Hay Springs City Council Minutes February 14, 2017

Hay Springs City Council Minutes

February 14, 2017


One and Six Year Street Plan: Mayor Richard Mckay called to open a Public Hearing of the One and Six Year Street Plan at 7:00 p.m.  Council persons Jim Varvel, Marcella Hale, Keith Kearns and Luke Marcy were present. Anthony “Toney” Krajewski with Baker & Associates was present as the Class A Hay Springs Street Superintendent. He presented the prepared One and Six Year Street Plan. This plan is part of the requirement to receive highway funds from the State of Nebraska. The formula for the money received is based off of population and miles of road; and, you use that money to operate your street department. You have to show your expenditures and income for the street department at the end of each year, as part of receiving these funds. And you do have to spend the money the State of Nebraska gives you plus 25% on the City’s part for the street department. The majority of the money received by the street department is spent on maintenance, of one form or another. Key word “plan”, this isn’t a commitment, this is a plan, so that the Street Department operates in a responsible manner. 

Public Hearing was closed at 7:20 p.m.


Call to Order:  Mayor Richard McKay called the Regular Meeting of the Hay Springs City Council to order at 7:20 p.m. Council persons Jim Varvel, Marcella Hale, Keith Kearns and Luke Marcy were present. City Attorney Jamian Simmons was present.  It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Minutes Approval: Kearns made motion, Marcy seconded to approve the Minutes from January 17, 2017 Regular Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Agenda Approval: Hale made motion, Kearns seconded to approve the agenda for the February 14, 2017 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Sherrie Elwood SDL For American Legion: Saturday, April 22,  2017 Legion Stag: Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to approve an SDL for April 22, 2017 Legion Stag. All Voted aye. Motion carried.

Sherrie Elwood SDL For American Legion: Saturday, June 3,  2017 Sherburne-Marcy Wedding: Hale made motion, Kearns seconded to approve an SDL for June 3, 2017 Sherburne-Marcy Wedding Dance/Reception. Marcy abstained, all voted aye. Motion carried. 

Sherrie Elwood SDL For American Legion: Friday, June 16,  2017 All-Class Reunion Dance: Kearns made motion, Marcy seconded to approve an SDL for June 16, 2017 All-Class Reunion Dance. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Joan Yekel: Gambling Awareness Proclamation: Mayor read proclamation in its entirety:


WHEREAS, our community is home to individuals and families adversely affected by problem gambling; and

WHEREAS, compulsive gambling is often hidden from family members, social services and mental health professionals; and

WHEREAS, compulsive gambling often occurs in combination with other disorders such as chemical dependency and depression; and

WHEREAS, it is important to raise awareness of the warning signs of compulsive gamblers and connect them with professional help.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mayor of Hay Springs, Nebraska, do hereby proclaim March 2017, as “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” and urge citizens to learn more about the consequences of problem gambling. Signed this 14th day of February, 2017.

Kearns made motion to have Mayor declare March 2017 as “Problem Gambling Awareness Month”. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Karen Harback: Sheridan County Public Transportation- Handibus-Funding: No report.

Kristen Wood – Katie Gordon: Aflac: Katie Gordon, District Sales Manager with Aflac out of Gordon, presented the Aflac plans that would be available to City employees. Anyone that works for the City can have access to it. By offering Aflac, the City does not pay anything. Save 7.6 % FICA on every dollar the employees spend by doing a pre-tax deduction. Basically, offering City employees supplemental insurance at a 40% discount. The insurance is portable, so if the individual leaves the plan stays with them, without a price increase. Most popular plans are Accident, Cancer, Disability and Hospital, especially with the rising costs of Obama-care deductibles, supplemental has become more important than ever, because Aflac pays you, the client, directly. Aflac is filling the gap for families to cover the out of pocket costs. Varvel made motion to approve the City offering Aflac for employees, Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Consider appointment of special city attorney, Amanda Vogl, attorney at law re: city pivot lease issues: Amanda Vogl advised the council on several aspects regarding the handling of the pivot lease situation with the current owner. She strongly advised that the council comes to a contract agreement with current land owner. There was much discussion. Kearns made motion to approve Amanda Vogl as a special City Attorney for the purpose of working with the issues surrounding the City pivot lease. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Helen Strotheide: Hay Springs Cemetery: Helen made a statement regarding her understanding of the Chamberlain Chapel bill. She thanked the Mayor, George and Aaron for doing a nice job with the situation. She also stated she was having problems getting her deeds recorded because the legal is not correct, as Helen read: “we cannot record this cemetery deed, Hay Springs Cemetery does not have property description like what is listed on your deed”. There was much discussion. The council responded we will have to do further research into the matter.

Jacob Sheridan: Housing Study: Present to entertain the City’s interest in participating in a County Wide Housing Study. The City of Gordon recognizes the housing shortage and that same issue is probably true for the entire county. The study is the first step to improving that situation. They are looking to get a housing study done, and what is the scope of interest. Considering going out for bids. Looking at a grant with NIFA, estimated cost $13,000 between the three communities. They will present strategies to address housing shortage, so not only are they looking at the problem but also they are providing some solutions on how to fix it. Foreseen City estimated contribution, based largely on population, $1,000-$2,000. Purpose of this is to better define housing problem and also to provide solutions to help address that. Usually you have to have a housing study done before any grants are available. Once the specifics for who wants to be involved are more clearly defined, they will plan on calling a meeting to discuss more in depth. 

Public concerns: Kearns expressed that he had a community member approach him who wished to share their appreciation to George and Aaron and the City’s efforts for snow removal.

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees, no questions asked by council; Krystyn Turman - Pioneer Manor: no report, looking for new Director of Nursing;  Jim Varvel –Finance: no report; Keith Kearns – SWANN: New Dozer planned for replacement due to the age of the old one at the landfill site. Current $62,000 under budget in current year. Looking at some insurance options with the help from League Of Municipality, the League’s insurance quote compared to Gregory’s EMC was 40% less; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: Reviewing policies and procedures; Richard McKay – Mayor: Submitted written report. Spent time moving snow. Keith Kearns thanked the Mayor for helping in snow removal.


PADD Update – Blighted and Substandard Study: PADD planning commission public meeting held on Monday, February 6th, 2017. City employees were present. One of the issues that have come up is the enforcement of City’s Codes. Would like the community to know. Planning commission may come up with a proposal that Azure Summers will prepare a nice pamphlet to send out to the community. Blighted and Substandard, what it does, is PADD still has some money from the comprehensive plan, so they can do this study and determine that either the whole town or a portion of the town is called substandard. Typically, the best case scenario, they call the whole town blighted and substandard. What that allows us to do is some tax increment financing. Sell a bond to do some redevelopment, start cleaning up some areas. Probably have PADD here in March to talk about this. Looking to have another PADD planning commission open public meeting sometime in May. Discussion of Clean-Up Day, coinciding with the School’s, which is April 26th, 2017. There was some discussion about the Clean-Up Day.

Water Loss Report: Water Loss is 19% for the month of January. Aaron will be placing door hangers on homes asking to replace the costumer’s water meter at the customer’s convenience. Also start replacing larger meters.

New Carpet for City Hall: Tabled until next meeting.

Developing Salary Schedule: Kearns stated the person used by SWANN is Professional Resource Management, Incorporated. Advised to contact that person and pursue a cost. 

Chamberlain Chapel Claim: City Attorney Jamian Simmons sent a letter explaining why the City was not paying it and if Chamberlain Chapel had any questions to get a hold of the Mayor or Keith Kearns.

Discussion Of Cemetery Fees: Mayor shared his research with the council regarding the brochures. This is just for review, for now. Make a decision at a later time so we can bring our fees up to date, if City would like to do so. Getting a functioning cemetery board would be the best option at this time.

Storm Water Runoff- Lister-Sage/School- Engineering/Drainage Study: Working with lady from Forest Service, she came in November and said it is a bigger project than what she can do. Need to have a drainage study done. That is going to be a requirement. We could be eligible for a $250,000 Public Works Grant. Should be eligible for some money through the Arboretum. Should be eligible for some money through DEQ. Already went to Lister-Sage board and said most of the dirt work is going to be on their property. School and Lister-Sage prepared to share in costs to get the study done. Asked Daniel Bennett from PADD to get other bids. Bid from Baker & Associates to do the drainage study is $20,000. Baker & Associates were suggested by the Nebraska Forest Service lady. No decision needs made at this time. Hoping to come back next month with more information. Once this project starts, probably looking at this time in 2018, is when we might be prepared to do some things. Solve water problems coming off Lister-Sage and other areas. Fairly broad scope that might solve some of our alley issues also. Addresses needs as far as some of the gardens and things around Lister-Sage that are in disrepair, to capture some water there; and, also some gardens that the School could use for educational purposes.


Claims Approval:  Gordon Bernhardt donated $10,000 to be applied toward the Swimming Pool loan. Suggested by the council to send him a thank-you card. Kearns made motion to approve claims, Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

21st Century Equipment, LLC $469.03; A One Janitorial $600; Assurant Employee Benefits $244.12; Black Hills Energy $2,088.90; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,096.04; Bomgaars $8.99; Data Technologies, Inc. $81.22; EMC Insurance Companies $3,587.10; Farmer’s Coop $26.99; Gary Drabbels $840;  Great Plains Communications $541.01; Hay Springs Fire Dept. $423.96; Hay Springs Lumber $688.33; Hip Hop $243.30; Ideal Linen Supply $38.62; J&L Grocery $33.90; MCI $60.31; NE Public Health Environment $284; Nebraska Public Power District $3,464.51; Nebraska Total Office $125.89; Norms Napa $416.72; Northwest Rural Public Power $35; Panhandle Drilling, Inc. $313.08; Peters Electric $325; Pioneer Research Corporation $399.40; Petty Cash $121.10; Ron’s Repair Shop $80.80; Sackers $434.50; Sandhills News, Inc. $55.73; Security First Bank $11,570.37; Smith, King And Simmons, P.C. $169.50; SWANN $7,618.07; Utility Service CO., Inc. $751.28; Westco $240.12; Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services $40; American Funds Service Company $558.22; EFTPS $1,959.56; Postmaster $146.96; NE Department of Revenue $2,374.16

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

Resolution #17-1: One and Six Year Street Plan: Kearns read Resolution #17-1 in its entirety:


At the Regular Meeting of the City Council, City of Hay Springs, Nebraska, held at the City Hall on February 14, 2017, a hearing was held on the 2016-2017 One (1) and Six (6) Year Street Improvement Program, at 7:00 P.M., as advertised.

Following discussion by the City Council and citizens present, a motion was made to adopt the One (1) and Six (6) Year Street Improvement Program for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 as proposed. Roll Cal Vote showed 4 “Ayes”, 0 “Nays”. Motion carried.


A public hearing on the One (1) and Six (6) Year Street Improvement Program for the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska, will be held at the City Hall at 7:00 P.M. On February 14, 2017. The purpose of the hearing is to propose to the residents of the City, the One (1) Year Street Improvement Program and the Six (6) Year Tentative Street Improvement Program in compliance with Section 39-2115and 39-2119 of Chapter 39 of the Commutative Supplement of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943. Copies of the Proposed One (1) and Six (6) Year Street Improvement Program may be studied at the City Hall or at Baker & Associates, 120 East 16th Street, Suite A, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69361.


I, the undersigned, Clerk of the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska, do hereby certify that the notice of Public Hearing was published in the Sheridan County Journal Star and posted in three (3) public places within the City of Hay Springs ten (10) days prior to the public hearing.

And the above is a true and certified copy of action passed on February 14, 2017.

Kearns made motion to approve the Resolution #17-1 One (1) and Six (6) Year Street Improvement Program. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Library Board Appointments: Kearns made motion to allow non-City residents to be a part of the Library Board. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Hale made motion that the City appoints Megan Reimann, Jessica Mintken, Erika Gaswick, Cynthia Rasmussen, and Dee Belina as Library Board members. They were the first five to sign up for the Library Board and she thinks they would do a very good job. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Cemetery Board: review ordinances and discuss possible nominations of board members: City Attorney Jamian Simmons said the way our City Ordinances are established,  not only are we supposed to have a cemetery board, the cemetery board is supposed to govern basically everything. They only come to the City Council for specific approvals if they need it. It’s supposed to be the Cemetery Board’s responsibility rather than the City Council’s. The City does not have a functioning Cemetery Board currently. Our City Ordinances require 6 members, Statute says no fewer than 3 and no more than 6. If it’s a problem getting people to serve, the City could pass an ordinance reducing the number required to serve on the Cemetery Board. The Statute does say City residents only. We would be okay with 4-5 board members; but, we would have to pass an ordinance to change that number. We could leave it as a 6 member board and only fill it with 4 members for the time being, and still have a functioning board while we searched for the other 2 members. There was much discussion regarding having the old cemetery surveyed to where the alley ways have a legal description so those deeds are recordable.

A Cemetery Board would be good for this. We need to know the spaces that aren’t shown on the plat map, but have a space sold where someone has purchased it, we need to know which ones so we can identify them with a legal description. Then the ones that have not been sold, we need to get rid of them, remove them from the plat map, so they do not look like spaces and only deal with the ones that have been sold. The City Council is aware, because we do not have a Cemetery Board, whose technically supposed to determine these things, including approving switching the City Clerk doing the software for the deeds. Since we do not have a functioning board, the Council can act in lieu of a Cemetery Board to approve that. While we’re working on trying to find people to fill the Cemetery Board, in the meantime, until the City has an active Cemetery Board with sufficient members on it to create a quorum, a motion needs to be in place by the council now, that until that happens, the Council will continue to act in lieu of all those duties until such time when a Cemetery Board is established. Kearns made motion that until we are able to establish a functioning Cemetery Board, the City Council take such actions necessary to address concerns or issues with the cemetery. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Picnic Tables/Shelters: There was much discussion. Kearns made motion to purchase three new picnic tables, two regular and one ADA. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Great American Clean-Up/Keep Nebraska Beautiful- set date: Council agreed to set the Great American Clean-Up Day for April 29th, 2017.

Housing Authority Parking Lot: There was much discussion. No action taken. Tabled until next meeting.

Executive Session: none

Items for next meeting were discussed.

There being no further business, Varvel made motion, and Hale seconded to adjourn at 8:59 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Richard E. McKay


Kayley R. Taylor

City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: March 1, 2017