City council elects Brad Sherman mayor, terminates building lease with UST Global
December 22, 2022 | View PDF
The snowstorm which shutdown Sidney last week also led to a truncated meeting of the Sidney City Council on December 14, which was scheduled to meet a day earlier on December 13.
Due to this, the governing body conducted only essential business on the advice of City Attorney J. Leef.
Business items included the swearing in of new council members and election of mayor and vice mayor, and discussion on the building at 812 13th Avenue leased from the City of Sidney by UST Global.
New, Old Faces
While the Sidney City Council will have some new faces with the election of Paul Strommen and Brandon Bondegard, some familiar faces returned with Brad Sherman and Roger Gallaway. Strommen, Bondegard and Sherman were all elected to four year terms while Gallaway was elected to a two-year term.
After all four recently elected members were sworn in, nominations for mayor and vice mayor were opened.
"I've had the honor and privilege of being mayor. It's something I've enjoyed doing very much, taken seriously and tried to spend a lot of time committing to that. I also believe more council members should take advantage of the opportunity," said Gallaway. "I'll nominate Brad Sherman."
Sherman was elected mayor on a 5-0 vote. Gallaway was nominated vice mayor and elected unanimously as well.
When it came to the discussion of UST Global's lease, City Manager David Scott explained the reason it had been placed on the agenda despite the short nature of the meeting was due to a timeline from the tenant. UST Global has been in lease with the City of Sidney since 2018, which had been renewed until August 2023 with the option to terminate the lease.
Scott explained UST Global wanted to terminate the lease effective 2023.
"When COVID came, they started working a lot of people from home and have come to learn they don't need that big of a space for all of their employees. What they would like to do is terminate their lease," said Scott. "I don't see any headache, personally, with them vacating the building. They don't have a lot of employees there anymore and they will be looking for a smaller place in town to do business out of."
Scott explained that UST Global would not be laying off any of their employees, but continuing their work-from-home model with a handful of employees at the new location. He also said that, per the terms of the lease, UST Global had paid the property taxes, insurance and elevator inspection fees which would all run through December. If there were any outstanding payments, Scott said, they would be minimal.
Additionally, Scott said, there were parties interested in purchasing the building.
"I think the lease served the purpose. The original intent was to keep the business in town and maintain the 85 jobs in town, especially at a time when the city had faced losing the majority of the Cabela's employees," said Gallaway. "Knowing that there's parties interested in the building makes it less of an issue terminating the lease."
With information of parties interested in the property, Gallaway asked Leef if the City of Sidney would need to undergo a formal bid process open to anyone.
Per Nebraska State Statute 16-201, a first class city has the authority "to sell and convey, exchange, or lease any real or personal property owned by the city, including park land, in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as may be deemed in the best interests of the city."
The selling of that property, however, must be done through an ordinance which must be published for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
The motion to terminate the lease with UST Global passed 5-0.
The next meeting of the Sidney City Council will be at 7 p.m. on December 27 at Sidney City Hall.