Hay Springs City Council Minutes, April 10, 2018

Hay Springs City Council Minutes, April 10, 2018


Call to Order: Council President Jim Varvel called the Regular Meeting of the Hay Springs City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. Council persons Jim Varvel, Keith Kearns, Luke Marcy and Marcella Hale were present. Mayor Richard McKay was absent. Attorney Jamian Simmons was present. It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Minutes Approval: Kearns made motion, Hale seconded to approve the Minutes from March 13, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Minutes Approval: Marcy made motion, Hale seconded to approve the Minutes from March 27, 2018 Special Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Agenda Approval: Hale made motion, Kearns seconded to approve the agenda for April 10, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

F.U.N. Group: Lexi Buettner was present to update the Council on their progress with the Legion Hall remodel. The women’s bathroom is done and handicapped accessible. The floor is done and walls painted. The new handicapped entry door is done. Men’s bathroom will be completely redone. Hired out to wood the stage and do the bar top. The F.U.N. Group is inquiring if the City would be willing to financially assist with replacing the sidewalk and curbing in front of the Legion Hall. Council requested an estimate for the sidewalk and curbing replacement costs before a decision is made.

Lexi also informed the Council that the F.U.N. Group’s next project is possibly going to be the Baseball Fields. Updating the stands and discussing dugouts. Council was supportive of the idea but requested further updating and information as the F.U.N. Group continues their community improvement efforts.

Lexi Buettner: Ladies Lounge: Lexi Buettner was present to ask if the City would be willing to sell the Ladies Lounge building. She would like to put a business in it and she feels it is something the town can benefit from. Council inquired if the building is currently used for anything, George replied it is currently used for City storage. Historical value of the building was mentioned. Lexi did reassure the Council and City employees that she feels the donation plaque as well as the building is an important part of the community and should stay. Attorney Jamian Simmons noted that we need to know the fair market value of the building and sometimes real estate agents will give an opinion of value, which is informal, but it has been used before. It no longer has to be submitted for bids. If fair market value is over $5,000 the City can pass a Resolution directing the sale, along with a Notice of all sale terms must be published for three weeks, there is a 30 day period in which people can file a remonstrance (objection to sale under those terms). If no remonstrance is filed then the City publishes Notice and confirms the sale. Council stated that the City will need to get the Ladies Lounge appraised/evaluated and hopefully have that information by the next council meeting.

Public Concerns: none.

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees, no questions from the Council; Aaron let the Council know that there are few remaining Pool Operator classes left at this time of the year; Krystyn Turman – Pioneer Manor: No update; Jim Varvel – Finance: Everything looks fine; Keith Kearns – SWANN: Meeting last month, approval to do sewer at offices in Chadron, bills paid, discussion regarding LARM; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: Meeting yesterday, approve drainage/landscape improvements for this Summer, installed doors on very north and new key card – Bev Lee spoke to Varvel about Tornado Shelter being designated at Lister-Sage and getting the City keys; Richard McKay – Mayor: Submitted written report for Council review.


PADD Update: Environmental Review completed and currently waiting for Release of Funds.

Water Loss Report: 40% this month, last month was 31%, it was 48% last year. Meter inaccuracy discussed. Watching trend patterns.

Water and Sewer Rates – Ordinance #18-01: There was much discussion and review of rate comparisons from surrounding municipalities. The expenses of meter replacement, operating and general maintenance, Well repairs and aging infrastructure were noted. Kearns read Ordinance #18-01 in its entirety.




WHEREAS, the City of Hay Springs currently owns and operates a water supply and distribution system and a sanitary sewer disposal and treatment system; 

WHEREAS, the City of Hay Springs has the right, power and authority pursuant to Hay Springs City Ordinance §7-101 to establish and collect rent or rates for such water and sewer service; 


The City of Hay Springs establishes the following rates for water and sewer service: 

Water Rates

Minimum Charge (Base rate)


Rate per 1,000 gallons


Sewer Rates

Standard Rate (Residential & Commercial)


This Ordinance shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage, approval, publication or posting as required by law.


Kearns made motion to approve Ordinance #18-01. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Kearns made motion to waive three readings of Ordinance #18-01. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Developing Salary Schedule: Remove item from agenda until July or August meeting so the City can implement recommended wage increases for City employees before Budget which will then be factored into next fiscal year.

Nuisance Abatement Officer:  Marcella Hale has been documenting with pictures. Thanked George for painting RV Park signs. Attorney Jamian Simmons was asked by Mayor McKay to update an Ordinance in relation to Nuisance Abatement. 

Pivot: Tina Vifquain was present and requested: “Council, I think it might be a good idea to help get the water for the Pivot to go, thank you.”


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

Bauerkemper’s Inc. $283.80; Black Hills Energy $1,616.24; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,401.63; Chris Adams $3,606.36; Core & Main $1,905.29; EMC Insurance Companies $3,731.11; Great Plains Communications $617.58; Hay Springs Lumber $3,685.98; Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department $7,500; Hills Materials Company $5,731.50; Hip Hop $309; Ideal Linen Supply $43.52; J&L Grocery $28.70; Lawson Products $1,404.06; MCI $58.01; Murphy Tractor & Equipment $1,698.90; NE Public Health Environment $174; Nebraska Environmental Products $249.54; Nebraska Public Power District $3,112.21; Nebraska Total Office $502.70; Norms Napa $219.88; Northwest Rural Public Power District $114; Petty Cash $98.94; Pioneer Research Corporation $389.21; Sackers $102.10; Sandhills News, Inc. $709.59; Security First Bank $1,570.37; Sun Life Financial (previously Assurant Employee Benefits) $289.72; SWANN $7,266.54; Toof’s Diesel Repair $80; USA Blue Book $1,260.29; Utility Service CO., Inc. $751.28; Westco $348.34; American Funds Service Company $646.20; EFTPS $2,010.98; Postmaster $153.25; NE Department of Revenue $1,714.79

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

Resolution #18-3 establishing licensing, fees and fines for pet ordinances: There was discussion of rates. Kearns read Resolution #18-3 in its entirety:




Ordinance Reference, Fee Description, Amount.

3-303, Dog and Cat License Fee, $5.00 if spayed/neutered OR $15.00 if not spayed/neutered

3-304, Dogs; Duplicate Tag, $5.00

3-303(C), Dog and Cat License; Late Payment, $5.00

3-308(B), Running At Large First Offense, $ 25.00 Fine, plus court costs

3-308(B), Running At Large Second Offense, $50.00 Fine, plus court costs

3-308(B), Running At Large Third Offense, $100.00 Fine, plus court costs

3-308(B) and 3-321(B), Impoundment/Daily board fee, $12.50 (per day)

3-403, Kennels; License Fee, $50.00

PASSED AND APPROVED this 10th day of April, 2018.

Kearns made motion to approve Resolution #18-3. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

The deadline for registering pets with the City is May 1st each year. Pet owners who have not registered their animals with the City by May 10th each year will be considered delinquent and are subject to late fees. 

Fair Housing Month Proclamation for April 2018:  Kearns read Proclamation in its entirety.

Fair Housing Month


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


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


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


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


that in the pursuit of the shared goal 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 2018



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 10th day of April, 2018.

Kearns made motion to approve Fair Housing Month Proclamation for April 2018.  Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Healthy Lungs Resolution #18-4: Kearns read Resolution No. 18-4 in its entirety.


This resolution by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hay Springs, Nebraska, approves a tobacco free policy for recreational facilities. 

WHEREAS, there is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke, whether indoors or outdoors and tobacco products and secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke are related to adverse health risks; and,

WHERAS, Parents, coaches and officials serve as role models for youth and should model positive lifestyle choices, including not using tobacco products; and, 

WHERAS, Use of tobacco products in public places can result in litter and debris that is unsightly and may pose a risk of ingestion by toddlers; and,  

WHEREAS, restricting use of tobacco products in outdoor facilities is intended to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of community residents, particularly children and youth.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Council of the City of Hay Springs as follows:

1. That all recreational facilities shall be designated as “tobacco-free” and tobacco use shall be prohibited.  Included but not limited to parks, play grounds, swimming facilities, walking/biking paths, buildings and all grounds, including exterior open spaces, sidewalks and parking lots;

2. Appropriate signage shall be posted to designate tobacco-free areas;

3. The residents of the City of Hay Springs shall be notified of this Resolution and the designation of the tobacco-free zones; 

4. This policy is intended to be enforced through public information and awareness.  Parks and Recreation Department employees, parents, coaches and park facility visitors are encouraged to assist in achieving compliance by brining this policy to the attention of persons violating the policy.  A person found violating the policy may be asked to cease tobacco use or leave the facility premises.  

For the purpose of this policy tobacco includes all products such as cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, nicotine products, vapor products (including e-cigarettes), and any products intended by appearance or effect to replicate tobacco products.

This policy statement is effective immediately upon the date of adoption. Resolved this 10th day of April, 2018.

Kearns made motion for Healthy Lungs Resolution #18-4. Marcy seconded. Kearns and Hale voted nay. Varvel and Marcy voted aye. Tie vote, Mayor McKay was not present to break the tie, motion and resolution failed. There was discussion regarding the broadness of the resolution.

Safe Driving Reward Check: Varvel addressed the accident free check rewarded to the City by EMC Insurance. Aaron noted this is the first year he has ever seen a check rewarding the City for being accident free. George mentioned the City might have received a similar reward check many years previous. Mayor McKay via written note recommended splitting the check amongst the City employees. Kearns stated that he is opposed to splitting the whole check amongst City employees. Kearns is not opposed to dividing out a set amount for having an accident-free year resulting in the City getting a partial refund of premiums. Kearns made motion to approve full-time City employees be awarded a $250 payment each in recognition of their conscientious observance of positive work place habits. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Establish a Health Board: Four members including the Mayor and President of the City Council, one member has to be a health care provider and one member of the community. Marcella Hale spoke to Brenda Johnson who is a Nurse Practitioner and Ron Housh who is a resident of Hay Springs as well as a member of the Fire Department. Mayor McKay and Council President Jim Varvel are already elected officials. This fulfills the requirements stated in ‘Article 7 Board of Health’ of the City of Hay Springs Ordinance Book. Hale noted yards full of cars, trash in yards, and other nuisances. She inquired if the City has to hire someone to go in and clean that up or can the City go in and clean it up ourselves. Attorney Jamian Simmons advised that if the City has done the required Notices and gone through procedures for Nuisance Abatement and the property owners do not take action accordingly, then it can be hired out or the City can cause it to be done by their own choosing. No Resolution necessary since we already have a Health Board established in the Ordinances. Attorney Jamian Simmons advised the appointments have to be made by the Council of the individuals to the Health Board just like with any other Board. She stated that it would be better if it were on the agenda listing all the names of the people being appointed to the Health Board. Tabled until next meeting for said reason.

Pool Manager/Lifeguards and Summer Help: Mayor McKay submitted a written note regarding the two people he has hired for full-time Pool Manager and part-time Pool Manager positions. Kearns recommended continuing with one Pool Manager and one Assistant Pool Manager as in the past. Marcy suggested that once the Pool Manager is hired it should be their decision to assemble and hire the rest of the Pool staff. Varvel suggested that the Pool Board be brought in and assist with the hiring of Pool staff. Attorney Jamian Simmons read from the City of Hay Springs Ordinance Book: “The City Council shall manage the swimming pool and shall have the power and authority to hire and supervise the swimming pool manager and such employees as it may be necessary and shall pass all rules and regulations for the operation of the swimming pool.” There was much discussion. Varvel made motion to designate Keith Kearns and Marcella Hale as a Special Pool Committee to assist in hiring the Pool Manager or others as necessary, and those recommendations are to be brought forward to the Council at the May 8th, 2018 Regular Council Meeting for approval. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Aaron once again reiterated respectfully that decisions need to be made as soon as possible since there are a limited number of Pool Operator classes being offered in this area this late in the year.

City Hall sign design and City of Hay Springs employee work shirts: George recently repainted the City Hall sign and the Council agreed that there is not an immediate need to purchase a new sign. There was discussion regarding City employee work shirts. Aaron mentioned that it would be nice to have work shirts to be worn at trainings and community events to professionally represent the City of Hay Springs.

Council requested additional cost estimates for comparison.

Executive Session: none.

Items for next meeting were discussed: Health Board, Ordinance for Nuisance Abatement, Ladies Lounge, and Sidewalk at Legion Hall.

There being no further business, Hale made motion, Marcy seconded to adjourn at 8:28 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Jim Varvel

Council President

Kayley Taylor

City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: April 25, 2018