October Treasurer’s Report was not available from FALCO.

Motion by Grant, seconded by Morgan to approve the bills.  Ayes:  Morgan, Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans.

Abbreviations for this legal:  EX, Expense; FE, Fee; GR, Groceries; MI, Mileage; Re, Reimburse; RPT, Report; SA, Salaries; SE, Services; SU, Supplies.

Jim Smith, Chairman/Treasurer of the Perpetual Care Board was present to discuss with council the current investment of the Perpetual Care Funds. The current CD will mature December 6, 2015. The renewal interest rate for a 5 year CD is down to 1.25%; it had been 2.5%. This will cause an estimated loss of $3,000 to the cemetery fund. Renewal rate for 3 year CD’s is .25% lower, but will allow Mr. Smith to reinvest sooner without penalty if the interest rates rise. Motion by Evans, seconded by Morgan to instruct Mr. Smith to invest the perpetual care funds in a 3-year CD. Ayes: Russell, Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Morgan.

Jordan Huether, President of Gordon Community Theatre, Inc, was present to request that the city council release the Turner Funds designated for the Theatre project. Originally, the funds were to be released at the end of the project for the purchase of the digital projector. Currently, the roof on the theatre building is in great disrepair and uninsurable. Until the roof is repaired, the project is unable to move forward. The lowest bid received by Gordon Community Theatre, Inc. was from Twin Cities and came in at $22,000. Motion by Evans, seconded by Grant to release the Turner Funds designated for the Gordon Theatre project. Ayes: Grant, Bounous, Evans, Morgan, and Russell.

City Manager Jacob Sheridan attended the Western Nebraska Economic Development Group meeting on October 15 in Morrill. This group has expanded their vision to include the entire Nebraska Panhandle. Mr. Sheridan felt that although there would not be immediate benefit to the City of Gordon, there is a great possibility that the group will help our community in the future. The annual cost to be a member is $50, with the only other expense coming if the City of Gordon is a part of one of the projects. Mr. Sheridan recommended to the council that they become a member. Motion by Grant, seconded by Morgan to join the Western Nebraska Economic Development Group. Ayes: Bounous, Evans, Morgan, Russell, and Grant.

Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) hosted a community meeting in Gordon on November 10. PADD has received a grant to go into 15 communities, Gordon being one of them, and do a brownfield assessment. A brownfield property is an under-utilized blighted or contaminated property. Although the turnout for the meeting was smaller than hoped, PADD was able to gather important information from several community members. The next step will be to do a community survey. Participation in this is important as it will show community interest. PADD will then compile our information along with the other 14 cities to apply for an assessment grant.

Council reviewed the City of Gordon’s current junk car program. City Manager Jacob Sheridan is looking for a company that would come in and remove the junk cars for the city. Council will be updated at future meetings.

As the city searches for the next Chief of Police, housing will be an issue. In an effort to facilitate the hiring of a new chief, it will be necessary to secure at least temporary housing. Motion by Evans, seconded by Morgan to retain the lease on 306 E 4th, Apt 4. Ayes: Evans, Morgan, Russell, Grant, and Bounous. 

Motion by Morgan, seconded by Grant to pass Resolution 2015-15. Ayes: Morgan, Russell, Grant, Bounous, and Evans.

RESOLUTION NO. 2015-15

WHEREAS, the City of Gordon intends to create a parade route from Orin Street and Main Street to 4th Street and Main Street, for the Chamber of Commerce “Parade of Lights” on Saturday, December 5, 2015, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

WHEREAS, closure of roadways along the parade route is necessary to relieve the through traffic from the area in the City of Gordon, Nebraska on or near the parade route, and to provide a safe event for participation and spectators, and;

WHEREAS, the Main Street (Nebraska Highway 27) roadway from 1st Street to 4th Street is part of the state highway system and is located within the official corporate limits or zoning jurisdiction of the City of Gordon, and;

WHEREAS, the City of Gordon, while making use of the state highway system for a special event, shall have the legal duty to protect the highway property from any damage that may occur arising out of the special event and the state shall not have any such duty during the time the City of Gordon is in control of the property as specified in the notice provided pursuant to LB 589/N.R.S §39-1359, and;

WHEREAS, any existing statutory or common law duty of the state to protect the public from damage, injury, or death shall become the duty of the City of Gordon while making use of the state highway system for a special event and the state shall not have any such statutory or common law duty during the time the City of Gordon is in control of the property as specified in the notice provided pursuant to LB 589/N.R.S §39-1359, and;

WHEREAS, pursuant to LB 589/N.R.S §39-1359, thirty (30) days advance written notice of the special event must be provided to the Nebraska Department of Roads which specifies the date and time City of Gordon will assume control of the identified state highway property, as well as the date and time the City of Gordon will relinquish control of such state highway property to the State of Nebraska.  In addition, the City of Gordon shall provide beginning and ending locations for the highway closure including sufficient area for the placement of advance warning and/or detour signing, and include sufficient time for the City of Gordon to prepare and later clean the property prior to returning possession back to the State of Nebraska, and;

WHEREAS, LB 589/N.R.S §39-1359 dictates that if a special event includes any portion of the State of Nebraska Highway System, the City of Gordon shall, if a claim is made against the State of Nebraska, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the State of Nebraska from all claims, demands, actions, damages, and liability, including reasonable attorney’s fess, that may arise as a result of the special event; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that said Parade Route and road Closure referred to hereinabove is hereby adopted.  That the governing body of the City of Gordon acknowledges and accepts all duties set out in LB 589/N.R.S §39-1359, subsection (2) and accepts that the City of Gordon shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the State of Nebraska from all claims, demands, actions, damages, and liability including reasonable attorney’s fees, that may arise as a result of the event and such Parade Route and Road Closure is accepted by the City of Gordon and the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute same on behalf of the municipality.

/s/ Nancy I Russell

MAYOR  

ATTEST:

/s/ Kim Buchan

CITY CLERK

At the October 8, 2015 meeting, council discussed the need to raise the fees charged for reconnection of water services. Motion by Morgan, seconded by Grant to pass Resolution 2015-16. Ayes: Russell, Grant, Bounous, Evans, and Morgan.

RESOLUTION 2015-16

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING NEW RATES FOR RECONNECTION OF UTILITY ACCOUNTS DISCONNECTED DUE TO DELINQUENCY, AND RECONNECTION OF INACTIVE WATER SERVICE DURING NON-BUSINESS HOURS.

WHEREAS, the City Council has passed and adopted Ordinance #483 pertaining to codification of the ordinances of the City of Gordon, and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to set certain rules, regulations, and fees to coincide with Ordinance #483, and

WHEREAS, the costs the City of Gordon Water Department incurs to provide reconnection of utility services has increased.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the following rates for the reconnection fees charged by the City of Gordon Water Department are established effective November 18, 2015, upon passage and publication of Resolution 2015-16.

1. Reconnection of inactive utility accounts that are current on all charges, during non-service hours (Monday-Friday, before 7:00 am after 4:00 pm, and weekends and holidays.) - $25.00. This fee may be added to the next bill cycle.

1. Reconnection of accounts disconnected due to delinquency,  during regular Water Department Service Hours (Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm) - $50.00. Fee and delinquent account must be paid prior to reconnection.

1. Reconnection of accounts disconnected due to delinquency, during non-service hours (Monday-Friday, before 7 am and after 4:00 pm, and weekends and holidays) - $100.00. Fee and delinquent account must be paid prior to reconnection.

PASSED AND APPROVED THIS 12TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2015.

/s/ Nancy I Russell

Mayor

ATTEST:

/s/ Kim Buchan

City Clerk

City Manager Jacob Sheridan gave council information regarding the city’s current website and the need to update it. The city’s website is the first impression potential businesses and residents have of our community, and currently the website is so outdated that the first impression is not as good as it could or should be. The company that Mr. Sheridan is looking at to update the website only works with government agencies, and he has experience with them from a prior community he worked for. The initial cost for the update is $10,000. Mr. Sheridan will continue to work on this project and update council at future meetings.

Council was updated on the current status of the city’s workmen’s compensation insurance. The city’s carrier has refused to renew the policy after December 31. City officials are currently looking for a new carrier to be in place by January 1, 2016.

City Manager Jacob Sheridan updated council on the current search for a Chief of Police. The city has received several resumes for the position. Mr. Sheridan has done several phone interviews, and has three in person interviews set up for next week. 

Council was given one FYI item – the October police statistics.

Motion by Bounous, seconded by Morgan to adjourn at 7:10 pm. Ayes: Grant, Bounous, Evans, Morgan, and Russell.

/s/ Kim Buchan

City Clerk

/s/ Nancy I Russell

Mayor

I, the undersigned, City Clerk for the City of Gordon, Nebraska hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the proceedings had and done by the Mayor and Council on November 12, 2015; that all of the subjects included in the foregoing proceedings were contained in the agenda for the meeting kept continuously current and available for inspection at the office of the City Clerk; that such subjects were contained in said minutes of the Mayor and Council of the City of Gordon from which the foregoing proceedings were written from and available for public inspection within ten working days and prior to the next convened meeting of said body; that all news media requesting notification of the time and place of said meeting and the subjects to be discussed at said meeting.

/s/ Kim Buchan

City Clerk

Published: November 18, 2015