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D.A.R. building to be moved

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Dr. Richard Tubbs, Vice-President of McCook Community College and Darin Morgan, Director of Physical Resources were present for the third and final public hearing required for the college to relocate the Daughters of the American Revolution building.

The structure will be moved approximately 200 feet, resting just north of the shelter house on the west side of the municipal pool.

The college is paying for the project and a new pad for the building to rest on, as well as renovations that include a new roof, doors and windows. Relocation of the building is part of the college's plan to construct an events center at the location, hoping to break ground in April of 2011.

The college also asked that the purchase agreement, signed in October 2006, be amended and approved on one reading, requiring suspension of the three reading rule. The agreement allows the college to purchase a portion of Kelley Park for the price of "one dollar and other valuable consideration."

According to the amended purchase agreement, the other consideration includes relocation and renovation of the DAR building; connection of the bike/walking path to M Street; and the addition of diagonal parking spaces along the north side of M Street.

Council members approved suspending the three-reading rule on a 4-1 vote, with Aaron Kircher the lone dissenting vote. Kircher said it was unclear to him why approval of the purchase agreement was delayed until suspension of the three-reading rule was necessary, considering it was signed in 2006. "I would like to give the public the opportunity to comment."

Councilman Mike Gonzales said, "I don't see any items that would be a detriment to the city or citizens," adding that he felt it was making people jump through hoops they didn't need to.

Kircher agreed with Gonzales but said that he had felt that way about topics in the past and been surprised by public comment.

After being prompted by councilman Shane Hilker, Tubbs said there was a possibility some funding might be lost if the project is delayed, just prior to the council voting to approve suspension of the three reading rule and subsequently the purchase agreement.

A zoning ordinance change was approved which will give existing single-family stick-built structures, that are located in business commercial and light industrial zones, permanent status. The changes were unanimously approved by the Planning Commission prior to presentation to City Council and predominantly affect homes along B Street.

The change came after property owners complained about hardships created by the ordinance, some centered around financing and insurance, and others simply due to restrictions on improvements such as carports or upgraded sidewalks. City Manager Kurt Fritsch said the homes were not eligible for first-time home buyer programs prior to the change and expects the change to encourage neighborhood improvement.

After a public hearing to discuss the scenario, Rebecca Patterson was authorized to move a two-story home from 509 Norris Ave. to 38644 Road 705. Patterson said her grandmother was raised in the home and it had been in her family for more than 100 years. Memorial United Methodist Church owns the property the home is on and will avoid demolition costs now that Patterson has been given approval to relocate the structure.

A representative from the church said that no immediate plans had been made for the lot, other than to clean it up and utilize it as a green space, possibly placing some playground equipment.

Other items on the consent and regular agenda;

* Casey's General Store was approved for a liquor license for their 204 West B Street location, following a public hearing which yielded no comments.

* A resolution was repealed that automatically excused health related absences for Mayor Dennis Berry.

* The route for the YMCA Fun Walk/Run on Dec. 31, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., was approved.

* Rock 'N Horse Lounge was approved for a special liquor license for a reception at the Red Willow County Community Building on Jan. 8, 2011.

* Linda Crandall was appointed to the Library Board to fill the unexpired term of Candace Havely.

* Councilman Jerry Calvin was appointed as an alternate board member for the Public Alliance for Community Energy Board of Directors.

* Councilman Shane Hilker was appointed to the McCook Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.

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