CITY COUNCIL

August 8, 2001

LOUISVILLE, NE


A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Louisville was held on Wednesday, August 8, 2001, at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall. Present were Council President Rod Petersen and Council Members Dave Pankonin, Greg Manley and Don Harris. Also present was Attorney Roger Johnson and guests. Mayor Dan Henry was absent from the meeting. Council President Rod Petersen conducted the meeting in the Mayor's absence. 

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

Irina Harrington addressed the council regarding the BUILD Committee meetings. The Committee has been interested in placing a Welcome To Louisville sign at the entrance to Main Street off Highway 50. At their last meeting it was brought up that the old water tower could maybe be repainted with "Louisville" painted on the tower again. Irina was wondering if there were plans to repaint the tower. Rod Petersen explained that the current tower is part of the water study being done for a long-term solution to the water problem and until that study is completed, there will be nothing done with the current tower. The tower does have lead paint on the outside, which is a problem when trying to remove the old paint. Irina also voiced some concern regarding bacteria in the wells since our wells are on one large hole instead of several small holes bound together. Irina was concerned the new well would have the same problems as the old wells over a certain period of time and if anything would be done to keep it in good condition. Rod Petersen and Larry Wittrock explained the new well is only a temporary well and would be used for only three years on the current temporary permit. Regular maintenance will be done on the wells. At that time the City will have to find another source of water and it is a good possibility the State of Nebraska will require a treatment plant be put in. Currently, the water is tested and is perfectly safe to drink. This will all be addressed in the water study being done by JEO. Larry added we pumped an average of 190,000 gallons per day in July and in the first eight days in August we pumped between 280,000 to 300,000 gallons per day. 

Ordinance #708, Fixed Price Gas Option was discussed. More information was received from the League of Municipalities urging cities not to adopt the ordinance until the issue of whether this constitutes a rate increase is resolved. Rod Petersen expressed concern over whether the city would be liable in the event the Fixed Price Gas Option as presented would in fact constitute a rate increase. It is the recommendation of Roger Johnson that the ordinance be tabled indefinitely until the League of Municipalities committee advises us of their opinion following the meeting of August 7, 2001. Motion by Pankonin, second by Harris to table indefinitely Ordinance #708, Fixed Price Gas Option. Ayes: Harris, Manley and Pankonin. Nays: none. Motion carried.

No action was taken on Ordinance #709, Citation Fee Waiver Schedule. Roger Johnson will complete for next meeting.

Discussion followed on Resolution #01-23, Declaration of Surplus Tractors. The International 2424 and 1947 International Farmal B will be declared as surplus and sold. Notice will be published in the Plattsmouth Journal for three consecutive weeks with sealed bids taken. Bids will be opened and awarded at the September 12, 2001 council meeting. Roger Johnson asked about the value of the tractors. Dave Pankonin felt they would be worth approximately $2,000 for the two of them. The Farmal B has a bad engine and the other tractor has some problems also. Motion by Manley, second by Harris to approve Resolution 01-23 declaring surplus tractors be sold and sealed bids be taken. Ayes: Harris, Manley and Pankonin. Nays: none. Motion carried.

No response has been received back from Cedar Creek regarding the Rescue Squad Agreement. Roger has sent the agreement to them and has changed the wording so the funds can be used for both vehicle replacement and purchase of equipment, instead of earmarking the funds only for vehicle replacement. The money will only be used for Rescue Squad purposes. 

The telephone service line for the tornado siren was discussed. Bill Cover, Cass County Emergency Management and Jim Bamgaurdner of Schmader Electric in West Point, Nebraska were contacted. The receivers currently on the sirens are low band receivers. High band receivers would cost $2,100 each for a total of $4,200 for both sirens. This amount budgeted as a line item in the general fund for this fiscal year under Capital Outlay. Jim Bamgaurdner advised that he was notified this purchase was approved on June 28, 2000. Jim has the receivers in stock, however he is still in need of more information regarding the timing and tones for the radio signals. Jim has faxed information he needs to the clerk and the clerk will contact the Cass County Sheriff's Office to get the necessary information. Bill Cover also suggested that siren maintenance be built in to the next year's budget. Jim Bamgaurdner quoted a price of $114 per siren per year for siren maintenance. Clete Petrzilka asked if this would include a reduced price for any necessary parts. This was not known, but the clerk will find out. More information will be available by the next meeting. Cedar Creek should be notified before the telephone service line is removed so they can make arrangements for their paging system. Bill Cover also recommended that manual switches be installed on each siren, so if the radio system goes down, the sirens can be activated manually at the pole. The switch would be located in a lock box on the pole and the same key would unlock each lock box. 

The Purchase Agreement for Lot 804 was discussed. The agreement reached with the Mueller's is the purchase price of the lot is $500 and the city will purchase a blanket easement for $250. Motion by Manley, second by Harris to approve Purchase Agreement for Lot 804 with a purchase price of $500 with a $250 payment by the City of Louisville for the blanket utility easement. Roll call vote: Pankonin, abstain; Harris, aye; Manley, aye. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission has recommended the City Council accept a proposal by JEO to update the Comprehensive Development Plan. This update will include the following: 

The proposed start date is September 15, 2001 and the cost of this service is $5,000. Don Harris expressed concern over the expense of this project and the need for it. Clete Petrzilka recommended the council members attend the NZPA Conference in Kearney and Planning Commission meetings to get a better understanding of the importance of the Comprehensive Plan. Roger Johnson explained that the Comprehensive Plan is the tool used to regulate land use and development. Various restrictions are placed on the land through the plan such as no adult entertainment will be within 1000' of the public school, 1000' of a daycare center, etc. The Comprehensive Plan puts limitations on where certain types of activities can be located, so that if it does locate somewhere it would be pretty isolated and that is one of the ways to keep it out of the main business district and residential areas. Another example was cell phone towers. Currently there are no regulations against cell phone towers. Dave Pankonin felt it would be a good idea for council members to attend the Planning Commission meetings. The current plan has not been updated since 1997. Motion by Pankonin, second by Manley to accept the proposal by JEO to update the Comprehensive Development Plan at a cost of $5,000. Roll call vote: Manley, aye; Harris, nay; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

The letter from Bill Cover regarding the EPA Omaha Metro Sub-Area Contingency Plan was discussed. Dave Pankonin felt it should be someone from the Fire Department or Rescue Squad attending the seminar. The date for this seminar is November 8, 2001 at the Council Bluffs National Guard Armory. No action was taken.

The request from the Cass County Nebraska Economic Development Council for funding was discussed. The request was for $2.00 per head using the 2000 census population report. Roger Johnson had some reservations regarding a City funding this type of organization. Roger feels that when they say "local" they mean you have to have an entity working for the City. He feels there is a problem in funding a county program and paying for those costs, when that entity is not necessarily trying to land a business in Louisville for Louisville. Obviously a "local entity" for the county is working for the entire county. Roger feels the funds could not be segregated in a fashion to insure that the City would be receiving the benefit of whatever it expended to this group for economic development. Dave Pankonin felt that based on Roger's opinion the City should not contribute to the funding of the Cass County Economic Development Council for the next fiscal year. Don Harris agreed with Dave Pankonin. Motion by Manley, second by Harris to deny the request for funding from the Cass County Economic Development Council. Ayes: Harris, Manley and Pankonin. Motion carried. Roger added that if the Development Council came to Louisville with a specific plan for publicity or promotion specifically for Louisville that had the value to it, it would be different. 

Roger Johnson recommended the wage increase for city employees effective on October 1, 2001, be tabled until the final budget figures are in. Motion by Manley, second by Pankonin to table approval of wage increases of city employees effective October 1, 2001 until final budget numbers are in. Ayes: Harris, Manley and Pankonin. Motion carried. 

No report was given by the Sheriff's office.

Rod Petersen attended the Care Center meeting on August 7, 2001. Personnel is still an issue and RN's and LPN's are still in demand. They would also like to have their water meter replaced as soon as possible. Don Harris asked if they had any incentives to hire former employees back. They did budget for an increase in wages for their next budget. A brief discussion followed regarding the amount of money the Care Center has in reserve and perhaps higher pay would be in order and other possible solutions to the personnel problems. Dave Pankonin felt it was a tough market but something very valuable to the community and should be kept going. 

Larry Wittrock gave the report for People's Service. Eric Obert and Larry had agreed that Layne Western should not be paid on the recent bill they submitted on the new well, since the variable speed drive is still not working properly. Rod asked if Larry had received a quote back yet from Layne Western regarding the pigging of the water line on Cherry Street. Larry has not received a quote back from them yet. Larry said he talked with someone who didn't think it would be necessary to cut holes into the line. He felt there would be another way since part of the line is new and a lot of the line is a straight line. Pump pressure should be able to push the pig through without cutting the line. The valve at the tank would need to be shut off so there is no backpressure on it. If the tower is shut down and there is enough significant pressure loss, Bac-T tests would have to be completed. 

Roger Johnson reported on the Copper Administrative Order. He attended a meeting in Lincoln regarding this order. Roger concludes that the best way to deal with this is to test out of the administrative order. Twenty tests in households without water softeners or filters would need to be done this month and twenty tests again in October. The test must be passed this month in order to test again in October. If both months pass, we will then be considered as tested out of the Administrative Order. If the test passes now, but not in October then we will have to have JEO going on a plan to correct it. In the meantime, in the next twenty days or so, Roger will need to file a petition in front of the Administrative Law judge, the hearing office for Health & Human Services and try to allege some defenses. The State basically filed this because of pressure from the EPA and the EPA has indicated that if they had to, they'd do over filing, which means they would come in and be the primary in running the show. Copper in the water is coming from the copper in the plumbing lines in the houses. Don Harris asked what the solution to the problem is. Larry stated you could change the PH of the water. You can raise or lower the acidic acid in the water and it will take less copper out of your plumbing. Roger said JEO is trying to work on an answer for several cities that are in the Administrative Order. There are also several other engineering firms that are working on this trying to figure out how to do this. This needs to be done in December. The plan needs to be in place in December. We can have a hearing in front of the Administrative Law judge and present evidence and challenge the science behind it and challenge test procedures. The Attorney General has filed an appeal of the decision and has taken it to the 8th Circuit, however, Health and Human Services are acting as though the 8th Circuit made the decision on the merits and upheld this act. The 8th Circuit never addressed it on the merits because the appeal was not timely filed. This means the appellant court had no jurisdiction to even hear it, so they decided it by saying they can't decide it, which means the district court order stands. This is not the same as saying the 8th Circuit actually affirmed that decision on the merits. There are two or three attorneys that have been involved in this since square one who Roger will contact to gather information from the State and the attorney's and hopefully he will be able to find out where we stand on some of these defenses. Best of all worlds would be to test out. The attorney for Health and Human Services is taking the stand that these defenses have already been shot down. Roger said the best of all worlds is to keep the EPA at bay by testing out or having a plan, because if we go the defenses, which we will still have to do, but if we ultimately go clear through the hearing, it may be a different matter. There were about 40 communities involved in this from the start and there is about 20 left. Several have already tested out. There is a pre-hearing conference and the Administrative Law judge wants to try to figure out how the cities are going to align. Will there be twenty hearings or can cities group together for the hearings? Once we test out we are out of the Administrative Order. Roger said another thing to consider is that Health & Human Services is not exactly certain that if the water is treated with lime, which will change the pH, but this is adding a mineral to the water which change some of the other testing. We were borderline on lead with the last test. This was due to one house taking the sample outside of the house. More discussion followed on different testing methods being used now and in the past by Health & Human Services. 

Dave Pankonin asked Larry about the new sanitary sewer line across Mill Creek for Prairie Hills and the possibility of kids being able to climb on it. Two guards have been constructed to deter this type of activity; however, Dave felt it was not high enough to keep anyone from climbing on the line. Discussion followed on different alternatives to add to the existing guards to make it more difficult for kids to get on the line. Dave Pankonin and Greg Manley will take Roger Johnson out to the area so he can see what needs to be done. 

Randy Payne gave the Maintenance Report. The street is sinking on Third Street between Elm and Oak. There are two panels dropping. Right now it is not a traffic hazard, but something should be done soon to correct the problem. The street could be washed out underneath. Elm Street has been sealed to Seventh Street. When Jack Faubion is back from vacation more crack sealing will be done. 

Clete Petrzilka asked if Errol Meisinger could be notified to clean up the chunks of concrete on the East Side of Eastwood Drive. Clete and Randy Payne have both heard complaints regarding this. A letter will be sent to Errol.

Dave Pankonin attended the BUILD meeting. Concern was noted over the hill on the East Side of Walnut Street just South of the tracks. The hill needs to be mowed. Randy Payne noted that Ash Grove maintains this area. Ash Grove will be contacted. 

Rocks in the alley between Walnut and Maple off of Fourth Street were discussed. Rod Petersen and Dan Henry personally visited with the property owner regarding removing the rocks so they do not block the alley. The property owner has put the pile of rocks in the alley to keep vehicles from driving over her yard and the end of her driveway. The rocks are in the alley, not in the property owner's yard. The property owner was reluctant to cooperate with the City on a solution to the problem. Rod Petersen felt the best solution would be to grade the alley back the 15' street right of way to the proper width of 20'. Randy Payne suggested a "Do Not Block Alley" sign on a u-channel post be placed on the lot line which could help keep the vehicles from driving over the property owners yard and driveway. No decision will be made until the next meeting. 

There was no representative from the Jaycees present at the meeting.

Motion by Pankonin, second by Manley to adjourn at 8:35 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley and Pankonin. 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, 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.

Candace J. McClun
City Clerk 


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