City seeks more leeway in purchases

Friday, May 4, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council will consider ordinance changes that would increase the purchasing limit of city staff, without requiring bidding or council approval, from $20,000 to $30,000.

The changes also will include a provision that would allow city staff to negotiate a contract when bids come in over the approved amount, without returning to council for approval.

City staff has recommended the three-reading rule be suspended when approving the changes.

Councilors will consider the item during their semi-monthly meeting Monday evening, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Auditorium.

City staff is also recommending that the council implement an arborist license requirement that will pertain to any business engaged in the business of pruning or removing trees. The proposed license will require a $75 fee annually and for the business or individual to furnish proof of liability insurance with minimum amounts of $500,000 per occurrence.

Larry Eisenmenger with MNB Insurance in McCook estimates the liability coverage to have an average expense of $650 annually.

According to the agenda, the proposed license stems from concerns raised by residents, utility companies and city staff, pertaining to tree work being completed within McCook.

Councilors will consider a request from Red Willow County Commissioner Earl McNutt to occupy city right-of-way for the development of off-street parking on West F Street, just across the street from the south side of the Frank Lloyd Wright home. The proposed diagonal parking would occupy a 26 ft. x 140 ft. area from the alley to Norris Avenue.

City staff has recommended the county be granted the request.

City Manager Jeff Hancock will also be meeting with McNutt during the Red Willow County Commissioner's meeting, 9 a.m., Monday morning. Hancock will be at the meeting to discuss whether the commissioners will be utilizing the existing police and jail facilities once city staff are relocated into the new Municipal Facility. The discussion is in response to a letter sent in April from councilors, requesting the commissioners intent or need of the facilities.

Other items on the consent and regular agenda:

* Authorizing city staff to enter into negotiations with the Estate of Leo Randel for the purchase of real estate, to complete the waste treatment facility cat ion expansion, will be considered.

* Drawing and specifications of a vestibule addition on the north side of the McCook Public Library will considered for approval.

* Verizon wireless has requested an amendment to its lease agreement with the city to allow for an additional antenna to be placed on the west water tank.

The amendment would increase the amount paid to the city by the wireless company by $200 a month. City and Verizon engineers have determined the addition would have no adverse effects to the tower or equipment already installed.

* A request from Community Hospital and the Ed Thomas YMCA to host a half-marathon and 5k race on May 19 will be considered. The proposed race will begin on East 11th Street and travel North and West on county roads to West Third Street. Runners will turn around near McCook Elementary and head north into the county and then end the race near Community Hospital.

* The plans and specifications for the annual armor coating maintenance done by the city will be considered for approval.

* The 2012-13 City Budget Calendar will be considered for approval, as well as selection of a budget retreat date.

* Councilors will consider several proclamations during the meeting, including National Nursing Home Week proposed for May 13-19, 2012. Police Officers Memorial Day is proposed for May 15, 2012, and National Police Week on May 13-19, 2012. Drinking Water Week is proposed for May 6-12, 2012, and that same week is also proposed to be proclaimed Public Service Recognition Week.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: