Wayne City Council holds virtual meeting

Updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic and several water projects in the city of Wayne highlighted a virtual meeting of the Wayne City Council on Tuesday.

Julie Rother with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department gave an update of activities in the district. 

She noted that the number of tests being done is increasing and as of Tuesday afternoon (April 7) there had not been any positive cases. 

In addition, Rother talked about the Directed Health Measure that Governor Pete Ricketts put into place on Friday, April 3. 

She also discussed what businesses are being asked to close and what other measures the public should be taking, including wearing of masks and limiting contact in areas such as public parks.

Mayor Cale Giese said among the questions he knows council members will be getting include the swimming pool and city parks.

At the present time, the city plans to open the pool at some point, under the direction of the Public Health Department.

In regard to the city parks, Mayor Giese encouraged all residents to obey health directives on gatherings of less than 10 people. City law enforcement can issue citations to those abusing the directives.

"I don't want to have to close the parks, but we may have to," Giese said.

Rother asked what measures the city is taking in regard to use of the parks and said that cleaning once a day is not enough.

In regard to the use of masks, Giese said wearing them may give some a false sense of security.

"The mask is not in lieu of, but in addition to other precautions," Giese said. "People need to stay vigilant.

On the topic of water, council members received updates on the Lift Station No. 2. Water department officials said the lift station is back on line and remaining work is being finished.

Casey Junck with the Water Department explained what had been done and noted the new process has  created a station that is "much sturdier."

Roger Protzman, engineer for JEO Consulting, told the council that one item needed for the Transmission Water Main Project is not currently available. He said the general contractor for the project worked to create a replacement item at no additional charge to the city.

Also in regard to water, Junck told the council that a water sample from Well No. 7 had indicated high levels of selenium and that he has been advised not to move forward on the chemical storage room addition project as originally planned. The water coming from the well will continue to be monitored.

Council members discussed a plan to suspend payment due dates  for those who have city of Wayne LB 840 loans and special assessments.

City Administrator Wes Blecke told the council that other cities have taken steps to allow for extensions in re-paying loans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. He suggested allowing for a one year deferment on interest and payments for those who ask for the extension.

City Finance Director Beth Porter explained how the process would work and said the council could determine how long to make the extension. She said some of the payments are being made monthly and some on an annual basis.

Following discussion, council members voted to defer payments to those who ask for an extension from March 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021.

Council members took action to allow the city to contract with Robert Woehler Construction, Inc. in emergency situations.

It was noted that, by law, the city can not use the services of a business owned by a council member without going through the bidding process.

There have been times, however, work needs to be done immediately and the action taken will allow the city to use the business if they choose.

A resolution was passed creating an agreement with Tom Hansen, Certified Public Accountant, to compile financial information regarding the city's expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will allow Hansen to do work similar to that done following the 2013 tornado. Costs for this work can be submitted to FEMA for possible reimbursement.

In other action, council members approved a resolution that will adopt the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resource District Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Ordinance 2020-6 received approval and the three readings waived. It authorized the issuance of a Combined Utility Revenue Bond, 2020-Series in the principal amount not to exceed $3,030,000 to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. 

The state will draw up the papers for the issuance of the bonds, which will be used to pay for the Transmission Water Main Project into the city of Wayne. Up to 15 percent of the loan is forgivable.

A resolution was passed accepting the proposal and awarding a contract for the Bressler Park Stage Canopy project.

Council President Jill Brodersen presented information on the project and explained the design. She told the council she preferred Commercial Recreation Specialists as the company offered a better warranty and had an easier assembly process.

Following discussion council agreed to the $24,830 bid from Commercial Recreation Specialists.

Pay order No. 1 in the amount of $20,520 was approved to Sioux Contractors, Inc. for work on the Wayne Senior Center Room and Walk-in Freezer Addition Project.

Appointments made during the meeting included Marilyn Quance and Chris Costa to the Library Board and Jean Lutt, Randy Lutt, Jill Walling, Peg Lutt and Sharon Denker to the Wayne Housing Authority. 

The council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

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Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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