Hay Springs City Council Minutes December 13, 2016

Hay Springs City Council Minutes

December 13, 2016


Call to Order:  Mayor Richard McKay called the Regular Meeting of the Hay Springs City Council to order at 7:02 p.m. Council persons Jim Varvel, Marcella Hale and Keith Kearns were present. Luke Marcy was absent. City Attorney Jamian Simmons was present.  It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Marcy arrived at 7:04 p.m.

Minutes Approval: Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to approve the Minutes from November 8, 2016 Regular Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Agenda Approval: Varvel made motion, Hale seconded to approve the agenda for the December 13, 2016 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Sherrie Elwood – SDL approval for Legion Bowl Party February 3rd, 2017:  Varvel made motion, Kearns seconded to approve Legion SDL for Legion Bowl Party on February 3rd, 2017. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Audit Report – Sara Rittgarn and/or Jim Gardner: September 30, 2016 Audit report was presented by Jim Gardner from Gardner, Loutzenhiser and Ryan, P.C. The Audit went really well this year, we didn’t have the issues we had in the past with Utility Billing and getting things into proper periods. The new city clerk is doing a good job and she has a good support staff with Aaron and George. New clerk is conscious of reconciling and the bank account was balanced/reconciled. Some CDs and misc. accounts were not but the Auditors went through that with the new clerk. Everything was overall good. City is sitting in a strong financial situation. Cash balances are about 50% of expenditures. It is recommended to have 4-6 months cash reserve on hand and the City is sitting at almost 6 months cash reserves on hand. Outstanding report for the City this year. Council has done a good job of managing money and the City employees have done a good job of watching their budgets. 

Management letter discussion regarding 1099s and W9s. They need to be filed more accurately due to IRS cracking down on issuing penalties. If the IRS comes in and looks at your records and a 1099 was not issued, they are going to ask for a W9. If you do not have the W9 on file they are going to issue a penalty, whether it’s a corporation or not a corporation. If it is a corporation you are not required to give them a 1099 but if you do not have the W9 on file that says they are a corporation, then you do not have any documentation that says they are or not, and so we have had that comment in the past and hoping this next year we can take that off. Next management letter discussion regarded long outstanding checks. There are still several outstanding checks that have been outstanding for excess of a year, a couple longer than that. A lot of those have probably been paid through a subsequent invoice, a balance forward type of thing, they just need to be voided out if that is the case, or if it is to an individual they need to be turned over to the State as Unclaimed property. Another management letter discussion concerned vacation accrual. Working on that now, the accruals were not accurate in the system but there is an excel spreadsheet being done now to get all that balanced out. Approval of payroll has been taken care of. Also, billing dates, no posting issues noted this year with Utility Billing. Further management letter discussion regarding the Community Improvement Fund. The Auditors are just accounting for that as a separate fund. Fund number 17, so all revenue and expenses can be traced and tracked. The City has not set up a separate bank account for all that but it is being tracked as a separate account. 

There is an amount that was spent, roughly $4,500 out of Keno Fund, but it was taken out of the General Fund so it has not been taken out of the Keno account yet. Jim Gardner will get the clerk the exact amount to transfer Keno account into General Checking, because right now we are showing a negative cash balance. The pool donations and the loan payments, those loans are on the books so when payments and donations get made directly to the bank we need to get that recorded as both a donation revenue and a note payment as an expense. The Auditors confirmed those balances through the bank in the payments and just recorded those donations through the Audit process as well as recorded the debt payments. Other than that the City is on the right track, as good as you can do being a small entity on limited resources.

There was much discussion.

Marlene Benson – Library: Library budget is $250 for new books for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Librarian would like to see a Library Board formed, which would need five members. It would be to the Library’s advantage because if the City had a Library Board they would be accredited and able to be considered for available Sate funding. Librarian would like to start doing card cataloging on a computer that was donated to the Library. There was much discussion.

Barbara Vancil – 1) Police Officer  2) Change in Dog Ordinance: There was much discussion about needing a police officer in town due to the increasing amount of unmanageable behaviors and the delayed time for law enforcement to arrive from Sheridan County police. They would like the City to consider law enforcement. If they would call the Mayor he would be willing to come and be present to assist as needed.

There was much discussion about animal control. They would like to see a clause put into the ordinance pertaining to protecting animals from people. City Attorney Jamian Simmons advised that there is a State statute and the City is better off relying on Sate statute than City ordinance to handle the situation.

Public concerns: none

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees, there were no questions from the council; Krystyn Turman - Pioneer Manor: no report;  Jim Varvel –Finance: Varvel did not see anything of concern; Keith Kearns – SWANN: Met last month. Paid and approved bills. Approved a MOU, a Memorandum of Understanding, concerning the property line between a land owner and SWANN. Next meeting will be in January ; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: no report; Richard McKay – Mayor: Talked to Dave Coe to get us a letter to send off to DEQ.


PADD Update: Priority Plan Meeting on December 6, 2016 at the school. Continuing to move forward, next step after Comprehensive Plan is coming up with priorities for the town and PADD is helping us. Probably have another public meeting in January. Varvel met with a lady on drainage and other grant items. Dealing with water runoff at Lister-Sage is being pursued as well.

Water Loss Report: No report, meters were not read.

Lagoon Update: Just have report to send off to DEQ, Mayor will work on that this next week.

Ron Hanks Well: Both parties reviewed the contract, agreed to the revised Easement. The contract was signed and the City purchased the well site from Ron and Marianne Hanks. Money is already in City Attorney Jamian Simmon’s trust account. Previously approved.

Pivot Contract Approval: There was much discussion over the proposed contract between the council with the advisement of City Attorney Jamian Simmons and the land owner, Tina Vifquian. Land owner did not agree to sign the contract as presented. Tabled until next meeting.

Reolution #16-008 Authorizing and Offering the sale of 2003 Windstar Ford Van with chairlift by sealed bid: Kearns read the Resolution in its entirety: 




WHEREAS, the City Council for the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska is now the title owner of a 2003 Windstar Ford van with chair lift with 196,397 miles; and

WHEREAS, the City Council for the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska determines that it is necessary and appropriate to direct the sale of the 2003 Windstar Ford van with chair lift;

WHEREAS the 2003 Windstar Ford van may be viewed by interested parties at the south City Shop by the Sunset Park during normal business hours Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HAY SPRINGS, NEBRASKA, hereby authorizes the sale of and offers for sale a 2003 Windstar Ford van with chair lift by sealed bid.  Said van shall be sold for the best offer, without warranty or guarantee and will be sold as is.  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that bids shall be submitted to the City Hall in the City of

Hay Springs, Nebraska and will be accepted through January 6, 2017.  The successful bidder shall be determined at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting to be held on January 10, 2017.  The City of Hay Springs shall reserve the right to reject any and all bids.  

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2003 Windstar Ford van shall be offered for sale by sealed bids upon the terms and conditions herein stated.


Kearns made motion to approve Resolution #16-008, Resolution for the City of Hay Springs, NE authorizing and offering for sale a 2003 Windstar Ford van with a chairlift. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

New Carpet for City Hall: Tabled until next meeting.


Claims Approval:  Hale made motion, Kearns seconded to approve claims with the exception of the payment to Chamberlain Chapel. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Ashlee Dodge $70; Assurant Employee Benefits $301.84; Baker & Associates, Inc. $1,100; Barco Municipal Products Inc. $1,469.15; Black Hills Energy $525.40; Blue Cross Blue Shield $1,803.66; Bomgaars $2.77; Buettner Construction $3,772.50; Center Point Large Print $42; Coe Engineering $140; Data Technologies, Inc. $2,348.49; Downs Rural Services $598; EMC Insurance Companies $3,628.01; Farmer’s Coop $115.98; Gardner, Loutzenhiser & Ryan, P.C. $8,000; Great Plains Communications $337.06; Hay Springs Lumber $573.25; Hip Hop $72; Ideal Linen Supply $38.20; MCI $60.63; NE Public Health Environment $24.60; NDEQ – Fiscal Services $19,632.57; Nebraska Public Power District $3,250.19; Nebraska Total Office $166.23; Norms Napa $478.31; Northwest Pipe Fittings, Inc. $1,173.22; Northwest Rural Public Power $32; Olsson Associates $150; One Call Concepts, Inc. $5.70; Panhandle Drilling, Inc. $67.60; petty Cash $25.31; Pioneer Research Corporation $412.97; Sackers $41.17; Sandhills News, Inc. $89.44; Security First Bank $1,620.37; Sheridan County Treasurer $160.36; SWANN $7,480.29; Utility Service CO., Inc. $676.83; Westco $111.99; American Funds Service Company $564.72; EFTPS $2,865.77; Fuller Construction, Inc. $32,319.97; Helen Strotheide $75; Postmaster $147.64; Sheridan County Clerk $16; NE Department of Revenue $876.60; NDEQ – Fiscal Services $100.

Approval of November Treasurer’s Report: Varvel made motion, Kearns seconded to approve November Treasurer’s Report. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Developing Salary Schedule: Tabled until next meeting

Reappoint committees – review boards by ordinance, Cemetery board: No response to cemetery board advertisement. Varvel made motion for Kearns to be SWANN board representative with Marcy as alternate. Hale seconded. 

Kearns made motion to re-appoint existing members to the boards they are currently sitting on. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Hale withdrew previous motion regarding appointment of SWANN board.

Radon Action Month is January – Proclamation approval: Marcy read proclamation in its entirety: 


Radon Action Month

WHEREAS, Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water that can accumulate to dangerous levels inside homes, schools, and other building;

WHEREAS, radon cannot be seen, has no odor, and the only way a family can know if their house has a elevated radon levels is if they test for it;

WHEREAS, the City of Hay Springs has high levels of radon with more than 50 percent of the homes tested having elevated radon levels;

WHEREAS, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers;

WHEREAS, testing for radon is simple and inexpensive;

WHEREAS, identified radon problems can be fixed; and

WHEREAS, Panhandle Public Health Department, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are supporting efforts to encourage Americans to test their homes for radon, have elevated levels of radon reduced, and have new homes built with radon-resistant features. 

NOW THEREFORE, the Mayor and City Council of the City of Hay Springs do hereby proclaim January 2017 as Official Radon Action Month in Hay Springs, Nebraska in recognition of the importance of testing homes for radon, I hereby proclaim the month of January, 2017 as National Radon Action Month

And I urge every member of the community to test their homes by contacting the Panhandle Public Health District at 308-487-3600 ext 108 to request a free radon test kit.

Dated this 13th day of December, 2016

Varvel made motion to approve proclamation radon action month. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

City of Hay Springs Cemetery Association CDs – approval to use to reimburse City general Fund for Hay Springs Cemetery New Addition expenses: This came up in the Audit a little bit. City recently spent some money to do improvements on the cemetery. We have money sitting in CDs. The bank is willing to let them be redeemed at no forfeiture. But did not want to arbitrarily make that decision. Needs to be a council decision to do so. There was a couple that renewed in August that totaled up to $7344.43 Total expended thus far is $8300. Suggested by Varvel that these two are redeemed and put into General Fund to pay those. And then before we get to end of fiscal year, we will see how much is spent on future developments and we can do the rest of that out of other CDs as well. 

Kearns made motion that we utilize the CDs to address the expenditures with the cemetery improvements expansion and utilizing CDs that are recently reviewed to cover the current expenditures. Account #6555 and #6585. Redeem CDs ending in #6555 and #6585 are the two that will be redeemed at this time. Kearns moved to utilize CDs ending in #6555 and #6585 that we redeem those two CDs depositing the money into the General Fund as to be used toward the expenses that have already been paid to the new cemetery addition. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Open House December 23rd, 2016 9:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Mayor thought City Hall should have an open house for the holidays so the public can come in and see how we are doing and what we are doing. If they would like to come in and say thank you to the employees, they can. Mayor thinks need to recognize City employees. If the City council can show up here and there, that would be appreciated. City Attorney Jamian Simmons advised that we cannot have a quorum, so council members cannot all be there at the same time.

Varvel made motion, Hale seconded to enter into Executive Session at 8:30 p.m for legal matters and for the purpose of protecting the reputations of those involved. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Varvel made motion, Hale seconded to exit Executive Session at 8:59 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Items for next meeting were discussed.

There being no further business, Hale made motion, Marcy seconded to adjourn at 9:04 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Richard E. McKay


Kayley R. Taylor

City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: December 28, 2016