Hay Springs City Council Minutes April 11, 2017


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 Marcella Hale, Keith Kearns and Luke Marcy were present. Jim Varvel was absent. City Attorney Jamian Simmons and her associate, James McCave, were present. It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Minutes Approval: Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to approve the Minutes from March 14, 2017 Regular Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Agenda Approval: Kearns made motion, Marcy seconded to approve the agenda for April 11, 2017 Regular Council Meeting with the following changes: move line item HUDD/PILOT directly below Craig Housh: Campground Rules. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Sherrie Elwood: SDL for American Legion June 17, 2017 All-Class Reunion: Hale made motion, Marcy seconded to approve an SDL for June 17, 2017 All-Class Reunion Reception. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Library Board: Jessica Mintken: Erika Gaswick was here to discuss the Library Board’s first meeting on March 21, 2017. The Library Board had several questions, most of them concerning the Board and Commissions article they received about Library Boards. Also, questions concerning the Library Fund, any Levies, current Statutes, guidelines and job descriptions were discussed. Most importantly, it was asked if the Library Board needs approval from the City Council for Board activities or if the Library Board can operate and then report to the Council later. For example, if the Library Board were to do a fund raiser or a summer reading program. Kearns said his understanding is the Board will operate and then report to the Council. A group of school kids on their April 12, 2017 Give Back to the Community Day helped at the Library. The Library Board received information from the Nebraska Public Library Accreditation, the Board was under the assumption that we just needed a Board and they would be accredited, but there is much more to it and it will be a process. Accreditation will start in July. City Clerk will get the Library Board the Library Budget Worksheet for them to review and bring back suggestions to the Council at Budget time. Mayor McKay said he understands from the Ordinance that the Library Board runs the Library and then answers to the Council.

Tina Vifquain: Proposal for new City Ordinance: City recognizes health risks associated with Viaero Cell Phone Tower: Tina Vifquain read a speech she put together asking the Council to “pass a City Ordinance recognizing the risks and hazards involved in the private sale and council approval procedures of the Viaero Wireless Communications antennae pole located on lots 12 and 14 of North Main Street in the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska”. Mayor McKay wanted it noted, for the record, that there will be no action taken on that suggested Ordinance request, and there will be no further discussion on the Viaero Pole unless it is taken up by Viaero themselves to the City.

Dorothy Kenning: 236 N. Miller – curb in front of house and driveway, requesting ground down for wheelchair accessibility: Mayor McKay asked if that was out front of the house. Dorothy Kenning said yes out front and by the driveway. She asked if the City employees could make a wheelchair accessible ramp. George said Dorothy would need to have someone else install the ramp because the City does not have the proper equipment to make a handicapped ramp. George mentioned in the past, what’s been done, is the whole piece of curb has been taken out and a new gutter is put in. George suggested Buettners or Fullers in Chadron to remove the curb and put in a ramp. George said the City has not done that type of project.

Kearns made motion to authorize the changing of the sidewalk at 236 North Miller, where the sidewalk intersects with the street, that that be allowed to be modified to have handicapped accessibility. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Joe Anderson: RV Park rent, work for payment: There was discussion. Joe Anderson suggested bartering some labor to help out the City crew in exchange for RV Park rent. Mayor McKay asked how long Joe planned on being here, he said about one month. Joe suggested providing two days a week labor. George questioned any liability concerns. City Attorney Jamian Simmons replied that he could be treated as seasonal help, basically set it up in that type of manner, but in a shorter period of time. George mentioned some projects that the City employees could use help with. Marcy suggested that Joe fill out a job application and somehow be hired as a contract laborer, since the City does not need to set a precedent. Mayor McKay requested that Joe Anderson fill out an application. Marcy also suggested that on the application Joe write in nothing for expected wages, otherwise the City might have to issue a 1099. No motion necessary.

Craig Housh: Campground Rules: Craig Housh is here as a citizen of this community, not as a representative of Northwest Rural Public Power. He asked the Council to consider some campground regulations. Suggestions were quiet times, dogs on leashes and pick up trash. City Attorney Jamian Simmons said no resolution is necessary to establish rules posted on a sign at the RV Park, since that would be part of the operation of the RV Park. However, once those rules are posted, there needs to be a way to enforce them. If the City would prefer to establish an Ordinance which is going to potentially create fines or penalty provisions, then there needs to be an actual Ordinance in place to do that. Most, if not all, of the suggestions Craig had might be covered by City Ordinances, so the City could have those penalty provisions anyway, and would not need additional Ordinances. Hale suggested when someone rents a space, the renter be handed a list of campground rules. Craig also asked that to go along with his previous suggestions, if at all possible, could the Bee Keepers keep the chemicals they use to keep the bees away while they harvest the honey, out of town, because of the smell. City Clerk will work on typing up a list of RV Park rules.

HUDD/PILOT: Jeanie Ashley was present to explain. Tax Exempt, the contract set up between the City and Housing Authority to operate in the City’s jurisdiction. Housing Authority does not pay property tax, but in good faith gesture they pay payment in lieu of tax based on their revenue. Housing Authority has one major project. Because of 2014 Budget Appropriation, the Operating Subsidy continues to go down and so does the Capitol Improvement. Since no federal Budget is set yet, it is not known, but the prediction is it will be less, perhaps up to 12% less. The Housing Authority would like to get the roof project done, which is why the City is being asked to waive the PILOT fees for one year. May 1st, 2017 is the deadline for such decision. 

Kearns asked what the amount the PILOT fee has been over the last couple of years so the City knows what amount they are looking at to waive. Jeanie replied in 2014 it was roughly $2,700 and 2013 was about the same, it went up to $3,700 for 2016. The amount the Housing Authority pays goes to accounting and they distribute, so Jeanie did not know what percentage the City gets from that. Kearns was under the understanding that all the City would be able to waive is the amount that comes to us. Jeanie explained that the full amount could be waived by the City, the accountant does what is called a PILOT Computation Statement, and Housing Authority then gets that statement. They pay amount to the County Treasurer, and the County Treasurer disperses it based upon an unknown percentage. 

Council asked for advice from City Attorney Jamian Simmons. She said it is probably similar to taxes that are collected through the City; they go to County Treasurer’s first and then get funneled back. She suspects the fact that it is going through the County means it is just simply that type of procedure, but she was not 100% sure. Jeanie Ashley had the previously referenced contract with her and gave it to City Attorney Jamian Simmons to review. Jeanie explained that the contract was set up 50 some years ago and was renewed in 1995, and is renewed every 20 years. As it is, the contract is the PILOT fees. 

Hale inquired to clarify that the Housing Authority would like the money to go back to the Housing Authority instead of coming to the City. Jeanie said yes they would like the money to stay with the Housing Authority, because they have a big roof project they would like to get done. Because of 2014 Budget Appropriations Act, their Operating Subsidy is being cut and Capitol Improvements/Grant Funds are going to be dropped. They have seen it, and now they say it could be significant. Could be, they do not know at this time because the federal budget has not been set yet. Marcy is under the understanding that the Housing Authority is then anticipating not having enough funds. Jeanie replied they have enough funds, they have operating reserves, but they also have the right to ask if the City will consider waiving those PILOT fees so they can use it towards their big project. That is what they are asking for. Mayor interjected that they are looking for a little assistance in regards to the City waiving the PILOT fee. 

Kearns inquired further about the cost of the project they are looking to do, he said roof projects fall under insurance a lot of times, so he was wondering what the budget is like. Jeanie replied they are getting ready to request bids. Hale then asked if it was insured. Jeanie replied yes, they are getting roughly $64,000 to go towards that. But they are also looking to replace the gutters and soffits. Mayor asked if it was for all the Housing or just part of it. Jeanie said it was for all the Housing except for storage unit. Kearns was concerned with the fact that there are numerous ifs and with the short notice, he would rather approach it from the standpoint of allowing the PILOT payments to go ahead and process as normal. If the Housing Authority is looking at a shortage down the line, then to perhaps come back to the City Council and ask for a contribution towards their project. That would allow some time to see what happens budget wise. At that point, they will know what costs are going to be, since right now there is not a bid for the roof project. Jeanie replied they would not be able to ask for more money than what the PILOT fee is. Kearns agreed, but also added that the Housing Authority does not know exactly what the actual authorization budget wise is going to be, because there is no budget yet; it is now known what the cost is going to be without a fixed bid; therefore, the Council is operating on many unknown variables. 

City Attorney Jamian Simmons said she would need to do further research and reading of the contract before giving the Council an answer. Hale suggested the Council hold a special meeting after City Attorney Jamian Simmons looked the contract over. Kearns said it seems strange the City has the ability to waive taxes that are due to others; but, he is open to consider helping, once the Council knows exactly what we’re looking at. The amounts may not be something known until short notice, but it is the process behind it that Kearns has questions about. Once that is that sorted out, it would be the same year to year until the contract is updated. The amounts fluctuate; the purpose of, who has the authority to do what; Kearns would prefer to have that answered definitively by having City Attorneys decide. 

Mayor said what he is hearing is the waiver, if the Council approves, the only one who benefits from it is the Housing Authority and the City may not be benefiting much of anything. Kearns said the benefit is the fact that we have low-income housing, which is always a benefit because quality housing is short in most communities. Kearns made motion to table it, Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

City Attorney Jamian Simmons said the City should have a copy of the contract; her questions are similar to Kearns’, she does not know enough about this payment in lieu of, to say what is behind it and what authorizes the City to waive it. The contract makes a reference that there may be a possibility that a local governing body may approve certain reductions, but it is kind of a side reference. It does not specify under what authority, what the City can approve, what the City cannot approve, and under what circumstances. Without knowing what that authority is, where it comes from, and how it should be applied, City Attorney Jamian Simmons cannot advise the Council to do this. Thus, further research is needed and advised before coming to a conclusion on the matter.

Public Concerns: Mayor McKay stated that Darren Drabbels called him about a week and a half ago about moving in a mobile home, Mayor told Darren he would put it on the agenda, but it did not get on there. Mayor McKay requested that Darren Drabbels speak to the Council under Public Concerns, to present his case, and that Mayor McKay is open to suggestions how to handle the situation because Darren does need Council permission to do what he is planning.

Darren Drabbels said he is looking to move a new single wide mobile home, from Hinn’s Homes in Chadron, 16’ wide and 76’ long, in at the lots he owns at 306 North 3rd, there used to be an old house there that he tore down because it was going to cost more to fix it. He understands that there is a City Ordinance saying you cannot move a mobile home in without the approval of the Council. Darren brought the plat map of the lots he owns and their description. He also has the floor plans of the mobile home and how it will be set. He showed the Council. He was planning on having the ground packed, 2x2 pads put down and then screw anchors into the ground to affix the home to the ground. Run water to it, there is an existing curb stop and existing sewer. Plans on having a gas furnace so  he would have natural gas piped in also. When Darren was going to first build his house on there, it was platted out into two different lots. Mortgage company, when he was going to build a house, said he cannot build a house on two different lots, it has to be one, so they just conjoined the lots. He showed the Council what it looks like now. He said he owns 5 feet of the neighbor’s lot because he put his sprinkler system on their lot and the neighbor was kind enough to sell those 5 feet to Darren. Darren came to Council previously for the re-platting of the lots in March 2014. House will go on Lot A of the re-plat of Lot 9 & 10. 

Upon review of the City Ordinance Book, City Attorney Jamian Simmons said this must be a new ordinance that the company must have put in, but it does state: “placement of individual trailer homes within the City is not permitted unless an application is first made for a permit for such placement and the permit is issued. Placement can be made on such terms and conditions as determined by the Council.” Kearns suggested the City issue a permit and go forth. 

City Attorney Jamian Simmons stated that your permit applications are supposed to specify what the purpose of it is and what the application is and what you’re going to be issuing to them. However, the City Ordinance does not specify those points, it just says basically you’re asked to have a permit but you get to set your terms and conditions. However, the City has nothing that establishes what those terms and conditions would be. The Ordinance asks the City Council for a permit. So the Council would need to approve the permit, which cannot be done at this meeting because it is not on the agenda. She suggested that the Ordinance should probably be reworded. Then asked if Darren is affixing it to the property; Darren said yes it is going to be brought in and he’s going to have a pad put down and it is going to be permanently affixed to the ground. City Attorney Jamian Simmons instructed the City Clerk to give Darren Drabbels a building permit and follow normal building permit procedures. She did suggest the City flags that Ordinance and consider changing it because she can see that causing future problems.

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees. Kearns asked what is involved in smashing bins down – George said when material is dumped and it sticks up over the dumpster, the guys have to take the loader and smash the dump down. There was further discussion; Krystyn Turman - Pioneer Manor: no report; Jim Varvel –Finance: no report; Keith Kearns – SWANN: Meeting last month, payment of bills, contracting to have City run sewer out to their offices out there and a spot to have truck clean out, discussing to pay to have City attach that to sewer system, whether or not they would have to put in a lift station; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: no report; Richard McKay – Mayor: Submitted written report for the council to review.


PADD Update – Blighted and Substandard Study: Tabled until next meeting.

Water Loss Report: 48%. Working on changing out meters. Estimated 315 water meters in the system and Aaron has changed out around 100 water meters. Aaron said he has four cases he is going to put in this year; there are eight water meters per case. Approximately $3,000 for the three cases he ordered, which is basically the annual water meter budget. There was discussion. George suggested asking PADD if they could get a grant for the City to do a full meter change-out. Marcy said the national average for water loss is 14%. Aaron said at his classes they say 14-20% is a very tight system. Marcy asked how Aaron does his reports. Aaron said he takes the program previous Mayor made up and enters in the numbers. Much discussion about water meter accuracy.

Developing Salary Schedule: Kearns talked to Pat Cain, she did the Salary Schedule for SWANN, she requested copies of job descriptions for each position, and she can take a look at what is involved. Depending on that, she might be able to do it and she could put together a bid proposal for us, or identify other professionals that she works with in the Lincoln area and see if they would give us a proposal in regards to Developing a Salary Schedule. 

Discussion of Cemetery Fees: Mayor McKay acquired some additional information. Hale asked what brought this on. Mayor replied snow removal to get to a burial site. Hale questioned why we are comparing our Cemetery fees to Scottsbluff and Alliance, instead of looking at what Rushville and Gordon charge. Mayor replied because we wanted a different ideology outside of what is in our immediate area. Kearns inquired what the City charge per Plot. $200 plus a $16 recording Deed fee, per Plot. 

Mayor stated this is not for a decision at this point, it is giving the Council information so the Council can come up with an idea, do we need to change or do we not need to change Cemetery fees. One of the issues was, when we come in to the winter months when we have a lot of snow and we have to do some extra plowing to get to the grave site and to allow people to get into the cemetery, do we add a fee for that. That is where the biggest question of fees came in at. Marcy said a moving snow fee is not on any of the other area Cemetery fees. 

Marcy questioned why the City has not been paid for three funeral setups. George replied that one now has been paid. Previously, when you have a funeral setup, the family pays one amount to the Mortuary and then the Mortuary reimburses the City for opening/closing the grave. The gal from Mortuary called City Clerk and said it was up to the City to send a bill and collect the money for City labor, separate from their fees. Aaron said they are no longer going to do our billing, is our understanding. Marcy asked if we are sending the bill to the family then, and George said yes. George said the remaining two burials, one they did was on the Flats, and the City was not paid for those. The one funeral was a cremation and that was brought here from the eastern part of the State, Aaron found it in the one ledger book that the family did pay, but City Clerk has not found where there was a payment for that burial labor to the City. 

Kearns inquired who arranged for guys to go out to Flats. Arranged by Chamberlain-Drabbels. Marcy stated the City needs a Cemetery Board. Aaron said we are getting this figured out slowly, and when things come up, we are trying to understand how it is supposed to be done. We understood that the City received payment for labor when there was a funeral. Aaron asked, what happens when the City does not have any contact information, the funeral is done, and the City is still obligated to send the family a bill. Hale said that should not be billed to the family! She has never seen a Mortuary that did not include the cost of the casket, vault if there was one, the opening/closing of the grave; yes you may have to go buy your Cemetery Plot, but sometimes the Mortuary even handles that. She suggested the City should not be going out of town to do burial setups. Aaron replied the way it has always worked is the City guys are told someone passed away, this the location, and this is the description of the vault or traditional burial. 

Mayor noted that these are reasons the agenda item was brought up. Does the City need to make fee changes, add fees, and this is information to help us make that decision. City Attorney Jamian Simmons reiterated that this is why the City needs a Cemetery Board. Marcy stated that he does not think it matters if the City changes their Cemetery fees if we are not going to be able to collect them. Hale added she does not think it should cost any more in the Winter time to bury a loved one than in the Summer; if rates need to be raised because of snow removal, then rates need to be raised straight across the board.

Storm Water Runoff – Lister-Sage/School – Engineering/Drainage Study:  Tabled until next meeting.

Housing Authority Parking Lot: No discussion, take off agenda.

Naming Cemetery Addition: Mayor said it was discussed at last meeting and thinks the Council solved that problem with the matter of just putting up a sign. Kearns asked if Mayor talked to the family. Mayor said he had not. James McCave said they talked at the end of the last meeting, that Mayor was going to contact the family, and see what they wanted the name to be, and if they had any specific requests for how that should be marked; be it on a pole or if they preferred a plaque. City Attorney Jamian Simmons said she can only send a letter to the family’s lawyer. Hale was under the understanding that it said right on the letter how it was supposed to be handled. Mayor requested to carry the agenda item forward to next meeting, and someone will contact the family to get this sorted out.

James McCave spoke to the Mayor, in regards to Naming Cemetery Addition: the name is already spelled out in the letter for the New Addition; it is just a matter of actually placing the plaque, so contacting the family is not necessary. Mayor then stated to the Council that the City does not need to have any further discussion on the matter; the City just needs to take action.

Park Shelter: Aaron said that Dave Hansen gave them an estimate: for a 16’ x 20’ steel roof with trim, rafters on two foot centers, sheeted and steel roof. Everything on the outside is metal. $1,680.16 estimate. Open on four sides. Materials only, no labor included, from Hay Springs Lumber Yard. Mayor asked if the guys got a price on carports from D&S Auto. Aaron said that was what he brought in previously, and he thought the cost was around $800-$900. Mayor asked if the carport was roughly the same size. Aaron said he thought the carport was 18’ x 21’. Dave did a 16’ x 20’ because he said the materials would play out better. 

Kearns said the 18’ x 21’ carport is installed. Aaron said yes, correct, and there would probably be a pad of concrete put down and then they would show up and install the carport. Talking about putting one by baseball fields. Discussed putting one on the old pad, and then put one over by the ball field by new playground. Kearns made motion to put one in now down by ball fields, because that would get more use first, the 18’ x 21’ carport, since it is half the price, making sure to anchor the carport. Kearns suggested to just start with the carport for now and then put a pad of concrete down later if need be. Color: Kearns suggested Green. Hale said that dark color draws heat in the Summer time. Aaron asked if Green is not available, does the Council want to go with White. Hale prefers White because it reflects the sunlight. Kearns made motion to purchase the 18’ x 21’ carport through D & S Auto, and have it placed at the South end of the Park, down by the ball fields in the color of White with Green trim. Hale seconded. Marcy voted nay. Kearns and Hale voted aye. Motion carried.

Marcy recommended to the City guys to get a chain and padlock the new picnic tables to the ground, so they cannot be taken.


Claims Approval: Kearns inquired about the claim for Chris Adams – George replied that was just the expense of hauling the gravel; the claim for the actual purchase of the gravel is from Hills Materials; and then there is another claim for Bob Urwin for hauling concrete sand. Kearns inquired about the claim to Norm’s Napa – the guys explained that it was their filter sale and they ordered enough filters to get them through a full year. Hale inquired about the claim for the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department – Hale asked if they mailed the claim mistakenly, Clerk explained that it was dropped off directly into the City’s drop box, Clerk offered showing the Council the invoices; Kearns preferred the HSVFD get the City Council’s approval before submitting a claim. City Attorney Jamian Simmons advised that this is why the City Council needs to figure out the status of the Fire Department and the Ambulance. The City does not have a Budget for the HSVFD. Kearns requested the Clerk ask the Fire Chief to attend the next council meeting. Kearns made motion to approve the claims, less the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department claim of $3,363.26, with the understanding that the Fire Chief attends the next council meeting and explains the claim. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.    

Assurant Employee Benefits $226.82; Black Hills Energy $1,157.19; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,096.04; Chris Adams $2,993.30; Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Ossian, Vogl and Snyder, P.C. $397.00; EMC Insurance Companies $3,552.67; Great Plains Communications $426.11; Hay Springs Lumber $3,077.47; HD Supply Waterworks, LTD $2,596.60; Hills Materials Company $5,708.61; Hip Hop $280.75; Ideal Linen Supply $39.35; MARC $593.00; MCI $60.43; NE Public Health Environment $15; Nebraska Public Power District $3,013.76; Nebraska Total Office $475.55; Norms Napa $1,253.22; Northwest Community Action $97.42; Northwest Rural Public Power $388.60; One Call Concepts, Inc. $1.14; Helen Strotheide $200; Marlene Benson $34.70; Petty Cash $226.19; Pioneer Research Corporation $399.40; Rushville Service Center $39.30; Sackers $270.96; Sandhills News, Inc. $998.29; Security First Bank $11,570.37; Smith, King And Simmons, P.C. $255.34; SWANN $7,944.12; ULINE $2,390.83; Urwin Trucking, LLC $1,760; Utility Service CO., Inc. $751.28; Westco $159.90; American Funds Service Company $579.36; EFTPS $1,983.41; Postmaster $150.32; Nebraska Department of Revenue $1,610.34; Chamberlain Chapel $1,755; Dept. of Health and Human Services $80; League of NE Municipalities $40; Azure Summers Graphic Design $262.38

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

Pool Manager/Lifeguards: Mayor McKay noted that we currently have a Pool Manager and four Lifeguards. Kearns asked if the City is still advertising for more Lifeguards; Mayor replied yes, we need at least 2-3 more Lifeguards.

Summer Help: Mayor McKay noted that we have three applications currently; one of them wants to go to full-time, part-time deal. Kearns asked Mayor to define that. Mayor replied he would like to work as many hours as he can, depending on what the Council decides. He said the City employees do need some help in the process of getting things done that are on the list; for example, getting the token machine installed that was previously approved, repairing some streets, replacing water meters and getting some of the old water lines replaced; we have a bathroom that is much needed at the shop for OSHA regulations because the guys deal with chemicals over there, even with diesel fuels and fuels for cleaning parts and they need a bathroom for an emergency eye wash which they do not have currently; also, the dump station needs to be put in place as well as keeping up with all the other stuff that is going on, and ponds that need repair, two more ponds need addressed this Summer. If the City had a third man, it would help us keep the wheels turning. Have a lot of street sweeping that needs to be done. 

Discussed time; 40 hours a week; hours or so many calendar days questioned; the City cannot exceed X amount of hours. Kearns asked what the hour limit is, Marcy replied he thought around 600 hours for contract labor and beyond that is full-time. Aaron suggested hiring the individual that is interested in full-time, and the other two part-time help can do the mowing and keep that under management, freeing up the City guys from having to tag along, so they can get some other projects taken care of. Kearns once again inquired about Seasonal hours, and if there is a limit on Seasonal hours; can do 40 hours a week if he is Seasonal, no cap on hours, there is a time frame. The cap would be the City’s Budget for Seasonal hours. City Attorney Jamian Simmons noted that the City is titling it Seasonal because they are not going to be full-time throughout the year, they are on a limited schedule, so during that time period you are still going to pay them like you pay any other employee, it is just the City is hiring them on the understanding that this job is from X date to X date, that is what makes it Seasonal. The City withholds taxes. Kearns stated the only thing he can see that a cap would affect is if there is a threshold that converts an employee from being temporary/part-time/Seasonal to where said employee would be considered a City Employee eligible for benefits. Aaron brought City Attorney Jamian Simmons the Employee Handbook, and after some review, she read: “Temporary Appointments: Employments for short term employment may be made as is necessary with budgetary availability. Employees with a temporary status may be scheduled for full-time or part-time hours. They are ineligible for normal benefits accorded to regular employees, with the exception of mandated worker’s compensation insurance and social security benefits. If they are hired on regular bases, vacation and sick-leave accumulation is based on first day of employment.” Seasonal would fall under this temporary appointment.

Fair Housing Month Proclamation for April 2017: Proclamation – read in its entirety by Marcy:

WHEREAS, April marks the anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which sought to eliminate discrimination in housing opportunities and to affirmatively further housing choices for all Americans; and

WHEREAS, the ongoing struggle for dignity and housing opportunity for all is not the exclusive province of the Federal government; and

WHEREAS, vigorous local efforts to combat discrimination can be as effective, if not more so, than Federal efforts; and

WHEREAS, illegal barriers to equal opportunity in housing, no matter how subtle, diminish the rights of all;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that in the pursuit of the shared and responsibility of providing equal housing opportunities for all men and women, the City Council of Hay Springs, Nebraska, does hereby join in the national celebration by proclaiming

April 2017



and encourages all agencies, institutions, and individuals, public and private, in the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska to abide by the letter and the spirit of the Fair Housing law.

Signed and sealed this 11th day of April, 2017.

Kearns made motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the Proclamation designating April as Fair Housing Month as read. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Housing Authority: Resignation of Kathy Frimann; Appointment of Steve Norquist: Hale made motion to accept the resignation of Kathy Frimann and approve the appointment of Steve Norquist to the Housing Authority Board. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Resolution #17-2 Hobbyist Permit: James McCave stated that this Resolution is to line up with the Nuisance Abatement Program mailer pertaining to nuisances, and the Ordinance allows the Council to establish a policy for permits including fees, and so he was asked to draft a Resolution for the Council approval, so that a Hobbyist Permit policy will be in full effect. The Resolution does not have the actual Hobbyist Permit, but that will be the next document drafted, so that the City will actually have a Permit when someone applies. The only thing that the Council needs to do is set a fee, and then a renewal fee. Research was done into other municipalities in Nebraska that have Hobbyist Permits regarding fees, and they range from $10 to $100. 

Kearns asked if the definition of a Hobbyist is a backyard mechanic. There was discussion. City Attorney Jamian Simmons stated that: “A Hobbyist Permit is allowed for individuals to apply for the restoration and repair of up to 2 non-operating, wrecked, junked, or partially dismantled vehicles on any premises used for residential purposes.” The permit is limited to up to 2 vehicles for the purpose of restoration. The point here is that the Ordinance is silent on the actual Hobbyist Permit and it says the City has the permission and ability to assign a Hobbyist Permit to avoid the nuisance of a yard full of cars. This way, when the City goes through their nuisance procedures, and someone says “These cars are classic cars and I am just hanging on to them to restore them”, the City can say “Do you have a Hobbyist Permit?” and if that individual says “No”, then we can fulfill the Nuisance Abatement. But the City cannot do that step if we have not put everything in place under the Ordinance.

Kearns asked what if someone has more than 2 cars. City Attorney Jamian Simmons replied that they can get a Hobbyist Permit for 2 of the cars and the third car will be considered a nuisance. James McCave added if the cars are non-operating, that is by the letter of the Ordinance, if they do not function where you would actually require plating and registration, that could possibly be deemed a nuisance if you do not have a place to store them. Marcy asked what if they are licensed. If there is a house with a bunch of vehicles and they are all licensed, then this Ordinance would not apply to them. If they are a licensed, movable car, they are not a nuisance, they just happen to be parked. 

Mayor interjected that he understands the reason for the Hobbyist Permit as far as number of cars, but this is not our only issue in this community. City Attorney Jamian Simmons agreed, but they were asked to give the Council the Hobbyist Permit, that is why one was prepared. If the City is going to start doing Nuisance Abatement, then the attorneys have to make sure that the City is following all of the procedures it has in place for Nuisance Abatement. Otherwise, we cannot enforce it. PADD wanted the Hobbyist Permit to be in place because it says that we are going to allow them, so if we say we are going to allow them, then the City has to create said procedures to allow them. George asked if you move cars outside of City limits, is there a buffer zone around the town. City Attorney Jamian Simmons replied that we do not have zoning regulations; however, she looked in the City’s Ordinance Book and added that yes, the Ordinance Book does say something to the effect of extending to one mile beyond city limits. Hobbyist Permits do not apply to businesses.

Council member Kearns moves to pass Resolution No. 2017-2 introducing the following Resolution and moved for its adoption.


Be it resolved by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Hay Springs:


WHEREAS the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska desires to establish a fee procedure for acquiring and maintaining a hobbyist permit for the repair and restoration of non-operating vehicles within the bounds of Hay Springs, Sheridan County, Nebraska; and

WHEREAS the Members of the City Council of the City of Hay Springs find that there needs to be an established permit and renewal fees, to assist the people of Hay Springs, Nebraska in compliance with the ordinance against Public Nuisances; and

WHEREAS the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska, hereby desires to establish a set fees and procedures for obtaining and maintaining a Hobbyist Permit, as the current ordinance granting permission for a hobbyist permit is silent as to fee; and

WHEREAS the Members of the City Council of the City of Hay Springs have the responsibility to set the fees for the Hobbyist Permit by Ordinance (City of Hay Springs Rev. Muni. Code Section 3-603(L)(2)(b));

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council hereby directs that an application fee of $10.00 be charged when any resident of Hay Springs, Nebraska applies for a Hobbyist Permit;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council hereby directs that a renewal fee of $10.00 be charged when any resident of Hay Springs, Nebraska applies for renewal of an expired Hobbyist Permit;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a majority of the voting Members of the City Council find, by passage of this Resolution, that the fees established are a fair and necessary cost to effectuate a defined difference between a non-operable vehicle that is a nuisance and a hobby.

The foregoing Resolution having been read, Council Member Marcy seconded the Motion for passage and adoption, and after consideration thereof, the roll was called on the passage and adoption of said Resolution and the following Council Members voted aye: Marcy and Kearns. The following Council Members voted nay: Hale.

The passage of the Resolution having been consented to by more than the majority of the Members elected to the Council was declared passed and adopted this 11th day of April, 2017.

Aaron asked if this is an annual renewal. James McCave said yes you would apply every year. Aaron asked if it is every calendar year or is it based upon when you applied for the Hobbyist Permit. James replied 12 months from the initial Hobbyist Permit application; keep in mind you have to do this for every 2 vehicles. Aaron just asked for clarity on our part. 

Aaron asked if an individual has more than 2 cars, can that individual apply for more than one Hobbyist Permit. Is it limited to one Hobbyist Permit per person? City Attorney Jamian Simmons noted that thought crossed her mind; she thinks it could be read either way. That could be one way to solve the issue of an individual having more than 2 hobby cars. You have to have a Hobbyist Permit for every 2 cars you are currently hobbying. Someone is still paying the permit charge for having vehicles. 

Mayor said he sees this as an issue coming down the pipe that they are going to nail whoever they want to, for whatever they want to, when they want to, regardless of the individual and where they are at. Hale replied it is time we clean this town up. Mayor agreed, to the point of being straight across the board.

Nuisance Abatement Officer: City Attorney Jamian Simmons stated that it sounds like the Council is getting this Program set up so that PADD can handle the Nuisance Abatement. Hale agreed, that is what it sounded like to her. What PADD does, according to the understanding, is they take care of sending out the notices according to the ordinance, to all the properties identified as being in violation under the ordinance. Those properties are going to get a letter/notice, whatever their violation is. It should be pretty uniform. City Attorney Jamian Simmons agreed, the ordinances should always be enforced uniformly against all, across all properties. Hale inquired why the Nuisance Abatement Officer was on the council meeting agenda. Clerk replied Council Member Jim Varvel requested the agenda item. James McCave noted that the permit requirement cannot be enforced unless you have someone to enforce it. City Attorney Jamian Simmons stated that there is nothing that says you have to have a nuisance abatement officer. Kearns agreed, and added that he prefers to have Council Member Jim Varvel explain it at the next council meeting. Tabled until next meeting.

Community Development Agency or Community Redevelopment Authority: Tabled until next meeting.

Library Roof: Mayor McKay stated that Twin City Roofing looked at the Library roof. It is leaking; the tin is rusted out, so they are supposed to give us a bid for a new tin roof or a rubber roof. The guys have patched the Library roof two or three times. Mayor McKay said the only reason it is on the agenda is to let the Council know that there are problems with the Library roof and it needs to be fixed. Kearns asked if bid requests need sent out. George said Twin City is giving us a bid. Kearns suggested that we request for another bid or two. City Attorney Jamian Simmons advised that the City requests more bids for the repair of the Library roof. Kearns suggested Fischer. Tabled until next meeting.

Executive Session: Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to enter into Executive Session at 9:23 p.m. to discuss legal matters and personnel. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to exit Executive Session at 9:38 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

There being no further business, Kearns made motion, and Marcy seconded to adjourn at 9:38 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Richard E. McKay


Kayley R. Taylor

City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: April 26, 2017