By Rachael Huether
The Gordon City Council met Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 6 p.m. Tom Evans was absent.
The council moved to accept the September 13 minutes and approved the August treasurer’s report as presented. After review, the council voted to pay the unpaid bills, totaling $84,337.54. Total October bills were $434,268.46.
Leah Olsen of Wellspring Chapel requested a closure of East 5th Street from Main Street to Elm Street for a trunk-or-treat event on October 31 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Bounce houses will be set up for children, so the street closure was requested for the safety of children in attendance. The council voted to approve their request.
Eric Anderson, on behalf of the Gordon American Legion, submitted a request for extended liquor sale hours on Sunday, November 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. for Veteran’s Day. The council voted to approve Anderson’s request.
Chet and Barbara Marks of Batesland, S.D., were present to discuss the current ordinance pertaining to Solicitors and Transient Merchants. They have been bringing their produce to Gordon to sell and were set up in the parking lot north of Pizza Hut. Last year, Barbara had called the city office to see what she would need to do to sell her produce in Gordon. She informed the board that she had talked to previous City Manager Jacob Sheridan, and he had told her that she did not need to do anything to sell her produce on city property, but would need approval for private property from the owner. After returning to Gordon this summer to do the same, she was served paperwork from local police stating that she was in violation of a city ordinance. The current ordinance requires Marks to obtain a permit from the city to sell her produce within city limits at a cost of $100 per month. Marks feels the ordinance is unfair, as produce grown in Nebraska is exempt from this fee. She argued that they do all of their business in Gordon, and Chet added that it is their local service area. They would like the ordinance to have a 50-200 mile radius (whatever the council would like), rather than the Nebraska grown regulation. Marks told the council that Rapid City farmer’s markets have a 200 mile radius limit. They feel it is unfair that Nebraskans can go to Pine Ridge and Kyle and sell produce they label as “locally grown” but they cannot do the same in Gordon.
Dale Kelly was present on behalf of the Gordon Farmer’s Market. He feels having non-local people here selling produce hurts them, and he feels the fees for people to do that is just a cost of business. The Gordon Farmer’s Market has a membership fee, along with a fee to the club for each week people set up and sell items. Their club has a 50 mile radius allowance for people to join the club. The Markses had been invited to join, but they declined for religious reasons, as they do not work on Saturdays. Kelly informed the board that he has to pay $40 per month to sell in Pine Ridge. The current ordinance would need to be changed regardless, as even if someone out of state joined the Gordon Farmer’s Market, they would still be in violation of the ordinance and be subject to the applicable fees. No action was taken on the matter.
The city had advertised for bids for their general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Security 1st Insurance was the only company to submit a bid by the October 1 deadline. Becky Haller and Jessica Holston were present on behalf of Security 1st Insurance. The bid they had submitted, through Travelers Insurance, showed a cost of $99,063, which Mayor Russell noted was less than they are currently paying. Glen Spaugh, who could not be present, had submitted a letter recommending adding cyber protection at a cost of $445 per year. This protection would cover the city in an instance of personal information of customers being compromised due to negligence. Ben Criss of Strong Insurance was present, and stated that his office was not aware of a deadline, and asked if the bid could be reopened to allow them time to present a bid to the council. After some discussion, it was decided to go with Security 1st Insurance.
The roster for the Gordon Volunteer Fire Department was approved.
Resolution 2018-23, pertaining to the sale of a tract of land home to a decommissioned well to Stephen Sanders for $1.00, was approved and passed.
Ordinance 1180 pertaining to contained fire pits, portable fire pits, and outdoor fireplaces was presented. Current ordinances ban the use of fire pits. This ordinance would legalize fire pits if certain safety measures are taken. The council voted to approve the ordinance and voted to waive the second and third readings.
The Perpetual Care Report was accepted as presented.
Lynn Kreitman has requested the city pay additional closing costs that are outside the original purchase agreement. There is a lien on the land that the city is purchasing from the Kreitmans, and an additional fee of $500 has been charged to release said lien. After some discussion, the council voted to pay these additional closing costs.
City Manager Chad Edwards gave his report, stating that there would be a need to monitor sales tax revenue, as Shopko is closing. He also noted that the armor coating was done on September 15. Grant funds are being looked into for replacing the air conditioning and heating at the Library.
The council went into executive session at 7:10 p.m. for personnel issues. With no action taken, the board reconvened in regular session at 7:45 p.m.
After reconvening, the council accepted the resignation of City Manager Chad Edwards. No reason or further information is available at this time.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:48 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Gordon City Council will be November 8 at 6 p.m.