(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
Councilors originally proposed doubling the land line tax in July, in addition to creating a 6 percent mobile phone occupation tax, but flipped their position in August and eliminated the proposed mobile phone tax while proposing a reduction to the existing land line tax. During the August meeting several councilors attributed the change to feedback received from citizens.
Also during Monday's regularly scheduled meeting at Council Chambers, City Manager Jeff Hancock informed council members of three housing "listening sessions" scheduled to take place on Monday. The sessions are being coordinated by Hanna:Keelan Associates of Lincoln, Nebraska, as part of a community housing study and intend to stimulate public discussion pertaining to current and future housing needs throughout McCook.
One hour sessions are scheduled at the Keystone Business Center at 1 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., on Dec. 10, 2012.
According to Hancock, additional information can be obtained from MEDC Housing Development Director, Mary Kircher, at 345-1200.
Hancock also informed councilors that a recent meeting with McCook's commercial air service provider, Great Lakes Airlines, went very well. Hancock said that as a result of the meeting the Airport Advisory Board and former Mayor Linda Taylor were coordinating efforts for a rebate program that hopes to stimulate local use of the McCook airport. Great Lakes has also scheduled an open house for Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., at the McCook airport.
Eric Hellriegel with Miller & Associates of Kearney, Nebraska, spoke to councilors during a public hearing pertaining to a pair of CDBG grants McCook was awarded. Hellriegel said the first grant, which facilitated the Fox Theatre renovation project, was a project the city could be incredibly proud of. Hellriegel said it made possible a lot of ADA improvements for the Fox Theatre and went hand-in-hand with the second grant, which would be used for revitalization of downtown McCook.
Hellriegel said the Fox Theatre project was rapidly wrapping up while the downtown revitalization project was still in the planning phase.
The Fox Theatre grant provided $254,300 of Tourism Development Funds and the required matching funds were provided by the Fox Theatre Foundation.
The downtown revitalization grant provided $30,000 to create a downtown strategy plan and the McCook Economic Development Corporation contributed the necessary $9,300 in matching funds for that project.
A $29,793 purchase of a 80kw generator for the McCook Municipal Facility was confirmed by city council. City Manager Jeff Hancock said he signed the purchase order last week and the cement pad for the generator was being poured Monday.
Councilor Bruce McDowell said he had received feedback from a citizen that if a generator was going to be purchased it would have been more economical to purchase one that could function for the entire building. McDowell said that while he agreed with that position, the best economical decision was the one city staff originally made, to relocate the two generators the city already owned. McDowell said that because the building had already been wired for the use of two generators it would not be cost effective at this stage to make that change.
Councilors authorized a purchase agreement between the City of McCook and Sevim Ozalp Randel for the purchase of approximately 10 acres of farm land at $35,000. The property is located just west of the city's waste water treatment plant and will be used to for the construction of two lined evaporation ponds to dissipate brine and hard water that has historically been released into the Republican River.
The property appraised for $35,000 in April 2012.
The Cation Waste Project will now proceed to the bidding phase with construction in early spring and completion scheduled for Aug. 2013.
Other items on the consent and regular agenda:
* The oath of office was administered to recently elected councilmembers Jerry Calvin, Janet Hepp and Bruce McDowell. Mayor Dennis Berry was unanimously supported by the other councilors to remain in the position of Mayor for another year. Mike Gonzales similarly received unanimous support to serve as the vice-president of the city council.
* Following a recommendation from Josh Silvers with Miller and Associates, the bid for the removal of asbestos at the McCook Public Library was granted to Great Plains Asbestos Control of Kearney, Nebraska. Great Plains base bid came in at $88,810, which is below the $125,000 the McCook Library Foundation hoped to keep the project cost under, according to Library Director Jody Crocker.
* A resolution authorizing Street Superintendent Chris Miller to request a relaxation of design of the rules and regulations of the Board of Public Roads on the East Seventh Street project was approved without comment.
* Nebraska Machinery was awarded the bid for a new 4-wheel drive front end loader for the street department in the amount of $123,944.
* Nancy Collins was awarded the bid for concessions at Felling Field in the amount of $701 per year, for the calendar years 2013-15. Collins was the only bidder and has provided concessions at Felling Field for the past three years.
* Councilors also granted Consolidated Management Company the bid for concessions at the Jaycees Ball Complex in the amount of $1,605 per year, for the calendar years 2013-15. Consolidated was the only bidder and has provided concessions at the Jaycees Ball Complex for the past six years.
* Schmick's Market was granted a special liquor license for a Jan. 5, 2012, reception at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.