Sidney City Council and Cheyenne County Commissioners Meet
New trucks approved, LB840 grants revised
October 19, 2023
SIDNEY-- The Sidney City Council met on Tuesday, October 10 and addressed a number of agenda items. First, Kimberley Clark-Ertle addressed the council about the anti-bullying programs offered by her group, Generation Good Respect, and asked the council to help get the programs into the schools to help combat bullying. Next, the Housing Board needed to nominate a member of the council for the Housing Board, as they require at least one member of the city council to be on the board. Mayor Brad Sherman's five-year term was set to expire, but he agreed to stay on the Housing Board for another 5 year-term, fulfilling the board's requirement.
Street Superintendent Hank Radtke gave the annual Municipal Certification of Street Program Compliance. The resolution was approved unanimously by the council. G.L. Huyett Company requested a revision to their existing LB840 agreement. The company has created 16 jobs in Sidney and is now looking to create five more administrative positions. The revision was recommend by the Economic Development Council, and the city council approved the revision. Safe At Home also requested a revision to their LB840 agreement, as they plan on creating another 25 jobs in Sidney and the Cheyenne County area. Their request was also approved by the city council. Finally, City Manager David Scott addressed the council concerning another LB840 revision, this one to R. Perry Construction, based out of Iowa. The company was looking for $110,000 to build 11 single family houses in the Prairie Winds area. The agreement would have R. Perry receive 50% of the monies up front, and the additional 50% when the homes are 40% completed. Upon sale of the homes, the loan is forgiven. Although R. Perry is not a local company, Scott said that they have been very interested in developing in Sidney, and plan to use local sub-contractors for the work. If after 18 months the homes are not sold, R. Perry would then pay back the LB840 monies at a prime+2 rate. The council approved the LB840 revision.
The council then approved the purchase of a 2024 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup truck for the sewer department, at a cost of $45,000. They next approved the purchase of a 2024 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup truck for the water department for the same cost. They also approved the purchase of a 2023 Dodge Ram 5500 six yard roll off truck as requested by Dean Sterling, Solid Waste Superintendent. The cost of the truck is $115,180. All vehicles replaced are at least 20 years old, and cost a substantial amount of money to keep running, with difficulty finding older parts to keep them in working order. The Council then heard reports on the budget from Lane Kizzire and David Scott, and approved their reports. David Scott introduced the city's new Finance Director, Kegan Carwin. Kizzire has resigned his position to accept the Finance Director position in Scottsbluff, to be closer to family. Carwin will begin his position in Sidney on November 13.
The Cheyenne County Board of Commissioners and Board of Equalization met on Monday, October 16 at the Cheyenne County Courthouse. The Board of Equalization reviewed and approved the levies for Cheyenne County, and Assessor Jordan Hajek addressed the Board and detailed the amended 3-Year Plan of Assessment. The only amendment was a slight decrease to the budget, and the commissioners approved.
The Board of Equalization then switched to the Board of Commissioners, and first heard requests for conditional use permits. The first was from David and Kelsey Green, concerning the opening of a machine shop on a parcel of agricultural land in Cheyenne County. The only concern from a neighbor to the property would be construction of any new building, but David Green told the commissioners they have no plans to build any new structures, and would be using an existing building for the business. Commissioner Sanders noted the lack of machine shops in the Sidney area and said it would be a welcome addition to the Cheyenne County community. The board approved the request, 3-to-0. The second request was for a Conditional Use Permit for Daniel McMartin to display and sell farm equipment on a 10 acre parcel of land in Cheyenne County. No building or structure would be needed for the endeavor, and the commissioners approved the request 3-to-0.
Cheyenne County Tourism Director Kendra Mitchell then requested a $4,000 grant for the Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Sullivan Camp facility, which is used for events throughout the year, and collects lodging taxes. The request was for new mattresses for the 30 bunk beds in the facility. The commissioners approved the request.
County Attorney Paul Schaub then addressed the commissioners concerning the encroachment of a fence on county land. It was decided that Schaub would send a letter to the fence owner to remove the fence where it encroaches on county property, including the survey showing the encroachment. Any additional action would not be taken until a response from the fence owner was received.
Finally, Highway Superintendent Doug Hart gave a report on the county roadways. he noted that the Air Force had agreed to increasing their payments for county road maintenance and snow removal on roads the Air Force uses. The Air Force has agreed to reimburse the county $82k, this year and increase that amount in the following years. Hart also said the department has purchased more snow fences, inspected a tractor in Missouri the department wishes to purchase, and notified the commissioners that gravel work is being completed on Roads 99, 131, 38 and 125.