Hay Springs City Concil Minutes, February 13, 2018


Call to Order: Mayor Richard McKay called the Regular Meeting of the Hay Springs City Council to order at 7:01 p.m. Council persons Jim Varvel, Luke Marcy and Marcella Hale were present. Keith Kearns was absent. City Attorney James McCave was present. It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Minutes Approval: Hale made motion, Marcy seconded to approve the Minutes from January 9, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Minutes Approval: Marcy made motion, Hale seconded to approve the Minutes from January 22, 2018 Special Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Agenda Approval: Varvel made motion, Hale seconded to approve the agenda for February 13, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Audit Report: Jim Gardner: Presented the 2016/2017 City of Hay Springs Audit. No compliance issues. The Water Fund for the current year dropped off about $60,000 of operating income this year. The revenues were down about $10,000 from the year before. The big difference is in repair. Statement of Cash Flows showed the Water Fund decreased cash reserves by $65,000 and Sewer Fund was about break-even on Cash Flow. Dropped off $1,984. And the RV Park generated $3,300 worth of cash. Not a lot of cash reserves in the Water or Sewer Fund. Those are the two Funds that the City has projects to be looking at. One of the things the City needs to be looking at is water rates. Governmental Funds sitting at about $225,000 of cash reserves. Operations of General Fund dropped off $77,000. Cash reserves based upon total expenditures is still almost 50% of cash reserves to total expenditures. 50% cash reserves are the limit you can have for cash reserves. Sewer Fund paid off debt this year. Revenues that are coming in are very close to what was projected. Comment was made in regards to accrued vacation. Policy says that the City has a cap for accrued vacation but there are always a couple people who are way over that accrued vacation. It was strongly suggested that the Council looks at the policy in regards to that and see if something needs to be changed to the personnel policy manuals. Complimented the Clerk saying she gets better every year and is starting to understand the system.

Sherrie Elwood: SDL for Chamber Cribbage Tournament St. Patrick’s Day Party March 17th, 2018: Marcy made motion to approve the SDL for Chamber Cribbage Tournament St. Patrick’s Day Party for March 17th, 2018. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Gambling Awareness Proclamation: Joan Yekel was present to ask the City/Council to sign the Gambling Proclamation for March. Varvel read Proclamation in its entirety:


WHEREAS, there are individuals and families in our community 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, Richard McKay, Mayor of Hay Springs, Nebraska, do hereby proclaim March, 2018, as “Problem Gambling Awareness Month” and urge citizens to learn more about the consequences of problem gambling and help available through the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program.

Varvel made motion to approve March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Sheridan County Public Transportation agreement: Varvel made motion to approve the $303.66 to be paid for the annual agreement fee due by August 31st, 2018. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Azure Summers: new City logo: Azure was present with a proposal for the Council. She has her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Industrial Management and Graphic Design. She has owned her own company since 2008. In her line of work she is always looking at logos, business and organization images, and making sure that image is doing the work that it should be doing for those organizations. She handed the Council presentation packets to review her suggestion of logos. She touched on the definition of Brand Identity. The City’s current logo is not looking sharp and clean. This does not represent the City well. The proposed new City logo provides updated fonts, progressive layout color in that logo, and if chosen to go with the proposal she would provide necessary electronic files for City use. The new City logo proposed still incorporates the wheat from current City logo, along with key ideas: Agriculture, which is this area’s primary economy; the Plains with rows in the field; Motion going on which suggests to people looking re-locate to our community that we have a sense of modernization; Solidarity as well as Historical value by displaying the establish date. The colors used imply nourishing sun, life, growth, harmony, earth, and the black is powerful and bold which are good symbols for our community. Gray-scale was also presented. There was discussion regarding prices, printing options, color compared to black and white options, logo files and electronic print ready files, and so forth.

Varvel made motion to approve the proposed new City logo design at a cost of $350 plus 500 letterhead and 500 envelopes for a total cost of $530.21. Marcy seconded. Hale abstained. Varvel and Marcy voted aye. Motion carried.

Rate Study: Barney with Nebraska Rural Water Association: Barney presented to the Council the results of the Rate Study that himself and Aaron worked on earlier in the day. The expenses came right off the City’s Budget. Plus a 12% operating reserve. The total amount of money that the Water System needs to raise is $186,425.70 to cover Budgeted expenses.  The current Water rate of $18.50 plus $0.20 per 100 gallons used would raise $131,536. There’s $7,282 in other income. The City is losing $47,607 each year at current rate. Average water bill at this rate is $33.22 and that is strictly water. The base rate and per hundred gallons rate can be adjusted. But the $45.47 is pretty much set in stone. If the City does not have that for the average water bill then there will not be enough funds generated to pay bills. Rates have not been raised for 10 years. This rate increase can be done in stages if preferred. It is recommended that a rate study is done every three years to see where the City stands. There was discussion.

Sewer expense on current Budget with 12% operating reserve came to $102,175.52. With current revenue the Sewer Fund is losing $31,000. Recommended the base rate goes up to $21.80 to ensure sufficient funds to pay bills. For future reference, if it is possible to get such a report from software, there is the option of charging residential sewer rates based on January, February and March water usage of each year since all that water goes down the sewer. Then those rates are re-figured each year based upon those parameters. There was discussion.

No action taken by the Council at this time.

Public Concerns: none.

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees, no questions from the Council; Krystyn Turman – Pioneer Manor: No update; Jim Varvel – Finance: Correction to Treasurer’s Report, everything looks fine; Keith Kearns – SWANN: No update; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: Meeting moved to next week, received Greater Good Grant for $15,000; Richard McKay – Mayor: Submitted written report for review; would like to go on record: “I would like to make it clear that the City is responsible for clearing snow off the Streets, not individual driveways. If those individuals clean their driveways before the City employees come through with the plows then the snow will be pushed back into their driveways, and there is nothing we can do to avoid this. I do recommend that if at all possible to wait until after the plow comes through and then clear your driveway. I also realize that some of you have to go to work prior to the streets being cleared which presents another issue altogether. I realize that it is frustrating and time consuming and I apologize for the inconvenience that it brings but the City cannot clear everyone’s driveway upon completion of the clearing of the streets. Be thankful for what we are trying to do to help you all out.”


PADD Update: Varvel spoke with Daniel Bennett, PADD, regarding cost estimates. A decision cannot be made based upon cost estimates. Probably by this time next month the release of funds will be in hand for the CDBG project and we can begin to move forward.

Water Loss Report: 40% for two months worth of water usage.

Developing Salary Schedule: Tabled until next month.

Statements of Qualifications for CDBG: M.C. Schaff & Associates and Baker & Associates both presented Statements of Qualifications for CDBG. Varvel made motion to approve M.C. Schaff & Associates to do the engineering for the CDBG project. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Pivot: Tabled until Executive Session.


Approval of Claims: Hale made motion, Marcy seconded to approve Claims. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Baker & Associates, Inc. $750; Black Hills Energy $2,085.09; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,401.63; Bomgaars $324.95; Cornhusker Press $68.74; DEMCO $215.30; Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Ossian, Vogl and Snyder, P.C. $103.69; EMC Insurance Companies $3,138.26; Farmer’s Coop $99; Great Plains Communications $780.13; Hay Springs Lumber $100.21; Hip Hop $335.75; Lawson Products $1,753.40; MCI $61.04; Michael Todd & Company, Inc. $325.60; NE Public Health Environment $47; Nebraska Public Power District $3,191.06; Nebraska Rural Water Association $75; Nebraska Total Office $733.33; Norms Napa $186.01; Northwest Rural Public Power District $36; Panhandle Drilling, Inc. $520.32; Petty Cash $114; Pioneer Research Corporation $389.21; Redman’s Shoes $199; Sackers $274.08; Sandhills News, Inc. $708.12; Sargent Drilling Company $335.48; Security First Bank $1,570.37; Smith, King, Simmons and Conn, P.C. $288; Sun Life Financial (previously Assurant Employee Benefits) $289.72; SWANN $7,280.07; Utility Service CO., Inc. $751.28; Westco $192.45; American Funds Service Company $996.26; EFTPS $3,152.16; Postmaster $155; NE Department of Revenue $1,224.12

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

Great American Clean-Up/Keep Nebraska Beautiful – set date: Set for May 4th, 2018.

RV Park Policy: A concern Aaron had is the RV Park has hydrants that are getting worn from improper use during Winter months. There was 13,000 gallons worth of water usage this last meter reading and there has not been anyone staying at the RV Park. He is concerned that people stop in to get water and do not properly shut the hydrants off. The expense of continually repairing the hydrants has become substantial over the past several years so Aaron mentioned perhaps the Council might like to consider making the RV Park seasonal in regards to water hydrants being available. Aaron also mentioned perhaps we need to make the pull-through end spaces time limited so that people did not use those spaces for months. It would be more user friendly and conducive to leave those spaces open for individuals pulling through for one night or a couple of days. The Council simply advised to use common sense on all the above addressed items.

Loader Bucket Replacement: There was discussion. Marcy made motion to approve the replacement of the front loader bucket for the backhoe for the price of $1,000. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Walker Mower Engine: There was discussion. Council requested George and Aaron research more in regards to cost.

Animal Control Equipment: Animal Control Officer asked the Mayor if the City is going to assist him in purchasing of equipment. The Council inquired in regards to what kind of equipment. City Attorney James McCave stated that anything the Animal Control Officer needs he should be advised to make a Claim to the City and the Council can come to an agreement respectively.

Animal Impound Area in the Park: Not feasible at this time in regards to complying with codes. There was discussion. City Attorney James McCave reiterated that the City of Hay Springs has a contract with Rushville for such services and they bear the burden to upkeep their kennel, the City is just contracting out the right to use it.

Executive Session: Varvel made motion to go into Executive Session at 8:28 p.m. for legal matters. Varvel made motion to exit Executive Session at 8:35 p.m. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Items for next meeting were discussed. Pool applications submitted were discussed.

There being no further business, Varvel made motion, Hale seconded to adjourn at 8:36 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Richard E. McKay


Kayley R. Taylor

City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: February 28, 2018