Council Directs City Staff To Begin Annexation Process On Two Pieces Of Property, Grants Time Extension For Pine Heights Project

WAYNE – After COVID-19 had pushed back discussion on annexation from March of 2020, most of the Tuesday night regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting was taken up by a Town Hall meeting.

From the Wayne Senior Center, the regular agenda took up about 90 minutes before a town hall meeting on discussion of annexation pushed the meeting just past 8 p.m. Tuesday evening.

Mayor Cale Giese said this meeting was brought back and driven with the new Dollar General on east 7th street that is outside of city limits.

“So, you have two businesses for the first time really,” said Giese. “That are directly competing in all services that would be charging one and half cents different on each transaction.”

Several individual businesses spoke during the town hall meeting as the board eventually wanted to start the process to annex the new Dollar General on the east side of Wayne along with an area described as a ‘donut hole’ that will have a net-zero impact being agriculture land near south Sherman.

An ordinance will take three readings as annexation cannot be waived.

Further discussion will be had in the near future about annexation but no other action was made during the town hall meeting.

Council began their agenda by approving the 2022 Property & Casualty Insurance package. Cap Peterson with Northeast Nebraska Insurance Agency presented to the board. Two driving forces for the premium is property coverage and workers compensation as the commercial power plant is also separate from the policy. Peterson stated there were also quite a few claims this past year.

Mytzy Rodriguez-Kufner, Director of Wayne Community Housing Development Corporation requested funds after having missed out on a grant opportunity for operations when she first started last June.

After lengthy discussion, the board did approve the $25,600 for operating costs. The money will come from the electric fund which is the same line item for economic development. The leftover money at the end of the year is normally given to the Community Redevelopment Authority.

These funds will help the Wayne Community Housing Development Corporation to keep them afloat as Rodriguez-Kufner is continuing to pursue funds from investors to off-set other costs incase the full grant amount is not awarded.

More discussion will happen during the budget session to avoid being caught off-guard next year.

A closeout discussion and action on “Pine Heights Road & Utility Improvements Project” was then addressed.

Meyer’s Construction, the contractor started later than anticipated and ran over their deadline time as they requested about a 30-day extension a few meetings ago. The contractor was also an additional two weeks past when the projected was completed beginning in July and concluding in November

Council looked to answer the question of do they assess liquated damage for every day past the deadline.

Jon Mooberry with JEO brought forward information suggesting to not assess damages, according to City Administrator Wes Blecke.

“It was a 180-day contract, and they were on site for only 120 days,” Blecke added. “So, they were here 61 days less than they could have been. So, even though the project happened later in the year and missed the deadline, they were actually on-site working way less days than the contract allowed.”

Council approved to grant time extension (7-1) and the current price of the project also came in around $16,000 less than the bid price.

Councilmembers also approved to authorize the City Clerk to advertise for bids for the “College Hill Trail Head Project”. This project is grant funded as the City of Wayne has two years to spend the money. The board will hope some of the inside work can be done over the winter before working more with the contractor.

Tom Sievers from the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department and a part of the selection committee then brought forward the low bid of two bids for a new fire truck. The group was estimating around $535,000 as the low bid being approved was $605,951 which includes roughly $30,000 of equipment used on the truck. The contract states the truck would be complete about 365 days after it was signed. The budget has been built for $450,000 in 2022 and the remaining amount the year after.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, January 4 at 5:30 p.m.