Mayor Richard McKay called the Special Meeting to order at 8:01 a.m. Council persons Keith Kearns, Luke Marcy, Marvin Blundell and Brant Buettner were present. City Attorney Jamian Simmons was absent. It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.
ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Funds: The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) appropriates $19.53 billion to States for distribution to tens of thousands of “non-entitlement units of local government” (NEUs). ARPA directs the U.S. Department of the Treasury to make payments to each State for distribution to NEUs. Nebraska’s NEU allocation totals $111,189,720.
Nebraska has received half of the funds which will be distributed, as requested by the NEU, per completion of an application by the deadline of July 2, 2021. The second half of the funds will be received no earlier than 12 months from the first half. Those funds will be distributed in the same manner as the first, pursuant to each completed application.
The City of Hay Springs’ estimated allocation by NEU, including Fiscal Year 19-20 budget amounts as reported to the Auditor of Public Accounts, is $47,787.00.
An NEU accepting Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery funds is a prime recipient of a Federal award. NEU’s are required to report to Treasury on the use of funds. The State will share reporting guidance provided by Treasury, which is forthcoming. The first report is due to Treasury by October 31, 2021.
Kearns made motion to authorize the City Clerk on behalf of the City of Hay Springs to accept the allocated ARPA funds. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Water Heater at Swimming Pool: Council Member Brant Buettner informed the Council he was able to procure a 75-gallon hot water heater for the Hay Springs Swimming Pool for $4,211.06 through Northwest Pipe.
Blundell made motion to approve the 75-gallon hot water heater for the Hay Springs Swimming Pool at $4,211.06. Buettner seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Summer Help employee: Mayor McKay expressed his concern that the Summer Help currently employed are having trouble staying caught up with mowing and maintenance. Aaron Taylor, Water Operator, reported that he feels the current Summer Help is stepping up to the plate and putting in an effort to get caught up and stay caught up without the need for an additional Summer Help employee. There was an issue with communication but that issue has been resolved.
One Summer Help employee is a certified Lifeguard and works both positions. The Council expressed a concern that there might be more of a need for that particular individual to fill any vacancies on the Swimming Pool staff currently, and thus the City should explore the option of hiring another Summer Help employee.
Mayor McKay informed the Council he has not been notified of any Swimming Pool staff vacancies to date. The Council recommended Mayor McKay speak with the Pool Manager in regards to the current staffing situation and bring any information needing addressed to Executive Session at the July 13, 2021 Regular Council Meeting.
Kearns recommended advertising for another Summer Help employee until the July 13, 2021 Regular Council Meeting. Mayor McKay strongly noted that projects which have been on the to-do list for an extended period of time are not getting done due in part to the full-time City employees having to spend extra time assisting the Summer Help and/or Swimming Pool employees. Mayor McKay feels this situation deems an emergency hiring of another Summer Help employee without advertising the availability of said position. Marcy disagreed with the use of “emergency” in this situation, since it has been reported to the Council by the full-time City employees that mowing is caught up at this time and any previous issues with Summer Help have been resolved. Buettner agreed that this situation does not constitute an “emergency”.
Kearns would like the City employees to bring a cost estimate to the July 13, 2021 Regular Council Meeting corresponding to the projects on Mayor McKay’s to-do list for the Council to review in regards to available funds for completion of these projects at this time.
Public Concerns: Animal Control complaints.
Executive Session: Kearns made motion to go into Executive Session at 8:26 a.m. to discuss personnel matters. Buettner seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Blundell made motion to exit Executive Session at 8:54 a.m. Buettner seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Blundell made motion to hire another Summer Help employee, respecting the Council’s request that Mayor McKay research the City’s policy for “emergency” hiring beforehand, while moving forward with placing an advertisement for the need of another Summer Help employee. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Kearns made motion to adjourn the Special Council Meeting at 9:02 a.m. Blundell seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Richard E. McKay, Mayor
Kayley Taylor, City Clerk
Published: July 7, 2021