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Company seeks drilling rights

Friday, February 4, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The city has been approached by an oil and gas firm interested in leasing airport and waste water treatment plant property for oil and gas exploration.

State law requires that an auction of the lease proposals be scheduled and city staff is asking for authorization from council members during the semi-monthly meeting, Monday evening, at Memorial Auditorium.

City manager Kurt Fritsch said he could not release the name of the company until after the public auction.

The five-year lease would not guarantee funds, other than the initial rent, but should oil or gas be found a standard royalty of 121⁄2 percent would be paid for minerals extracted.

A public hearing also will be conducted to discuss the proposed 2011 One- and Six- Year Street Improvement Plan.

The plan includes two projects on the one-year plan, a $40,000 drainage project on one block of West 10th; and a $150,000 asphalt paving project on East O Street and Kelley Park Drive. Nine street improvement projects are listed on the six year plan and eight were completed in the last fiscal year.

Following the public hearing, councillors will consider approval of a resolution to adopt the street improvement plan and then conduct a second public hearing focused on a budget change in the amount of $3,750,000. The change will be in the Special Revenue Fund to allow for the use of bond funds for construction of the voter approved municipal facility, scheduled to break ground in August 2011. City staff has asked for suspension of the three reading rule for the budget change.

Steve Riley and Jim Classe of Prochaska & Associates will be present to review the proposed design of the new municipal facility to be constructed on the West Ward School lot. City staff has recommended that the project utilize the construction management at risk process and has asked for council approval.

Council members will consider a resolution that will increase ambulance rates. Basic life support, non-emergency, will increase from $400 to $430 and emergency from $500 to $575. Advanced life support, non-emergency, will increase from $525 to $685 and emergency from $625 to $715. The new rates are proposed to go into effect March 1.

Other items on the consent and regular agenda;

* Approval for the Community Development Block Grant contract with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for the Fox Theatre reconstruction and upgrading project will be considered. The grant will provide $254,300 of the $336,200 total project cost.

* City staff has recommended that Miller & Associates be approved as the general administrator of the Fox Theatre CDBG project as well as the city's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant.

* A contract between the city and W Design Associates for preliminary engineering services for the East H Street improvement project will be considered.

* Council members will consider the second of three required readings of an ordinance that authorizes the sale of a portion of the property the city acquired from Merilyn Schaffer and Eileen Hubert. The McCook Housing Agency will be purchasing the lot, located just off of F Street in the First Bison Addition, for $15,025.

* Membership requirements for the Loan Committee, per the McCook Economic Development Plan, will be considered for the second of three required readings for approval.

* The amendments to the zoning ordinance to allow individual domestic wind turbines in the agricultural district will be considered for the second of three required readings for approval.

The ordinance change will allow for domestic use, single turbines that will be limited to a 55-foot height requirement.

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