Meeting Minutes

February 26, 2003


A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Louisville was held on Wednesday, February 26, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall. Present were Council Members –Clete Petrzilka, Dave Pankonin, Joe Smisek and J. Alan Mueller. Dan Henry was absent. Also present were City Attorney Roger Johnson, SENDD representative Terry Meier and several guests. 

Notice of the regular meeting was given in advance thereof by publication in the Plattsmouth Journal and by posting in three (3) public places as shown by the certificate attached to these minutes. Notice was simultaneously given to all council members. Their acknowledgement of receipt of notice and the agenda is attached to these minutes. All proceedings thereafter were taken while the convened meeting was open to the public.

In the absence of Mayor Henry, Council President Pankonin called the meeting to order and asked the council to review the consent agenda. Smisek moves, Petrzilka seconds to approve the consent agenda. Roll call vote; ayes – 4, nays – none. Motion carried. 

There was a letter from JEO for the council’s review to prepare for the next meeting regarding bids for lead and copper regulations. The clerk was instructed to put this matter on the next agenda. 

The old business of the official zoning map was then discussed. Pankonin gave a quick recap of events leading to this discussion. The clerk was given a list of names of those whose taxes changed because of the zoning changes done in 1997 from the county assessor’s office. The list consisted of 10 names, 8 of which have already contacted the city office. The assessor verified that all the tax changes came from Ag changing to RS zoning. Roger is concerned about the changes made that didn’t have a tax change. His main concern is if someone did something with a piece of property that isn’t a permitted use under that old zoning map, and they did it because of the 1997 change, they would be affected. He needs to sit down with Veda and go over each individual tax lot in order to make an informed decision. Roger suggested to have the council direct him to prepare an ordinance to have Ordinance #610 repealed and declared null and void. That new ordinance would be ready for the next meeting, in time to stop the increase of taxes at the March 16 deadline. There was a question regarding whether the landowners would have to reapply for greenbelt status after all is said and done. Roger is to find out that information. Denny Barnes asked why it couldn’t be repealed at this time. Roger gave an example: Suppose a piece of property went from residential to industrial because of the 1997 map. So it got developed for commercial and industrial use. If you declare the 1997 map null and void, now they have an industrial building in R1 district which is a use that wouldn’t be allowed. That is what Roger wants to make sure hasn’t happened. There was talk of doing a whole new zoning map by the end of the year. That, however, is generally tied to a new comprehensive plan. Veda is to call Roger as soon as she is available so he can verify all properties affected. He will get back to the council as soon as he knows. Petrzilka moves, Mueller seconds to direct Roger to prepare an ordinance to repeal ordinance 610 and declare it null and void. Roll call vote; 4 – ayes, nays – none. Motion carried. Bill Nessen was present from the planning commission. He asked if the planning commission was still involved in this issue. Dave said the agenda for the upcoming planning commission meeting stated working on a new zoning map. Denny suggested that a map be a planning map that directs where you want things to go, such as residential development and industrial, but don’t actually change the zoning until necessary. Roger explained why planners change zoning for future use. If someone comes in and wants to use a piece of property for a permitted use, and the city doesn’t want that, it’s too late to change the zoning. A city cannot stop someone from using a property within the permitted uses. Lawrence Roloff asked about the permitted uses within each district. The city clerk showed Lawrence the zoning ordinance with the permitted uses listed for each zoning district. 

The first item on the new business portion of the agenda concerns the resignation of Mayor Henry. Dave read the letter to the council. Petrzilka moves, Smisek seconds to accept the resignation of Dan Henry as Mayor of the City of Louisville. Ayes – 4, nays – none. Motion carried.

The choices to fill the position of Mayor are to hold a special election or to have the President of the Council serve the unexpired term. Mueller moves, Petrzilka seconds to have the President of the Council serve the unexpired term of the Mayor. Roll call vote; ayes – 3, Pankonin – abstain. Motion carried. Dave Pankonin becomes the Mayor of the City of Louisville for the unexpired term. Dave commended Dan’s work and hopes to keep the momentum going. He also looks forward to everyone’s support. 

Mueller moves, Smisek seconds to declare the vacancy on the City Council west side. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. Petrzilka moves, Mueller seconds to publish the notice of vacancy on the City Council west side. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried.

Vern Knop from J&M Display, Inc. was present to discuss fireworks displays. He stated he had a show at South Bend last summer and Jerry McClun attended. Jerry was impressed with the show and told Vern to call the Mayor and get on the agenda. He knows the city has a celebration on Memorial Day weekend called Louisville Daz in conjunction with the alumni banquet. He gave an overview of the history of his company, some highlights of past performances, description of products used, safety regulations, liability insurance, advertising, permits, etc. He also had a sheet of fundraiser ideas. Dave pointed out that the JayCees put on the event. The plans are pretty well set for this year. He also pointed out that with the hills in town, finding a place with a 300’ radius would be a problem. Dave thanked Vern for coming and appreciated the information and the city council would pass it on to the JayCees for the future. 

The next item of the agenda was the appointment of an interim building inspector. Mayor Pankonin would like to nominate Larry Wittrock for that position. Mueller moves, Petrzilka seconds to approve the appointment of Larry Wittrock as the interim building inspector. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

Terry Meier was present from SENDD to discuss Community Development Block Grant program funding for a new water tower and water system improvement. Funding sources are looking to directly benefit the residents of a community. They are only looking at the existing residents and minor growth. The city can apply for the maximum amount, which is $250,000. Terry would like to be directed to prepare a pre-application based on the city engineer’s recommendations. The pre-application would be approved by the water/wastewater advisory committee (WWAC). It is Terry’s understanding that the City of Louisville is number one on the priority list for the state. Mueller moves, Petrzilka seconds to direct Terry to prepare a pre-application for water tower funding. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. Lawrence asked where the city is considering putting the new water tower. The council said Eric suggested just south of where it is now. Lawrence objected to the placement of the original tower. He thought it should be on the other side of Highway 50, higher on the ridge. Engineer reports don’t support that notion.

Terry Meier also spoke about the possibility of using the city’s reuse funds. He is proposing that SENAC, which is a sister organization of SENDD, purchase a home in Louisville, invest the city’s reuse funds to bring the house up to quality standards, and then sell the property to a homeowner at a reasonable rate. SENAC also has the ability to provide down payment assistance. The process utilizes the city’s funds for the original intent, housing rehabilitation. SENDD recommends putting a 0% deferred loan on the city’s money. Anytime, when that individual sells that property (10 years, 30 years, whatever) the city would get that money back to reuse. The bank would get the first lien position, SENDD would get the 2nd, the city would get the 3rd. He verified that the money would be spent to meet housing quality standards. There is already an applicant and a house available in the city limits. Petrzilka moves, Smisek seconds to table this matter to the next meeting. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

The next topic of discussion was Doctor’s office recruitment. Dave gave a brief background on the issue. At the first of the year, Dr. Wilsey closed the office and moved out. Bob Copple and Dave have met with some groups of doctors. There are three groups who have expressed interest. The groups have asked if there will be any help from the city such as subsidizing rent for awhile. Dave has asked Roger to investigate whether economic development funds can be used for that. Roger believes to use those funds, at least 10 jobs have to be created. But he’s not sure so he will continue his research. Bob asked if the council felt all the trouble was necessary. Do we really need a doctor in town? He’s not that concerned about renting the building, he’s already had offers. He’s concerned that if he rents to someone else then a doctor wants to come to town, there won’t be a facility. He hasn’t had the sense that anyone they’ve spoken to is all that excited about coming to Louisville. There was a lengthy discussion on incentives. Bob suggested putting an offer in writing, sending to the three interested parties, and if there is no response, then just forget it. Roger found in the statute book that the possibility of using the economic development funds is addressed. Some more research is necessary and will be completed by the next meeting. 

An appointment to the Board of Adjustments is necessary with the resignation of Morris Beck. Mayor Pankonin appoints Del Stites as a member of the Board of Adjustments. The clerk verified with the ordinance that 3 of the 5 members of the Board need to be present to constitute a quorum. Petrzilka moves, Mueller seconds to approve the appointment of Del Stites to the Board of Adjustments. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

Roger spoke and had a handout regarding Nebraska DEQ needing to conduct a tier 2 investigation of a fuel tank leak from a former gas station. They need to put in monitoring wells and they are asking for a temporary easement in the right-of-way. He didn’t know how long the monitoring needs to go on or if more monitoring wells will be necessary. Roger had put together a draft of an easement. He went over the easement with the city council. Mueller moves, Petrzilka seconds to grant an easement to be negotiated to NDEQ for environmental audit in right-of-way. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

The next topic was the creation of a city supervisor position. Roger had prepared some information including a draft of an ordinance with the job in general terms and a job description in specific terms. The ordinance form was agreed to be more what the council is looking for. From a cost standpoint, this new position should work because the city will be saving money by not having the contract with Peoples Service, building permit payments, payments to contractors because the city can do the work themselves. There are a lot of meetings that happen during the day that the mayor cannot attend that a city supervisor could. Smisek moves, Mueller seconds to direct Roger to prepare a final ordinance to create a city supervisor position. Roll call vote; ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

Petrzilka moves, Mueller seconds to enter executive session regarding personnel at 8:55 p.m. Ayes – 3 nays – none. Motion carried. Mueller moves, Petrezilka seconds to adjourn from executive session at 9:20 p.m. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried. 

Smisek moves, Petrzilka seconds to adjourn the regular council meeting at 9:21 p.m. Ayes – 3, nays – none. Motion carried.

I, the undersigned clerk, hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the proceedings had and done by the Mayor and City Council of Louisville to the best of my knowledge, that the agenda was kept continually current and available for public inspection; and the minutes were in written form and available for public inspection within 10 working days; the minutes are published in summary form, upon request a complete copy is available at City Hall.

Dee Arias
City Clerk 

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