CITY COUNCIL

June 13, 2001

LOUISVILLE, NE


A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Louisville was held on Wednesday, June 13, 2001, at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall. Present was Mayor Henry, Council Members: Don Harris, Dave Pankonin and Greg Manley. Also present was attorney Roger Johnson.

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. 

Motion by Manley, second by Pankonin to approve the consent agenda. Roll call vote: Manley, aye; Harris; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

Rhonda Sparks representing the Louisville Ball Parents addressed the council regarding the Ball Parents organization, their goals and recent accomplishments. Included in their goals for the future are a complete legion sized baseball/softball field at the Ash Grove Park that would include a sprinkler system, grass infield and lights. They also plan to install a playground at the Ash Grove Park and develop it into a park for not only ballplayers, but also the entire community. The area west of the outfield fence is planned for the park area with picnic area and trees. They intend to apply for an OPPD grant for trees and shrubs. The organization was recently awarded a Peter Kiewit Matching Playground Grant of $7,500. The city has a fund with approximately $6,500 in it that is earmarked for the Ball Association's playground project. The bike path was recently completed to the Ash Grove Park and they have also received a $200 equipment grant from the Nebraska Softball Foundation. Fund raising activities raised $8,500 last year and $2,500 from a basketball tournament held this year in January. Ash Grove has begun moving dirt on the second field to construct the legion size field. If a big enough field for legion players is built, district tournaments can be hosted which would generate a lot of revenue for both the community and the organization. This area would not be limited to baseball would also be available to softball players also. Bids for fencing and sprinkler systems are being taken now, and OPPD will be contacted regarding lights for the field. The Ball Parents Organization would like to city to continue to support the ball program, continue to pay the light and water bill at the Ash Grove field and continue with help with the mowing and trimming. The organization is asking the city to consider providing financial funding for the new playground. In the Peter Kiewit Grant, the city is required to provide at least an additional $2,680 by April 1, 2002. The organization requests the city to provide not only the fund already established, but also the additional required by the grant. Businesses in the community have contributed to this project and Ash Grove is considering a sizable donation also. The money raised at the basketball tournament is planned for use for this project. They also request the city to assist the organization in developing and expanding the Ash Grove Park and consider a recreational fund in the budget, not just for the Ball Parents Organization, but for other recreational programs too. Rhonda requested to be notified if any grant applications are received by the city that the organization could apply for. A federal grant was applied for in the past, however, since the ground is leased to the city from Ash Grove, they were disqualified for the grant. The project must be completed by June 1, 2002. Once a report is submitted at the completion of the project, Peter Kiewit will release the funds 15 days after the report is received. The Ball Association will take care of the paperwork required for the report. The playground equipment company is willing work with the Ball Association on payment for the equipment, since funds are not released until the completion of the project. Target date is July 28, 2001 for installation of the equipment. One area that has been a big concern is the entry at the Ash Grove Park. Since it is on the crest of the hill, it is very dangerous for kids on bicycles, etc. Once the second field is started, the gate could possibly be moved further to the east. The second field is to be placed where the parking lot is now and parking will be moved to the east. The additional $2,680 will need to be included in next year's budget. The Ball Parent's may come to the council in the future to ask for additional help with bleachers, fencing and sprinklers. They plan on having fundraisers and applying for more grants to help fund this, but may need additional funding from the city. Attorney Johnson recommended the city builds into the budget some additional funding for parks and recreation. Since $2,680 will be needed by April 1, 2002, it may be difficult to budget for any additional over and above that amount. The city sales tax is earmarked for street repairs. Dave Pankonin felt it was important the playground and park area be available to everyone, not just ballplayers. Some discussion followed regarding insurance coverage and who would be liable in the event of an injury. 

Dave Pankonin reported on the BUILD meeting. The consensus was everyone was pleased with the way the Main Street assessments have ended up. The BUILD Committee would still like to pursue a sign at the entrance of Main Street by the highway and may need some assistance with funding. BUILD is wondering if the occupation tax money or some other fund could be used to help fund this project. Dave commented that everyone seemed very pleased with the way Main Street looks and are happy with the parking stalls. 

Rod Petersen entered the meeting at 7:25 p.m.

Clifford Lundquist addressed the council regarding the Jackman property on Third Street between Elm and Oak. Mr. Lundquist is concerned that the property has been vacant for a considerable amount of time and the weeds are overgrown. The property has become quite an eyesore. Mayor Henry advised Mr. Lundquist that he had a very legitimate complaint and the city would contact the property owner to clean up the property.

Clete Petrzilka requested permission to block Second Avenue Circle with barricades for the Eastwood Block Party. Two dates have been selected, August 18th or August 25th. There would be no parking on the street and the barricades could be easily moved to allow emergency vehicles passage. Use of the city barricades is requested. Motion by Manley, second by Harris to allow blocking of Second Avenue Circle on either August 18th or August 25th for Eastwood Block Party and to provide barricades. Aye: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Wayne Chriswisser asked the council to consider paving the remainder of Hawthorne Lane in Prairie Hills under general obligation. At one time that area was being considered for a silt pond. Eric Obert of JEO commented it would not be a big deal to pave that area and it will not be used for a silt pond, since a storm sewer will be put in. Plans would have to be drawn up and costs figured. An estimate of cost would be around $20,000 without engineering costs. Wayne stated his reasons for wanting it paved are future maintenance problems with mowing and weeds if the area is rocked. Rod Petersen felt this could be something to come back on the city in later years if not paved now and the city has already decided to pay for the upper portion of Hawthorne Lane on general obligation. Dave Pankonin felt it would be cheaper to do it now than later, since the equipment would already be there and there could be a maintenance problem. This could also be a connector road in the future. Dave would like to see specific numbers before a decision is made. Motion by Petersen, second by Pankonin to direct Eric Obert to pursue costs on the paving of the remainder of Hawthorne Lane. Ayes: Harris, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Abstain: Manley. Motion carried.

Wayne Chriswisser asked Eric where the sewer line connections would be on the bottom road. Eric stated the sewer line connection would be placed where the property owner wants it and is advising the property owners to put a stake where they want it placed. The water line should also be run to the property line with a curb stop. Eric felt if it was a plotted lot, the water should be run to it and assessed to the property owners to avoid cutting the street at a later date. Don Harris asked if there were ever any problems with being the first service on a sewer line. Eric felt there would not be any problems. 

Eric Obert gave a report on the temporary well. It is anticipated to have the well on line sometime the week of June 18th. A cut in will be done on June 14th with the water supply shut off for a four or five hour period. There have been a few problems, where they thought it would be connected is not there, the old connection was found outside of the trench. Approvals on tests are back from the State with the exception of one test. The state waited three months to let the city know the initial test was a bad sample. Results on this retest should be back in the next few days and they are proceeding as if everything is ok. All other tests were fine. 

Eric reported on a pre-construction meeting held on June 13, 2001 for the Prairie Hills project. Anticipated start date of construction is July 1st. Staking has been done for utilities and construction will begin down by Walnut Street. Street closing has been discussed and the inconvenience to the property owners. Dave Pankonin has contacted the property owner past Dan Kerans house where there is a cornfield that a portion of could be used for a temporary access. Access has been discussed with Randy Payne for the Fire Department. 

Eric discussed the water study that will be done for a long-term solution to the water problems. The Community Development Block Grant has been received in the amount of $9,800 of which $500 will be administrative costs to SENDD. The scope of this study will look at MUD options, South Bend options and outside the city for water and what impact new subdivisions will have in the next 20 years. Dave Pankonin, Dan Henry and Candy McClun attended a meeting at Quarry Oaks regarding the possibility of joining with that group for water. Dan Henry asked Eric to keep in touch with the people involved with the South Bend project for options. Eric stated he had visited with the engineer on that project and their interest is primarily further west with the Chip Davis project, however it could be a huge potential if it could be worked out to everyone's benefit. Mayor Henry asked if that project would progress in South Bend, did Eric think it would be possible the State would let us use the well for a long enough period of time for it to develop? Eric felt if the State could see progress such as inter-local agreements and studies being done, there would be a good chance the well could be used longer. If Louisville is involved from the beginning of the project the cost to get the water to Louisville could be included in the original project and be bonded into that. Eric felt options should be kept open, however, with rural water a limit of water is placed on the community, which does limit expansion. Time frame for the study to be completed is November 30, 2001. Mayor Henry expressed that everyone should understand if Louisville participates in the South Bend project, that will be our water source and we would not be allowed to pump potable water from our own wells. They could be used for fire and irrigation purposes. Roger Johnson cautioned the council that his experience with these types of agreements is they are usually long-term, and there are definite limits on daily usage by each purchasing entity. Renegotiating the terms of the contract can be very costly. Eric said the same would be with hooking up to MUD. Eric felt the city really needed to look at increased storage as opposed to increased volume. Mayor Henry felt that Louisville needed to be a distributor of water, not a buyer of water. Eric felt in this area that would be a viable option. The contract with JEO is for $12,500 of which $9,300 will be covered by the CDBG grant. Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to proceed with JEO Engineering Contract for Water Study. Roll call vote: Pankonin, aye; Harris, aye; Manley, aye and Petersen, aye. Motion carried. 

Motion by Pankonin, second by Petersen to approve Resolution 01-18, CDBG Drawdown #15 in the amount of $1,420.96. Roll call vote: Petersen, aye; Harris, aye; Manley, aye and Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

Motion by Pankonin, second Harris to approve Resolution 01-19, for JEO, Downtown Improvement Project Warrant #98-1-73 to JEO for $1,500 and Warrant #98-1-74 to Ameritas for $15.00. Roll call vote: Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye; Manley, aye; Petersen, aye. Motion carried.

The agreement for rescue service with Cedar Creek has not been received back from Cedar Creek. Item is tabled until agreement received. 

Roger Johnson updated the council on the purchase of Lot 804 by Alan Mueller. Roger has completed a purchase agreement and title search. There are no easements of record for any of the existing lines, since the property is owned by the city. Utilities will need to be located and an easement area surveyed and easements obtained for everything that goes through the property. From Roger's understanding, Mueller's are not interested in expanding any easement areas to add any other utilities that might run through there. Roger advised the council to consider if there would be a need for additional lines of some sort to go through this property. Mayor Henry advised what is going through the property now is for the Care Center and Oak Ridge Apartments. As far as ground that could be developed in there, there is nothing. Roger Johnson said it would be a question of the existing facilities and whether any other lines would need to go in for them. Mayor Henry felt the lot is a total mess as far as knowing where anything is located and should be located whether the lot is sold or not. Roger said whenever anything is done on that property, the contractor needs to provide "as built" plans. Roger Johnson will be in contact with Alan Mueller and One Call will also be contacted. Mayor Henry felt there could be some abandoned lines in there. Randy Payne will contact One Call. 

Duane Grasshorn of People's Service presented a new contract for operation and maintenance. Items in red will be deleted and items underlined are added. Louisville had requested one of Louisville's City Maintenance personnel to fill in with one of People's Service to cut down on overtime, etc. People's Service does not feel this would be the best way. If they are the operators they take all the responsibility for anything that goes on at the sewer plant. This contract basically includes People's Service personnel completely. What People's Service proposes is $6,015 per month as opposed to $7,795 in the previous contract and in this contract is $8,750 for maximum annual maintenance/repair expenditures. That money can go in and out and it was discussed having the city paying as they go for various maintenance activities. People's Service likes to have this in the contract because as council's change, their ideas on maintenance change. If the money were not spent the city would get it back so it doesn't have to be in there. It does work better for many cities to budget that money on a year's basis so there is no big surprises when they come to a particular maintenance cost. It kind of levels it out. The new contract will have a $1,000 limit for major repairs and capital replacement expenditures as opposed to $500 in the previous contract. Over the course of the year there should not be any maintenance bills for the city to pay. This does not have to be in the contract, but is recommended. Based on what the maintenance expenditures have been over the past few years, People's Service feels the $8,750 maximum is a fair number. The city would pay the utility bills instead of People's Service. The contract price of $72,180 per year does include all personnel including overtime and back-up operator. People's Service believes it is better to use their personnel instead of the city in the event there is a liability situation. People's Service does not believe the city can do any better as far as personnel compensation with overtime than what is in the contract. The People's Service personnel work 40 hours per week including the weekends. Mayor Henry asked Duane's opinion on the variable speed drive for the new pump. Duane felt it was a good idea and would pay for itself in the long run. The variable speed drive will basically keep the water tower full. Currently the tower calls the well to turn on the pump when the tower reaches a certain level. This pump will basically run all the time and keep the tower at the top end. As it needs more water the speed of the pump will increase. The cost in starting the motor is great, so it should save on electricity and will add life to the motor as you do more damage to the motor each time it is started. Dave Pankonin asked about water consumption at this point. Mayor Henry noted there had been a few 13-hour days. However, if the weather stays hot and dry it will put a lot of load on the tower. During the wet, cool period, six hours per day was keeping the tower full, however, with drier and warmer weather they were up to 13 hours of pumping time. Duane commented that the biggest problem is in the heat of the day when there is heavy use, the tower level will continue to drop and the alarm will go off. In the evening it recovers. The demand is greater than the supply at certain times and is really the concern, but it catches back up. Duane felt the new well would help tremendously. Mayor Henry added that Brad Harris of Layne Western is checking on a way of turning on both wells instead of one to keep up with the peak demand. Don Harris asked what the drop on the tower is before the well turns on. Duane did not know, but felt Larry Wittrock would have that information. Don also asked about the pressure drop off. Duane felt it would only be a few pounds. The tower sensor is for water level to call the wells. Every 2.3 feet the tower drops, drops the head pressure about 1 pound. Duane guessed the tower would only drop about five or six feet before the pump kicks on. Duane felt since the controller is fairly new, it could be set to turn both wells on. Mayor Henry asked if there were only 60 to 75,000 gallons of usable water in the tower, since if it drops below that point you run the risk of picking up contamination? Duane said the variances in pressure in town create a lot of problems because you may have 90 lbs. of pressure at one point and only 30 lbs. of pressure at another and the state likes you to keep at least 30 lbs. of pressure on your system. Don Harris asked what the size of the tower was? Mayor Henry felt it was about 180,000 gallons. Duane said it had been researched in the past and he didn't feel an answer was found for the actual dimensions. He felt 180,000 would be very close. Mayor Henry stated they would look the new contract over and get back to Duane on it. Motion by Harris, second by Pankonin to direct attorney Roger Johnson to review contract with People's Service Contract. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Duane also commented on the letter received from the State of Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality regarding the inspection recently done at the sewer plant. Several items were found to show a lack of good housekeeping and maintenance, along with incomplete process control testing. Duane felt this was somewhat unfair to Larry Wittrock. A couple of items Duane has addressed with Larry and will be taken care of. As far as not understanding the process and not running it right, in Duane's opinion were ridiculous. He intends to write a letter in response to the letter from the State and will provide the city with a copy. The plant is designed for twice as big as it should be, which is good, but in the long run since it started there are some problems with pumps down there that tend to quit pumping because we try to run them a little slower. When this happens, the clarifiers get out of balance and the pump needs to be restarted. This is what was happening the day of the inspection. Since the plant was started it has met permit every day and has always operated well. 

Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to approve the Administrative Contract with SENDD for the Water Study Grant. Roll call vote: Pankonin, aye; Petersen, aye; Manley, aye; Harris, aye. Motion carried.

Discussion on portable generator for the temporary well. Motion by Petersen, second by Pankonin to approve purchase of portable generator from Jay Culbert Distributing for $4,750 plus sales tax of $285.00 for a total of $5,035.00. Roll call vote: Harris, aye; Manley, aye; Petersen, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried. 

Discussions followed on specifications for a new maintenance tractor. Tractor and loader should be lumped together and the rear blade and finishing or grooming mower can be bid separate. Roger Johnson suggested the rear blade and mower could be bid separate and in combination. Availability should be specified and applicable finance programs that could apply to municipal purchase should be stated. Roger Johnson also suggested the possibility of lease/purchase option with the lease payments applying to purchase price and terms of lease/purchase option stated in bid. Bid specifications should be sent to area dealers and published for three weeks. Bid opening to be at July 11, 2001, council meeting. Motion by Manley, second by Petersen to approve the specifications on the new maintenance tractor and add finance, lease/purchase option and availability. Roll call vote: Harris, aye; Manley, aye; Petersen, aye; Pankonin, abstain. Motion carried. 

The sheriff's contract was discussed. Roger Johnson reported the County Commissions had declined to agree to the new contract between the County and City for law enforcement protection. This was tied to the decision by the previous town board to stop making payments on that contract. Their position was they would not sign anything until the past due amount is settled. They will continue protection as an extension of the old contract but are unwilling to do anything new. The outstanding balance at this time is $33,000. The County Commissioners feel it was a valid contract that had not been paid. Once the outstanding balance is taken care, they might be interested in rewriting a new contract. Roger Johnson questioned if there is an existing contract. If the City wants the protection and they are willing to act as if that contract continues on a monthly basis, Roger can live with that. He would feel better if a new contract was in place. Monthly payments are being made to the sheriff's department now, but the outstanding balance is still there. Dave Pankonin asked where we are at this point. Mayor Henry has visited with the sheriff about attending commissioners meeting and the sheriff did not feel it was necessary for the mayor to attend. Mayor Henry will contact the sheriff again to discuss the contract. It was felt the former board decided to withhold payment on the contract over animal control and hours the city wanted scheduled for patrol. Roger Johnson did not feel he could advise the council on the past due amount until he has had an opportunity to review the contract and the complaints. Motion by Manley, second by Harris to have Roger Johnson review the contract and complaints with the sheriff's department. Ayes: Harrris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Mayor Henry had attended the Care Center meeting and reported there were problems with staffing for RN's and LPN's. 

Greg Manley reported on the continued vandalism in front of the Public Library. The clerk reported the incident with ketchup squirted all over the front door and broken lights were reported to the sheriff's department. They were to send a deputy over to talk with the librarian regarding the vandalism. Mayor Henry suggested a no loitering sign be posted and the sheriff's department needs to enforce it. Randy Payne suggested the bench to sit on be moved. Maintenance will move the bench the next morning. Roger Johnson noted that loitering is extremely difficult to control. If they are standing there and are not violating an ordinance it is very difficult to enforce. Curfews are possible and the City does have a curfew ordinance. The city also has a Minor in Possession of Tobacco Ordinance, which might be a possibility. Roger stated those are the two most common ways to cite. Randy Payne asked about the conviction rate on those violations. Most go to juvenile court, get a bench probation and have to do 25 hours of community service, pay court costs, show grades, etc. It was agreed that something needed to be figured out to control the loitering and vandalism in front of the Library which would included ticketing for curfew violations and Minor in Possession of Tobacco. Randy asked about disturbing the peace as a violation also. Roger said it would be very difficult to get a conviction on disturbing the peace. The best bet would be to look at enforcement for tobacco, because generally the parents are called to come get them and they get a ticket and have to go to court. A diversion program could also be set up. Further discussion followed possible solutions. Greg asked Randy Payne to check in to a tree growing on the roof of the library. It should be removed to avoid damaging the new roof. 


Greg Manley also reported the sign at the Senior Citizen Center advertising the rental of building is creating a blind spot for traffic. Randy Payne will take care of moving the sign. A letter had also fallen from the building sign and broke. A new one has been ordered and will be put on. 

Randy Payne gave the Maintenance Report, which included pouring concrete at 6th and Main. Connection to the sewer system required a hole in the street that was 4' X 9'. There was a falling out between the contractor and the homeowner and the homeowner ran the contractor off the job leaving the hole in the street. Concrete was poured and will be billed to the property owner. A small amount of work remains on the construction of an office in the Maintenance building. Greg Manley asked if the crack sealer was working okay now and if they had done any more sealing. Randy noted they were going to work on getting some black top done before they do anymore sealing. The next time the material is heated what isn't used will be disposed of because of the number of times it has already been heated. 

Ron Stohlmann is continuing to work on extending the sewer main on Depot Street. The line is to the first property and will go on to the next property. The line is pretty shallow and a casing may be considered under the driveway. Randy Payne will visit with Ron Stohlmann regarding this. The clerk reported on a complaint call from Penny Gist regarding the unauthorized use of her hose and water on the sewer main project. Randy Payne will contact Ron Stohlmann regarding this. Randy felt the usage was for the concrete saw. Clete Petrzilka asked if a grinder pump was still needed. It will not be possible for the sewer to free fall, so a grinder pump will still be needed. Discussion followed on the costs involved and who would be paying for what. Mayor Henry felt it was his understanding the city would pay for the grinder pump and the extension of the sewer line. There does not appear to be any mention of who pays for what in past minutes. 

A representative from the Jaycees reported they would be canceling their planned street dance in July. It may be rescheduled for a later date. Attendance was down a little for Louisville Daz, but was still successful. Profit for the day was $1,700. Dave Pankonin noted he had heard a lot of positive comments at the BUILD meeting on Louisville Daz. 

The fire department utility truck will be going in to the shop on Thursday. Some repairs may be needed. 

Motion by Manley, second by Harris to enter Executive Session to discuss People's Service and engineering at 9:00 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. 

Motion by Petersen, second by Harris to exit Executive Session at 9:20 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried. 

Motion by Manley, second by Harris to adjourn and 9:20 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. 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 the City Hall.

Candace J. McClun
City Clerk 


Community | City Office | Education | Events | News | Local Commerce
Local Weather | Discussion Forums | Free Classified Ads | Home Page