Minutes for Hay Springs City Council Meeting July 14, 2020

REGULAR MEETING

Call to Order: Mayor Richard McKay called the Regular Meeting of the Hay Springs City Council to order at 7:00 p.m. Council persons Jim Varvel, Luke Marcy and Marvin Blundell were present. Keith Kearns was absent. Attorney Jamian Simmons was present via teleconference. It was noted that the Open Meetings Act is posted.

Minutes Approval: Marcy made motion, Varvel seconded to approve the Minutes from June 9th, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Agenda Approval: Varvel made motion, Marcy seconded to approve the agenda for July 14th, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Kearns arrived at 7:02 p.m.

Chamber: use of sidewalks for a sidewalk chalk family competition: Jessica Heesacker text messaged in to request the Council’s permission for the Chamber to use the sidewalks on Main Street to do a family chalk decorating contest, providing all social distancing requirements will be followed. The Council unanimously granted their permission for the Chamber to host said event. 

Approval of Change Order No. 3 for Alley Project – This change order will adjust quantities to as-built quantities: Don Dye, M.C. Schaff & Associates was present. He inquired if the Council had any questions regarding the Alley Project. The main items that were adjusted included: additional paving to the intersection, sidewalk on the South block that needed tied, and two manholes that needed adjusted in the far South block. Varvel made motion to approve Change Order No. 3 for Alley Project. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Approval of Pay Estimate No. 5 (FINAL) for Alley Project: Don Dye informed the Council that this is the final pay estimate for the Alley Project including the above stated quantity adjustments to as-built quantities. He complimented Fuller Construction Company on a job well done and from an engineering perspective noted that the Alley Project went as smoothly as could have been expected on their end. Mayor raised the subject regarding a SWANN truck cracking the corner of a sidewalk and inquired whom was the responsible party for that repair. Don replied Fuller Construction did fulfill their obligation and it may be in the City’s best interest to replace that particular section of sidewalk with 6”-8” thick concrete to hopefully minimize the same issue from arising in the future. Varvel made motion to approve Pay Estimate No. 5 (FINAL) for Alley Project. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Certificate of Substantial Completion: The City of Hay Springs recognizes that the contractor fulfilled their responsibilities regarding the Alley Project and this document is required for completion of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) portion. Varvel made motion to deem the Alley Project as substantially complete. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Don Dye expressed his appreciation to the City of Hay Springs employees for their cooperation and assistance in successfully completing the CDBG Alley Project.  

Public Concerns: Jim Kern was present to address a complaint with the Council regarding a neighboring shed and tree that he feels needs assessed by the Health Board. 

Reports of Officers, Boards and Committees:

Street/Water/Clerk: Lists were submitted by employees. Mayor McKay inquired about the Pivot out to the Lagoons. Aaron Taylor, Water Operator, mentioned speaking with Gibson Irrigation out of Alliance. 

Krystyn Turman – Pioneer Manor: Krystyn was present and handed out a Profit & Loss Report to the Council for review. Updated the Council in regards to Nursing Home employee COVID-19 testing. Stimulus funds received and the possible future plans for said allocated monies. 

Krystyn requested of George Christensen, Street Supervisor, if the City could contact TopKote and armor coat both front and back parking lots at the Nursing Home. George replied he can ask them to armor coat the front parking lot but the back parking lot might be questionable. George and Aaron mentioned hauling millings from the State in to possibly pack the Nursing Home back parking lot with.   

Krystyn informed the Council that Dusta Davis expressed an interest in serving on the Nursing Home Board. Varvel made motion to approve Dusta Davis to the Pioneer Manor Nursing Home Board. Marcy seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Jim Varvel – Finance: Everything looks good. 

Keith Kearns – SWANN: Next meeting is Thursday, July 16th, 2020. SWANN finished their fiscal year with a $246, 000 surplus. Possibly planning on using $150,000 of that to open a third cell. Costs of fuel fell down, which contributed to some of the surplus funds. There was discussion regarding letting individuals into the Dump during closed hours and how to properly conduct future accessibility appropriately. 

Luke Marcy – Lister-Sage: General maintenance and fundraising options were discussed. 

Richard McKay – Mayor: Employee evaluations, calls to SWANN, addressed complaints about RV Park.

OLD BUSINESS

PADD Update: Varvel updated the Council in regards to the Sunset Park bathroom/concession stand remodel. Grants are being applied for. Fundraising has been held off due to the recent pandemic. Roughly $23,000 is still needed to match the second part of the Grant. The goal is to have the project completed by next Spring/Summer 2021. 

Water Loss Report: 31% this month – 35% last month – 41% last year. There was discussion regarding the water line repair at WestCo.

Developing Salary Schedule: job descriptions: Tabled until next month. 

Swimming Pool: open or closed this Summer?: After much discussion, the Council unanimously agreed to close the Hay Springs Municipal Swimming Pool for the 2020 Summer season due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of necessary staffing. There are plans to continue maintenance repairs.

State of Nebraska Initial Guidance for Local Government Requests for Reimbursement for COVID-19 Related Expenses: City Attorney Jamian Simmons informed the Council that this only applies if the City of Hay Springs has incurred exorbitant expenditures related to COVID-19. Examples include: PPE, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, temporary or emergency staffing, and so forth. At this time, the City has not incurred enough additional expenses to be applicable for reimbursement.

License Agreement for American Legion: City Attorney Jamian Simmons informed the Council that the City needs to adopt a Licensing Agreement for the American Legion Hall use with previously discussed additional rental costs. She advised that the City implement the proposed agreement to ensure additional legal protection while the current pandemic is still at the forefront. Varvel made motion to approve the proposed License Agreement for future rental of the American Legion Hall. Blundell seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

American Legion Hall rent cost for extended period of time (example: auctions): There was much discussion regarding how to handle reservations and rentals of the American Legion Hall for more than a single day event. According to the newly approved License Agreement the renter must pay the required $70 per day for each day of their requested rental period. Marcy advised that the daily charges begin in accordance with the day the renter picks up a key to the American Legion Hall for said usage. Kearns noted that making an exception to rent the American Legion Hall for an extended period of time without proceeding with the daily charge could possibly detour additional rental opportunities for other interested parties during the same time frame. The Council did discuss available options other than using the American Legion Hall for storage before such events. The precedent granted in previous years to the annual UMWL Rummage Sale was also addressed, the difference being one event is non-profit and the other is for-profit. The Council advised that a representative for the United Methodist Women’s League be present at next month’s Regular Council Meeting for approval to continue usage of the American Legion Hall with an agreed upon specific rental rate. 

Resolution #20-8 extension of water bill late fee waiver: Kearns read Resolution #20-8 in its entirety:

CITY OF HAY SPRINGS, NEBRASKA

RESOLUTION NO. 20-8

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF HAY SPRINGS, NEBRASKA EXTENDING RESOLUTION NO. 20-4 SUSPENDING LATE FEES AND DISCONNECTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF CITY UTILITIES DUE TO COVID-19.

WHEREAS an ongoing health emergency continues in existence due to the current COVID-19 pandemic;

WHEREAS, in an attempt to limit the local economic impact of COVID-19 upon residents and customers of the City of Hay Springs, on the 27th day of March, 2020, the City of Hay Springs passed Resolution No. 20-4 which suspended late fees and disconnections for the non-payment of city utilities until May 31, 2020;

WHEREAS, due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn created thereby, the City of Hay Springs desires to extend the suspension of late fees and disconnections as provided for herein;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Hay Springs will extend Resolution No. 20-4 and to continue the suspension of late fees and disconnections for the non-payment of city utilities. Such suspension shall continue in effect through the 30th day of September, 2020;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that residents and customers of the City of Hay Springs shall at all times remain obligated to pay for city utilities as provided by ordinances of the City of Hay Springs, and residents shall continue to receive billing statements or invoices for such services;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that residents and customers of the City of Hay Springs are encouraged to contact the City of Hay Springs at 308-638-7275 if he/she cannot pay such utility bills due to the economic impact of COVID-19 so that the City may assist in developing a payment schedule.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 14th day of July, 2020. 

Kearns made motion to approve Resolution #20-8. Blundell seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESSES

Approval of Claims: Marcy made motion, Kearns seconded to approve claims. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

Barco Municipal Products $426.95; Black Hills Energy $358.85; Blue Cross Blue Shield $2,440.83; Bomgaars $678.40; Century Business Product $35; Chris Adams $501.96; Dustin White Irrigation LLC $11,894.91; EMC Insurance Companies $3,136.85; Farmer’s Coop $100.00; Great Plains Communications $619.04; Hay Springs Lumber $1,867.35; Hip Hop $1,525.50; IDEAL Linen Supply $46.54; MCI $51.21; Michael Todd & Company, Inc. $43.88; NE Public Health Environment Labs $252; Nebraska Public Power District $2,829.49; Nebraska Total Office $163.30; Northwest Rural Public Power District $614.64; One Call Concepts, Inc. $13.64; Panhandle Drilling, Inc. $190.79; Pests Go, LLC $200; Petty Cash $34.44; Pioneer Research Corporation $380.61; Sackers $220.94; Security First Bank $3,287.38; Sheridan County Journal Star $654.19; Simon North Region SD $668.93; Skeeter’s Napa Auto Parts $367.17; Smith, King, Simmons and Conn $849.50; Sun Life Financial $482.96; SWANN $6,996.26; Toby Rasmussen $218; Utility Service Co., Inc. $800.62; Vern Platt $125.50; WestCo $407.45; AFLAC $417.63; American Funds Service Company $1,138.14; EFTPS $3,848.57; Fuller Construction, Inc. $158,738.35; Julie Rasmussen $344.73; NE Department of Revenue $2,203.18; Postmaster $160.

Approval of June Treasurer’s Report: Varvel made motion, Marcy seconded to approve June Treasurer’s Report. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Baseball Field Power Pole: Aaron Taylor, Water Operator, has been unable to receive a definitive answer. The Council agreed that the City needs to clean up and replace the Baseball Field power pole.

Cemetery Well: Aaron Taylor updated the Council on the progress of the Cemetery Well replacement. 

Cemetery CDs: An invoice from Dustin White Irrigation was presented to the Council for their review in regards to the Cemetery Well replacement expenditures. Varvel noted that he had discussed with the City Clerk using existing Cemetery CDs to cover the cost of said replacement. However, in moving forward with doing so, the City Council needs to approve to liquidate such funds if they so choose. Kearns made motion to pull the appropriate CDs to cover the cost of the Cemetery Well replacement. Blundell seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. 

1st Street, North sidewalk: responsibility for repair: Discussed under agenda item: Approval of Pay Estimate No. 5 (FINAL) for Alley Project.

Emergency Siren: Two members of the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department approached Council Member Jim Varvel with the thought that the City of Hay Springs might need to consider budgeting for the replacement of the current emergency siren, due to recent reliability issues. The Council discussed some known available options of companies that might provide the City cost estimates for the siren replacement. The Council agreed to move forward with researching further into cost estimates from regional companies. 

Open/Close Park bathrooms; Park playground equipment public use: There was discussion. The Council agreed to close the RV Park and Park bathrooms for this Summer season due to the current pandemic. However, it was agreed to leave the Park playground equipment open for the public to use with the understanding that signs are posted and the public uses said equipment at their own exposure and risk to their health. 

Executive Session:  Kearns made motion to go into Executive Session at 8:17 p.m. to protect the reputations of those involved. Varvel seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Varvel made motion to exit Executive Session at 8:46 p.m. Kearns seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Employee Performance Evaluations: Discussed in Executive Session. 

Employee Pay Raise and Effective Date: Tabled until the fiscal year 2020/2021 Budget is completed to ensure sufficient funds are available for employee raises. If so, a 2% pay raise for City employees was suggested.

There being no further business, Varvel made motion, Marcy seconded to adjourn at 8:48 p.m. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Richard E. McKay, Mayor

Kayley Taylor, City Clerk/Treasurer

Published: July 29, 2020