A new councilman questioned a large claim from the police department during action Thursday night at City Hall.
At the city council’s regular meeting, Brooke Baker questioned paying a $9,000 claim submitted for a bill at Wal-Mart by the police. Baker wanted to know how the department could spend that much money there.
After some discussion, it became clear that it was the bill for the Santa Cop program. In that program, police use donated money each year to buy toys for needy kids at Wal-Mart. Records are kept in the department’s bookkeeping system, and so the claim came before the council for official approval.
The council approved the claim.
In other business, Mayor Dwight Livingston officially presented former councilman Jerry Stoll with a certificate as an admiral in the Great Nebraska Navy. The honor recognizes Stoll’s 28 years of service to the council and the city.
In other action, the council authorized an agreement with Inland Truck Parts Company providing access to Newberry Road. Inland is building a new facility adjacent to Newberry Road, south of the Flying J Truck Center.
The council previously approved a grant/loan to Inland from the city’s quality growth fund.
Newberry is a controlled access roadway built, in part, with federal highway funds, so the Federal Highway Administration retains certain rights to the use and regulation of street/road.
The city had to give Inland permission to access Newberry, with the consent of the Federal Highway Administration.
That required the city to reimburse the FHA for the value of the controlled access. The appraised value of the access is $39,050. The city will reimburse the FHA that amount from its quality growth fund. This agreement simply memorializes the previous agreement between the city and Inland Truck Parts, according to council documents.
In other action, the council:
• Officially increased the fee to renew operating licenses for multiple dwellings or rooming houses. The city currently charges $65. The city code still stated the fee was $17.50, so the code was changed to fit the current fee.
• On second reading, permitted free standing signs near the Great Plains Regional Medical Center, amending two sections the city code and removed an “F-1” zoning designation near the hospital. An F-1 district designated a floodway. That area is no longer a floodway due to changes in the flood plain map of North Platte.
• Also changed, on second reading, the setback and height regulations in an H-1 Hospital District, clearing the way for the new patient tower to be built at Great Plains Regional Medical Center.
• Increased the amount of money a police officer can contribute to a pension plan from 6% to 6.5%. The change is in accordance with state law and will take effect Oct. 1. Effective on or after Oct. 1, 2015, employee contributions could go to 7%, according to council documents.