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Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015

Lot revised for planned EDC donation

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- A city-owned lot will have its property lines adjusted so part of it can be sold to a neighbor before the rest is donated to the McCook Economic Development Corp.

That action came after neighbor Bill Matson told councillors Monday that he was interested in buying the lot to expand his home.

Councilman Aaron Kircher suggested a lot line adjustment be completed to ensure MEDC would still have the minimum lot size and yet allow for part to be sold.

Councilman Shane Hilker agreed, adding that the portion sold to Matson could be prorated.

After City Attorney Nate Schneider affirmed the move could be completed administratively, City Manager Kurt Fritsch said he thought it was a good compromise, adding that city staff was only aware that Matson was interested in purchasing one of the two lots the property comprised. The city staff was previously unwilling to divide the lots because the remaining space would not be enough for a home.

MEDC intends to move a home from 516 Norris Ave. that is to be donated by Red Willow County.

MEDC will then add upgrades to make it handicap accessible, more energy efficient and safer. Housing Development Director Mary Kircher said it would be part of their Purchase Rehab Resell program and targeted to low- to moderate-income home buyers.

Fritsch said contractors, working on the renovation of the Norris Park Bandshell, found unexpected termite and water damage. He asked councillors to approve a change order of $1,800 plus other expenses to come as the project progresses. Fritsch said the increased cost would be funded with left over sales tax dollars.

A revised bid of $156,754 for the renovation project was unanimously approved by councillors and awarded to McCook Contracting in January. That amount was $40,000 over the initially projected amount of the project, based on a scaled down version of targeted renovation goals.

Dale Cotton read a letter that was written to the Red Willow County Commissioners. The letter announced the application for a federal grant to improve the old Army airbase north of McCook and asked for the commissioners assistance in administering the funds. Cotton and the "Army Airbase Historical Society," plan to use the $50,000 grant to make improvements that include a concrete apron that will improve security, public safety and help preserve the concrete at the airbase, according to the letter. Cotton said the project aspired to create tourism-funded jobs.

After mentioning his group wanted to establish the airbase as a national landmark, Cotton closed by saying he was still working on the West Ward building destruction, adding that he didn't "think that was right."

Cotton had expressed his desire to preserve the West Ward School building during several City Council meetings in 2010, but his requests came after the plans for its demolition had already been publicly announced and finalized for approval after three council readings.

His efforts did result in the historical recordation of the building prior to its demolition. While the documentation may have offered some level of appeasement to fans of the former school building, critics pointed out that the move increased expenditures of the demolition by $15,175.

The City Council unanimously affirmed willingness to work with Red Willow County, should the county decide the Public Safety Center on West Fifth Street was the best option for a future jail.

Red Willow County Commissioner Earl McNutt told council members he appreciated their pledged support during the March meeting, formally acknowledging their consent for the county to use the existing structure or build new.

Utilities Director Jesse Dutcher provided councillors with a performance recap of the water treatment plant and water wells, during their first five years of operation. After reviewing a detailed report that showed nitrate, arsenic and uranium levels were at acceptable levels, Dutcher said, "The bottom line is that it works."

Other items on the consent and regular agenda;

* An addendum to the oil and gas lease between the city and Credo Petroleum was approved.

* Councillors approved an amendment to the contract between the city and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program, reducing project costs of the demolition of several McCook buildings from $605,000 to $546,800. The project included several McCook homes as well as the Romanoff building and the West Ward School building.

* The McCook Art Guild was authorized to close a block of West C Street, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for an antique tractor show during Heritage Days.

* Terry Sitzman was granted his request to close West C Street, from West First Street to Norris Avenue, May 7, for his annual car show.

* April 12 through April 19 was proclaimed as National Public Safety Telecommunicators week, as well as the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

* MO Dough LLC, was granted a special liquor license for a reception at Memorial Auditorium, June 25.

* Councillors received an article about the Choice Gas selection period, which is April 15 through April 28.


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