Photo by Jay Huff
Mayor Dwight Livingston
Photo by Jay Huff
From left, Dwight Livingston, Brook Baker, Andrew Lee and Glenn Petersen
Outgoing Mayor Marc Kaschke presents a plaque of gratitude to Jerry Stoll, at left, Judy Pederson and Dan McGuire.
An air of excitement and nerves permeated the North Platte City Council meeting Tuesday, when the new mayor and three new city council members took their seats at the big table for the first time.
After an informal meet and greet before the council meeting, incoming and outgoing members relaxed a little and had some refreshments.
Mayor Marc Kaschke opened the meeting, remaining in charge long enough to call it to order and place on file the certification of the Nov. 6 election results.
Kaschke then awarded plaques to the outgoing council members Dan McGuire, Judy Pederson and Jerry Stoll.
Following that, City Attorney Doug Stack administered the oath of office to Mayor Dwight Livingston and new council members Brook Baker, Andrew Lee and Glenn Petersen.
The name plates were changed on the wall of the council chambers. There seemed to be a bit of difficulty getting Dan McGuire’s name plate off the board on the wall. It wouldn’t slide out of the slot and comments were made that it had been there so long it had grown roots.
Once the new council took the seats, Livingston tapped the gavel and called the roll.
Livingston seemed excited and a bit nervous, but with a couple of pointers from City Administrator Jim Hawks, he steered the council through the agenda with no trouble.
Recycling bail out
A final vote was called on a controversial grant to Regional Recycling that provides $66,000, enough to keep the Curbside Recycling Program alive until prices for plastics, aluminum, paper, etc, hopefully improve.
The council authorized the grant two weeks ago, after delaying the vote the meeting before. This time, the council voted 5-3 to make the payments to Regional Recycling from the North Platte Quality Growth Fund.
Hawks took a few minutes to explain to the new council members what the agreements were and that they had been discussed at previous council meetings, and that this vote just finalized the approval.
Council members Tim Barrett, Andrew Lee and Jim Carman opposed the grant, voting no. Lee didn’t think it a valid use of Quality Growth Funds.
One new council member, Brook Baker, was critical of the grant although he voted for it.
Baker asked about complaints that the trash and litter piled up around the Regional Recycling center.
Dick Maxwell, who has the business next to the center, complained at the council’s Nov. 20 meeting, presenting a brief slide show of litter and piles of other materials from his view.
Baker said he is concerned “because one of the main points of curbside recycling is to keep North Platte beautiful and I need to know if this has been cleaned up.”
Brad Borges, who owns Regional Recycling, said he had visited with Maxwell, and stepped up efforts to clean up the area, efforts that will continue daily.
Baker also asked about the wording of the agreement to be sure it did not mean grant money would be paid to Regional Recycling every year.
Hawks explained that it doesn’t. If Regional Recycling requests more money, they will have to start again at the citizen’s review committee for quality growth funds, and then ask the council, just as happened this time, Hawks said.
In other business, the council:
• Voted 8-0 to send an application for a catering license from Sculley’s Shooters, 2221 East 4th, to the Liquor Control Commission with no recommendation. The license will allow Sculley’s to serve alcohol when they cater an event.
• Voted 8-0 to authorize the mayor to sign an interlocal agreement with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality regarding the implementation of the Storm Water Management Plan Program. The city will receive $37,710 from the state and will contribute $7,542 in city funds to implement the plan, which includes education, training, illicit discharge detection, storm water monitoring and other activities.
The five-page agreement was the first document that Livingston signed.
This report was corrected Wednesday to accurately report the members who voted against the grant for Regional Recycling. - Editor.