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Nienhueser selected new Sidney mayor


Everett Johnson

Mark Nienhueser, pictured left, who was selected the new mayor of Sidney on Tuesday night, smiles with former mayor Wendall Gaston.

Mark Nienhueser was elected the new mayor of Sidney by his fellow City Council members at Tuesday night's meeting.

Nienhueser takes over the post previously held by Wendall Gaston.

"I think we should take advantage of the opportunities we have for strong economic growth here," Nienhueser said. "But, we need to provide the infrastructure needed so that the city can grow. We as the council will be proactive in putting the things in place such as we have and putting in place policies so the city can continue to be proactive in putting the infrastructure in place and cleaning up our city and giving it curb appeal."

Nienhueser said he'll look to continue Sidney's growth so that it can continue to be a town flourishing in opportunity and progression.

"We've got a lot to do in the community," he said. "We've got a very young community. How do we continue to provide the amenities so that they'll remain in Sidney and make it their home and not just a place they'll pass through?"

Gaston takes over as the new vice president of the council in a separate vote Tuesday.

"I think we have done an exceptional job as a council to be ahead of the game with water," said Gaston. "We have secured that for generations. We are looking at doing that now with electrical. We've done that with the landfill, and we've done that with sewer."

In other business, Love's Travel Stop was given the green light to add an additional 1.5-acres of land to their site for its hotel and employee lounge. The council also approved rezoning request and annexation request that allows for an addition of a 6.432-acre tract of land and a 4.97-acre parcel.

Additionally, the council approved a bid of $440,980.95 to begin construction of a walking and biking trail on 11th Avenue. The trail will have landscaping and irrigation on both sides.

The council also approved a bid of $181,122.50 to Nienhueser Construction and Excavating Company for 7th Avenue Storm Drain Improvement Project.

The council also authorized a contract with architect Chuck Musgrave of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to move forward with the schematic design of the new city swimming pool.

"As we look at how much it cost to buy a pool," said Councilman Chris Gay, "the difference between $3.5 and $4 million, then $4,5 million isn't that going to get you much. So we should pick a number and see what it will look like."

The council decided it would be best to utilize the "Construction Management at Risk" plan. It's a plan that would allow the city to give engineers their budget before having blueprints made.

Sandy White was also appointed to the Sidney Library Board. She is recently retired and has worked in the school library field for 41 years. She has experience with the Panhandle Library Board and the State school Librarian Association Board.

"The library has a lot to offer people," White said. "It's still a very viable part of the community. I think it's going strong. There's a great staff there. They're committed and I think the key is just finding a new director. It's going to be a tough decision to fill."

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, Dec. 22 at 7:15 p.m.


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