Hay Springs City Council Minutes, August 14, 2018
Call to Order: Mayor Richard McKay 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. 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 July 10, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Minutes Approval: Kearns made motion, Marcy seconded to approve the Minutes from July 25, 2018 Special Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Minutes Approval: Marcy made motion, Varvel seconded to approve the Minutes from August 10, 2018 Special Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Agenda Approval: Varvel made motion, Kearns seconded to approve the agenda for August 14, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Sherrie Elwood: SDL for Legion Fall Stag October 27th, 2018: Varvel made motion to approve the SDL for Legion Fall Stag on October 27th, 2018. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Glen Muhr: PO Box addresses and Friendly Festival fireworks: Glen was present to inform the Council that the Postal Service is conducting an initiative to do address mapping of all the E-rate boxes, which is the boxes for everyone that resides in town. The issue has been that physical addresses are not connected to any kind of database within the Postal Service, and that results in problems when people are doing online purchasing. Glen’s concern is that he is going off the addresses that he has in his database when people come in to obtain a post office box, some of those addresses are not correct. He would like to cross reference with the City Clerk, however according to the Freedom of Information Act he has to present the request to the City Council for their approval since Glen would have to share his data with the City Clerk in order to do the cross referencing aforementioned. He inquired about correcting of discrepancies. Kearns noted that the City records are going to be based on our information and thusly our information is most likely correct to the best of our knowledge, so actually it is the box holder who has the discrepancy. In which case either the City or Post Office will have to notify the box holder about said address discrepancy. Approximately 326 names. There was much discussion. Kearns had concerns about there being a tight time table in which the Clerk needs to have the cross referencing completed and Glen responded no there is not. Kearns made motion to authorize Clerk Kayley to sign the request to access the Postal Service’s addresses for box holders. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Glen Muhr was also present to request the City allow them to barricade a couple of streets for Friendly Festival fireworks event. To keep the vehicles and people back away from what they determine is the fall-out zone for the fireworks. Barricades would be set up at South 3rd and South Post streets as well as blocking off the road around the Baseball Field of the actual fireworks display. For safety reasons they would like not to have anyone parking behind the fireworks. Hale moves to approve the barricading of streets according to the diagram submitted to the Council. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Barbara Vancil: Alcohol: She was not present.
Tina Vifquain: Rents, Late Fees, and Collection Fees Due; Claims: Tina Vifquain was present and stated: “I think it would be in the best interest of everyone to pay this Claim and Claims because it detrimentally effects my life and it detrimentally effects the actions of this Council’s choices and the public at large. This matter cannot continue to be ignored. I am asking that this matter be settled within the next 24 hours. Whatever the answer would be…I would really appreciate it if action was taken in a responsible manner…and it does not, these rents due, late and collections fees are not going to go away, but they are only going to get worse…”
Public Concerns: Tina Vifquain stated: “I am patriotic American female small farmer. I believe responsibility matters for all lives, to help make America great. I an American patriotic American believe this and I expect that from this group and the rest of America. Our rights and responsibilities to this country overshadow any kind of personal concerns. Our brothers and fathers have fought for our country. Responsibility matters for all lives, and really God loves us all, and has to have a hand in what has been going on in here. And P.S. FYI y’all my land is not for sale and I feel really treaded upon. And I will leave that at that and thank you very much for your concerns. Hay Springs City Mayor and Hay Springs City Council members and public at large I only wish you all well, thank you very much…”
Berlinda Aelbrecht was present to discuss the RV Park with the Council. She requested cleaning supplies for keeping the RV Park bathhouse clean. She also requested internet connection be installed once again down there for the convenience of those staying at the RV Park. She also suggested raising the RV Park rates to help cover the costs of some additional amenities. Varvel agreed that the City needs to look at raising RV Park rates and requested that discussion item be added to next month’s agenda.
Glen Muhr also agreed that the RV Park rates should be raised. He requested that the RV Park reservation spaces be put back into effect at the RV Park. He expressed his wish to know why the City has not been taking reservations for the RV Park spaces this Summer.
Berlinda interjected that last year while she was helping the City keep an eye on the RV Park she noticed people would pull in who had not made reservations to spaces that did have a reserved sign and they would simply disregard the reserved sign in those spaces and toss them on the ground or throw them away and take the space.
Mayor replied that he just found out about the situation that afternoon. To which the Clerk replied that for several months the Clerk Work List submitted to the Mayor and Council before each month’s Council Meeting has included a written documentation of the issues going on down at the RV Park regarding reservations. The Clerk also spoke with a Council Member in person regarding the RV Park reservation situation and was advised to stop taking reservations at that time.
Glen asked the Council for clarification whether the City is or is not reserving RV Park spaces. Kearns inquired if there is a problem with reserving spaces. To which both the Clerk and Aaron answered yes. Clerk informed the Council that the first month we started having issues with people whom had not made reservations pulling into reserved RV Park spaces the Clerk received almost daily phone calls from those whom had made reservations and those phone calls were explicitly unpleasant. Hale noted that the City cannot have someone down at the RV Park 24/7 monitoring the activity.
Berlinda informed the Council that this year was different for her so she could not be at the RV Park this Summer to help City employees monitor the reservations, but she does plan on being back next Summer.
There was much discussion regarding possible resolutions for this situation: installing locking hydrants, putting padlocks on electrical boxes and requiring those pulling in to get a key from City Hall, putting up reserved signs that are placed in the middle of each space so an RV cannot just pull in, posting Notices stating that the City has the right to ask anyone to vacate a space if they do not have a reservation and are parked in a previously reserved space, etcetera.
The general consensus of the Council was that the City employees are to post four reserved signs for Glen Muhr for the Friday and Saturday of Friendly Festival.
Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:
Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees; Varvel brought up the topic of getting the RV Park Dump installed since it has previously been Council approved, to which George replied the biggest issue is going to be putting about 100 feet of sewer line in as well as keeping within proper clearance of existing water lines; Marcy stated that he feels some of the reluctance with completing this project has been the interjection of outside personal preferences, he suggested George and Aaron complete the project according to the location they feel is best suited and if people cannot pull their camper in to the designated RV Park Dump that is their problem, to which Aaron agreed since he has been catching friction regarding the planned location of the RV Park Dump; Aaron requested the Council think about the need for a Sewer Camera since we are getting close to the end of our Budget and fiscal year, Varvel inquired if the City is cleaning sewers and Aaron replied they will be in the Fall, but it was brought to his attention when Johnson came and inspected a sewer line they noticed we are starting to get a lot of cracks in our infrastructure and unless the City hires someone to come through we cannot plan on replacing that since it is all concrete clay tile, looking at the video Johnson took the bottom is rotting out, so you can jet them but you are going to break the pipe, Aaron suggested the sewer camera quoted at $7,900 from Nebraska Environmental Products, Kearns advised adding this discussion item to next month’s agenda as well as recommending that at the end of each Budget year the City employees should submit a “wish list” to the Council for their review and consideration. Krystyn Turman – Pioneer Manor: no report; Jim Varvel – Finance: Everything looks good; Keith Kearns – SWANN: Was unable to attend last month’s meeting, no report; Jim Varvel – Lister-Sage: A disaster preparedness key was given to Aaron so if there is a tornado and someone is seeking shelter he could open the door since the back hallway is considered a safe place for people to go, the landscaping project is 99% complete, all the locker rooms and concession stands were painted, starting annual fundraiser in September; Richard McKay – Mayor: Communications with Attorney Amanda Vogl, City employee evaluations were conducted this afternoon.
PADD Update: Varvel spoke with Daniel Bennett , it is a typical grant process and time consuming, the City did finally get Release of Funds, turned over to M.C. Schaff & Associates so they are going to start preparations for bidding the project through the Winter time but they will realistically be looking at early Springs to complete this project. Daniel Bennett is leaving PADD. He will be coming back for a Comprehensive Planning Commission meeting for an update and he will be bringing along his replacement, Megan Koppenhafer.
Water Loss Report: 24% this month – 27% last month – 22% last year; there was discussion regarding the water the County uses and update on Hanks Well.
Nuisance Abatement Officer: Hale brought the letter submitted from Mr. Blassingill concerning the property at 114 North Miller to the attention of the Council and read the letter in its entirety requesting a 90 day extension from August 18th, 2018. City Attorney Jamian Simmons suggested the Council look at doing a shorter time period and if Mr. Blassingill needs more time that he comes back at the end of that time period and if the Council has seen progress they may consider granting him another extension. City Attorney Jamian Simmons stated they were served by the Sherriff the Nuisance Abatement Letter because she received the Sherriff’s service return. Kearns suggested granting Mr. Blassingill an extension of 30 days from August 18th putting it at September 17th. Hale requested City Attorney Jamian Simmons have another resident served their previously unclaimed Nuisance Abatement Letter by the Sherriff. Hale complimented the compliance of local residents with cleaning up their properties.
Vifquain Condemnation: Purchase Price: Varvel stated the return of the Appraisers came in at $90,000 regarding the Vifquain Pivot Land in which the City has been going through condemnation proceedings. Attorney Amanda Vogl advised that it would be fruitless for the Council to challenge the appraisal price. Kearns made motion to offer the appraisal price of $90,000. Hale seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Resolution #18-7 Purposes of Public Waste Water: Kearns read Resolution #18-7 in its entirety:
RESOLUTION NO. 18-7
WHEREAS, the City of Hay Springs, “City,” utilizes certain real estate located in Sheridan County Nebraska for the purposes of public waste water treatment.
WHEREAS, the City Council determined that action should be taken by City to obtain the real estate ownership. City obtained a survey of the real estate. The survey, conducted by Philip Curd on October 26, 2017, is attached to this resolution as Exhibit A and is incorporated herein by reference.
WHEREAS, the parcel of real estate is currently owned by Tina Vifquain, “Vifquain.” City wishes to obtain this parcel for the purpose of continuation of waste water treatment.
WHEREAS, City obtained an appraisal of the real estate.
WHEREAS, the City Council, by unanimous agreement, moved to offer Vifquain the appraisal value for the real estate. Vifquain declined the offer of City.
WHEREAS, City has undertaken additional action to acquire the real estate including submission of the matter to a Board of Appraisers in Sheridan County, Nebraska.
WHEREAS, the Board of Appraisers returned with an appraised value for the real estate sought by the City at the amount of $90,000.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council for the City of Hay Springs that City shall proceed with condemnation of the real estate and pay the value as determined by the Board of Appraisers in the amount of $90,000 in order to obtain legal ownership to the real estate described herein.
ADOPTED THIS 14th day of August, 2018.
Kearns made motion to approve Resolution #18-7 as read. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Real Estate Purchase Finance Proposal: Marilyn Reed, Security First Bank Vice President, was in attendance to present a loan proposal to the Council to finance the $90,000 purchase of Vifquain Pivot Land. She proposed a 15 year amortization, 5 year adjustable rate with monthly payments, the interest rate would be 4.75% and the monthly payment for the loan would be $703.75 with a starting date of September 20th, 2018. Varvel stated that the City does have sufficient cash to outright pay the approved $90,000 amount for the Vifquain Pivot land but we do not want to deplete cash reserves. The City’s best options are a Bank loan or a Bond. Kearns agreed that a Bank loan is the best option. Kearns made motion to proceed with the loan as proposed by Security First Bank. Marcy seconded. Marcy, Kearns and Hale voted aye. Varvel abstained. Motion carried.
Employee Performance Evaluations: Employee evaluations were presented to the Council for review, no questions or comments from the Council.
Approval of Claims: City Attorney Jamian Simmons inquired about the Claim in question from Tina Vifquain. Mayor McKay, Varvel and Clerk confirmed that they had not seen any such Claim from Tina Vifquain to date. Varvel made motion, Kearns seconded to approve Claims. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Azure Summers Graphic Design $49.94; Baker & Associates, Inc. $980; Barbara McCartney $692.25; Barco Municipal Products, Inc. $758.77; Black Hills Energy $1,405.13; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,401.63; BlueGlobes, LLC $90.88; Bluffs Sanitary Supply $212.22; Bomgaars $238.84; Chadron Ace Hardware $41.73; EMC Insurance Companies $3,731.11; Farmer’s Coop $199.72; Great Plains Communications $617.18; Hay Springs Lumber $2,506.15; Hencey Plumbing and Hydronics $884.75; Hip Hop $336.50; Home Haven Furniture $680.75; Ideal Linen Supply $44.73; J&L Grocery $142.88; League of Nebraska Municipalities $590; MCI $60.28; NE Public Health Environment $531; Nebraska Public Power District $5,062.24; Nebraska Safety and Fire Equipment $156.56; Nebraska Total Office $709.58; Norms Napa $15.06; Northwest Rural Public Power District $463.20; One Call Concepts, Inc. $2.28; Peters Electric $841.24; Petty Cash $207.56; Pioneer Research Corporation $380.61; Sackers $458.25; Sandberg Implement, Inc. $1,065.30; Sandhills News, Inc. $221.22; Security First Bank $7,570.37; Sheridan County Journal Star $40; Smith, King, Simmons and Conn, P.C. $134.67; Sun Life Financial $380.37; SWANN $7,627.21; Toof’s Diesel Repair $100; Utility Service CO., Inc. $721.28; Vernon Manufacturing $467.50; Westco $945.12; Young’s Repair $1,489.25; American Funds Service Company $1,050.82; EFTPS $6,958.44; Postmaster $157.80; NE Department of Revenue $1,372.14
Approval of July Treasurer’s Report: Varvel made motion, Marcy seconded to approve July Treasurer’s Report. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Clerk Computer: Mayor informed the Council that a couple weeks ago the Clerk computer was down for several days and the City employees contacted Larel Reiman to see if he could trouble shoot the issue. Larel and Aaron ended up replacing the power supply and switch in the monitor of the Clerk computer and it has been functioning since. However, it was suggested the City look into replacing the Clerk computer. There was discussion regarding the transfer of the City bookkeeping Summit program from the old Clerk computer to a new computer system, as well as exploring possible Cemetery bookkeeping options at that time. Varvel made motion to authorize an amount of up to $2,500 for the replacement of the Clerk computer and needed equipment seeking the advice of Larel Reiman regarding what is appropriate. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Council Room carpet replacement: Varvel suggested replacing the Council Room, Main Lobby and two front offices carpet to similarly match the carpet that was placed in the two back offices during the Medical Clinic remodel. He advised to put this discussion item on next month’s agenda and bring in bids from Hay Springs Lumber Yard and Morfords for review. Council agreed.
Hay Springs Housing Authority: new commissioner recommendation: Kearns made motion, Marcy seconded to appoint Melissa Jancik, Loan Officer for Security First Bank, as a Hay Springs Housing Authority Board Commissioner in place of Erin Huth. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Mayor and Council Member Pay Raise: City Attorney Jamian Simmons advised the Council that a Resolution would be required so this agenda item is purely discussion at this time. Marcy does not feel the Council needs a pay raise but he was in favor of a pay raise for the Mayor due to his observed duties. Kearns suggested the Mayor’s pay be increased from $125 per month to $400 per month. Hale stated that when she first came to be on the City Council she felt it was a civic duty to the community. Varvel agreed and added that he did not volunteer to be a Council member for the money. Marcy stated: “I think our pay is fair but I don’t know about Richard’s constantly being the mother of the City and having to be around to babysit everybody and address issues, it seems a little cheap.” Varvel requested researching what other Mayors in the surrounding areas are paid and bringing that information back for discussion at next month’s meeting. City Attorney Jamian Simmons recommended putting together a Resolution and leaving the amount of the Mayor’s pay blank for Council approval at that point. She also advised that she would need to look into whether a pay raise can go into effect for the Mayor at any time during the year or if it has to be upon the beginning of a new term.
Librarian Pay Raise and effective date: Hale complimented the efforts of Librarian, Julie Rasmussen. Kearns made motion to approve a $1 per hour pay raise from $10 per hour to $11 per hour effective beginning the new fiscal year October 1st, 2018 in recognition of the hard work she has put in to our Library. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. Kearns also recommended the Mayor do an evaluation of Julie Rasmussen, Librarian, since she is a City employee.
Executive Session: none.
Items for next meeting were discussed.
There being no further business, Varvel made motion, Marcy seconded to adjourn at 8:32 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Richard E. McKay
Published: August 29, 2018