McCOOK, Nebraska -- City staff will recommend the McCook City Council hire Howard Olsen of Simmons Olsen Law Firm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to perform work that City Attorney Nate Schneider has deemed necessary to determine whether two council members should forfeit their positions. The recommendation will be considered Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m., during their semi-monthly meeting at Memorial Auditorium.
Since taking office Councilman Shane Hilker was convicted by Schneider of a city ordinance violation for harboring a potentially vicious dog and Councilman Aaron Kircher was convicted by County Attorney Paul Wood of a misdemeanor offense for disturbing the peace.
Olsen has agreed to perform the services for an amount not to exceed $1,000. The additional expense of hiring Olsen to aid in resolving the discrepancy between city ordinance and state statute comes a few months after city staff paid American Legal Publishing Corp. more than $8,000 in April, to update the McCook Code of Ordinance Book. The revisions and updating of the code book took several years to complete and were described by city staff as revisions that would bring the ordinance book up to state and federal requirements.
During the meeting Red Willow County Commissioner Earl McNutt will make a presentation to council members regarding the potential construction of a new county jail facility. McNutt told the Gazette Wednesday morning that he intends to simply bring the council up to speed on where the county is with the project and invite them to attend Monday's meeting.
McNutt plans to discuss the status of the schematic design phase of the project and said that no official vote of the county commissioners had yet occurred, "but that should be the next step."
The city property surplus auction on Nov. 9 received $5,789 from the sale of 16 vehicles, more than 60 bicycles and a few other items. Councilors will receive and file a report of the auction results, which featured one police cruiser that was being retired and the remainder of the vehicles being ones that had been towed off of city streets, typically not worth the expense of the towing bill to their owners, according to Chief of Police Isaac Brown.
Brown said said the city fared a little better than in recent years, likely because of the high price of scrap metal.
Other items on the consent and regular agenda:
* An extension for the block grant has been requested for the McCook library boiler and chiller replacement project that will push completion of the project to no later than March 2012. City staff has indicated the contractor needs additional time to receive equipment as well as to perform the installation. Similarly, the contractor for the window portion of the city shop upgrade project has asked for a time extension due to delays on the manufacturing side. That contractor has indicated the delay in manufacturing to be another three to four weeks and installation to take less than one week.
* The Mayor's appointments to represent McCook on the Administrative Board for the Red Willow County Regional Economic Development Plan will be considered for ratification. The identity of the mayor's appointment was not revealed on the meeting agenda released prior to the meeting.
* Bid specifications for a new mini-rescue pumper fire truck will be considered for approval. Purchase of the truck has previously been approved in the 2011-12 budget and approval of the bid specs includes setting the date to receive bids by, as Jan. 4, 2012.
* All bids received for the new police package vehicle for the police department are recommended to be rejected by city staff and the purchase rebid. All bids received were in excess of the $23,000 amount approved for the project. Bid specifications will also be considered so that the rebidding process can begin right away.
* Frenchman Valley Cooperative, Inc., has been recommended by the Fuel Contract Advisory Committee for the city to enter into an agreement with to purchase fuel for government vehicles for calendar year 2012.