McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council directed city staff to handle the loaning of eight sets of bleachers to the Red Willow County Fair Board, for a March 26 bull riding event, as an administrative item in the future.
Due to a dispute reportedly between several entities and the previous city manager, city staff had previously been given direction that the loaning of the bleachers, which the city does regularly to assist the fair board with events such as the Red Willow County Fair, was to be handled as a formal action item that must be approved during a regularly scheduled city council meeting.
City Councilman Mike Gonzales inquired about the practice during their semi-monthly meeting, Monday evening at Memorial Auditorium. Gonzales said he believed it to be an administrative issue that didn't need the council's approval.
City Manager Kurt Fritsch and Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff agreed with Gonzales, adding that all other similar equipment loans were handled without council approval, including youth events, and the use of other facilities. Fritsch added that unusual circumstances would always be brought to the attention of the council.
City Attorney Nate Schneider said the city kept a stock liability and waiver form on hand and as long as there are no irregular issues, that would be sufficient.
Council members unanimously approved the loaning of the bleachers to the fair board for the March event and directed staff to handle the topic administratively in the future.
Councillors also approved the contract between the city and Lloyd Benjamin, that will detail terms of the Fox Theatre reconstruction and upgrading project.
The project includes improved accessibility to the lobby, upgrades to the front restrooms and ticket booth, the addition of wheel chair accessible seating, relocating the heating and air conditioning system, as well as providing ramp access to the stage, stage dressing rooms and performers restrooms.
$254,300 of the total $336,200 needed for the project, will come from the Nebraska Community Development Block Grant Program. City Manager Kurt Fritsch said it was important to note that Benjamin's work on the project was on an in-kind donation basis and was not costing the city anything.
The mayor also was authorized to sign an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medicaid & Long Term Care and AMR/Access2Care, that will meet new federal regulations and standards. The agreement features a $1,200 annual decrease in reimbursement to the City of McCook Public Transit for non-emergency trips provided to DHHS clients.
Other items on the consent and regular agenda:
* Council members adopted a resolution that certifies the city to be capable of providing public transportation, as well as authorizes the city's application for state and federal public transportation financial assistance.
* An ordinance proposing the rezoning of three lots owned by Theresa Leamon, located in the Fairacres addition was approved for its third and final reading. The zoning changes move the lots from residential medium density mobile home district to business commercial district.
* Mo Dough, LLC was approved for a special designated liquor license for a reception at the Keystone Business Center on June 10, 2011.
* The mayor's appointment of Jim Hamill to the Senior Citizens Advisory Board was ratified.