Trash Collection, Down Payment Assistance Discussed During Wakefield’s City Council Meeting

Trash Collection, Down Payment Assistance Discussed During Wakefield’s City Council Meeting
Northeast Nebraska Insurance presented Wakefield's City Council with a dividends check from EMC Insurance. In attendance for the presentation were (from left) Noell Hinsley, Cap Peterson, Paul Eaton, Bob Berry and Dick Berry.

WAKEFIELD – The Wakefield Civic Center played host to the regularly scheduled May city council meeting on Wednesday, the 11th.

During the meeting, the council received a large dividend payment from their insurance group, EMC Insurance. The check totaled $23,662.09. Northeast Nebraska Insurance agent Cap Peterson told the board that the dividend check equaled roughly 24 percent of the premium the City paid in in the last year.

Representatives from Waste Management updated the council on their trash and recycling routes and brought a contract proposal for the council. Rates will be going up slightly. Trash service will now be $15, but will stay the same for senior citizens. Additional cans will now cost $2 and recycling service increased by $0.75. Work is also being done to fix collection issues on routes. Some homes have been missed because the route’s old operator ran it by memory, and it wasn’t written anywhere so new drivers are trying to compensate. New prices won’t go into effect until after the City Attorney has gone over the agreement and the council has officially approved it.

Wakefield Progressive director Megan Weaver gave an update on the forthcoming Wake’Field’ party. Weaver told the council that with less than 30 days before the event, plans are coming together.

“The SDL (Special Designated License) is in place, we’re looking for volunteers; really, everything’s just moving along,” Weaver said.

Weaver also discussed new down payment assistance guidelines from the Wakefield Residential Development Group. The new guidelines have allowed for homes with higher values to qualify for he interest-free loan for home purchasers. Loan funds max out at $10,000.

A discussion about leasing city property for a Red’s Range to start a shooting range, was tabled after much discussion. The council wanted more information about insurance liability and the logistics of cleanup and safety in the area.

The council approved an LB840 grant fund application against the recommendation of the Sales Tax Committee. The funds totaling $6,336, will be granted to cover boarding expenses for two interns, part of the University of Nebraska’s Rural Fellows Program. The interns will be working under the supervision of Wakefield Progressive. Weaver told the council that she would like them to work on things like marketing videos and photos for the city, helping with the city’s web presence, helping with events and data collection for potential grant opportunities. While the Sales Tax Committee recommended against approving the funds, the council felt that the City of Wakefield could benefit and the return on investment has the potential to be high, particularly when it comes to gathering data for grant applications. Mayor Paul Eaton voiced his support.

“I think if they can facilitate that, I know I’m interested in doing that, Scott’s (Hansen, Ward I council member) interested in doing that, just at the park and I’m not talking about all of the other things that are going on,” Eaton said.

Eaton excused himself from a discussion led by council president Val Bard to approve Eaton’s Greenhouse as the vendor for the Spring/Summer Main Street planters. The greenhouse will provide arrangements that will be appealing for both seasons. Council member Scott Hansen moved to approve Eaton’s Greenhouse to provide plants not to exceed $1,200. Council member Larry Soderberg seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

In other business, the final reading of Ordinance 2-2022 creating a paving district on East 9th Street was held. Approval for a new handicap parking spot on 3rd and Main Streets passed unanimously, and three signs were approved to go up on a neighborhood on Winter Street alerting drivers that a deaf child resides on the street.

The next regularly scheduled Wakefield City Council meeting will be held at 5:30 on Wednesday, June 8 at the Wakefield Civic Center.