Bequette Leery Over Bonding Method For Library

NEBRASKA CITY-  Nebraska City commissioners considered funding options for a new heating and air system at the  Morton James Public Library.

Those options are:

  • Place a bond issue for a public vote
  • Create municipal facilities corporation

If a municipal facilities corporation is created, the city issue bonds without a public vote.

City Attorney David Partsch pointed out that if a vote was asked for on a bond that the city may vote it down and the library may end up without a working HVAC unit.

Partsch: “Potentially, on a HVAC project you know you’re running the risk if you go to a vote of the people, if it is voted down,  and then the system fails after the vote you’re stuck for year without an HVC system.”

Mayor Bryan Bequette cited concern for circumventing the voters.

Bequette: “I get there’s reasons why you might use all three of them but I’m still also trying to stay clear about the intent and will of the voters.”

No decision was made at this time, giving time for the board to fully consider all three funding options.

Additionally, commissioners discussed the end of year budget estimates for the parks and golf departments, library, and public properties which are all currently over budget with three months left in the current fiscal year.

The Library is over budget due to the HVAC project and the public properties is over budget due to the city hall roof project.

Both have been discussed at previous meetings and ways to compensate have already been identified.

City commissioners discussed in length the overages in both the parks and golf departments. There were unexpected expenses due to weather and equipment repair and some expenses approved by Parks Commissioner Patrick Wehling.

Wehling had previously approved extra moneys to be spent on ballfield improvements, such as improvements to the press box and bleachers, and improvements to the Pro Shop as well.

Improvements at the ballfield were cost shared with the Ballfield Association, while a portion of the Pro Shop improvements are expected to be made up for by a fundraising golf tournament to be held in August.

City Administrator Greyson Path noted that the swimming pool is estimated to end the year $13,000 under budget which will help offset the overages in the other parks departments.

Commissioners also voted to approve the construction agreement with JMN Construction Inc. for the Steinhart Park Road bridge overlay project. This project is to begin Aug. 1 to  and finish up Sept. 1.

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