Ralston City Council Regular Meeting
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Ralston City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 5:30 PM at Ralston City Hall.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Roll was called with the following present: Mayor Groesser and Council members Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, Sanchez and Preis. The agenda was available at City Hall for public inspection and posted prior to the meeting.  The legal notice for the meeting was published in the Ralston Recorder.  Claims listed are approved and part of these minutes.

Pastor Lynette Janssen, Ralston United Church of Christ, gave the invocation.  Mayor Groesser welcomed the press and guests.  Groesser said the meeting is subject to the Nebraska Open Meetings Act and a copy of the Act is posted at the rear of the Council Chambers.

Groesser indicated that action item #2 will be considered prior to the discussion items.

The City Council reviewed the following items under the consent agenda:

1.  Minutes from the April 16, 2019 regular city council meeting;
2.  Claims; and
3.  Department Head and/or Commission Reports.

Konwinski moved and Fideline seconded to approve the Consent Agenda minus Maria’s claim.  On roll call vote, the following votes were recorded on the electronic voting board. Aye:  Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Nay:  None.  Absent:  None.  Motion carried.   Konwinski moved and Fideline seconded to approve Maria’s claim.  On roll call vote, the following votes were recorded on the electronic voting board. Aye:  Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, and Preis.  Nay:  None.  Abstaining:  Sanchez.  Absent:  None.  Motion carried.

Krajewski reported an individual from their corporate facility team visited the arena to audit the venue.  There is nothing major to report other than the shape of the parking lot and the glycol leak. The building is in great shape otherwise.  Krajewski reported on arena events including Hairball on Friday and they are looking to announce two shows at the end of this week.  They now have a full staff on board.

Groesser opened for consideration the memorandum of understanding for the design, operations, and maintenance of the Adaptive Signal Control Technology System (ASCT) from 84th Street and West Center Road (Omaha) to Washington Street and Lincoln Street (Papillion).  Freshman introduced Brian Guy from City of Omaha Traffic Division to give the highlights of the MOU.  Freshman said the MOU is the building and operations of the signalization.  

Guy said the 84th Street ASCT project is a technology project that is being implemented down the 84th Street corridor from West Center Road down to Lincoln Road in Papillion.  The project was conceived in 2007 out of some efforts by MAPA. It ties all the signals along the corridor into a central system for consistency and flow because the signals are connected via communications. The adaptive portion of the project is a software add-on layer.  This is largely implementing technology within the existing signals and replaces the guts of the signals.  This has some safety and operational benefits.  There is an adaptive system that is layered on top that will measure traffic volumes in real time and adjust the signals.  The adaptive system can measure when things occur and adjust automatically.

The City of Ralston’s share of the capital cost is about $33,000 or one percent of the overall project cost of $3,895,000.  The project is funded through the Highway Safety Improvement Program which requires a 10 percent local match.  The local match is shared among the cities of Omaha, LaVista, Ralston and Papillion.

The City of Omaha is the lead agency and City of Omaha staff will largely manage the system, much like they do now with the systems that fall within the City of Ralston.  Construction is already underway as the project was conceived in 2007.  An existing MOU was entered into in 2016 and expired as of December 31, 2018.  The document before the council tonight is a renewal for the next three years.  They are working their way south and, pending approval of the MOU, they will continue moving south.  The construction will largely be completed throughout the course of the summer.  It will be later fall, early winter before it will be fully up and running.

The City of Omaha will be invoicing the City of Ralston for their share.  Guy doesn’t anticipate the need to pay on the invoices prior to September.  Forrest indicated the MOU is essentially indicating what the project is and that the City of Ralston agrees to pay the local share.

Groesser inquired about a left-turn signal heading south on Q Street and Park Drive.  It is critical to Ralston’s downtown businesses to be able to turn left into Ralston.  He requested to get that back in on Park Drive and Q Street.  Guy commented on thresholds and it is certainly something to look at independent of the MOU.  Groesser said it is important to get people into our City.  Kavanaugh commented that Q Street in particular is a safety hazard.  Preis commented on the aspect of doing things twice in some instances and Guy indicated left turn signals is something that could be implemented right away.

Freshman commented on approving this contingent upon him and Guy getting together and talking about the signals.

There being no further discussion, Krause moved and Kavanaugh seconded to approve the memorandum of understanding for the design, operations, and maintenance of the Adaptive Signal Control Technology System (ASCT) contingent upon Freshman and Guy meeting about the Mayor’s request of a left-turn signal.  On roll call vote, the following votes were recorded on the electronic voting board.  Aye:  Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Nay:  None.  Absent:  None.  Motion carried.

Groesser indicated that action item #1 will be considered since there are people in attendance for this item.  Groesser opened for consideration the presentation of awards and letters of commendation to Ralston Police Officers.

In February, Sergeant Philip Winkelmann and Officer Matthew Kowalewski responded to a residence with an unconscious person.  The officers performed CPR and hooked up the AED and revived the person, Douglas Larson.  Mr. Larson was transported to the hospital and is currently in good condition.  Leonardo presented the Lifesaving Award from the National Awards Program to Sergeant Philip Winkelmann and Officer Matthew Kowalewski.

Leonardo recommended Sergeant Rodney Walker and Investigator Mark McGill for the Criminal Investigation Award through the National Awards Program for their involvement in a first degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony cold case.  Their actions taken during the investigation nearly five years after it occurred directly led to the suspect’s confession and arrest on felony charges. Leonardo presented the Criminal Investigation Award to Sergeant Rodney Walker and Investigator Mark McGill.

Leonardo presented Letters of Commendation to Deputy Police Chief Bryan Hanson, Sergeant Rodney Walker, Sergeant Jeremy Leifeld, Sergeant Philip Winkelmann, Officer Matthew Kowalewski, Officer John Gross, Officer Andrew Kanngeiser and Officer Mark McGill for their efforts during a motor vehicle incident at 84th and Q Streets.  In February 2019, Ralston Police Officers were dispatched to a personal injury accident at 84th and Q Streets.  An individual was found deceased after having been struck by a vehicle which fled the scene.  Over a period of time, numerous individuals were interviewed, crucial evidence was located, the vehicle was seized and a warrant was issued on the suspect, who then turned himself in.

Groesser opened discussion on commercial fire code inspections.  Fire Chief Eischeid and Forrest have discussed how fire code inspections are being done in Ralston.  Eischeid provided a brief history of the Fire Marshal position.  The position in the City of Ralston was eliminated a number of years ago and the authority was turned over to the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s office.

There was recently an incident in Ralston where Eischeid had to call in the representative who works from the state office.  After further talking to the individual who still does the inspections for our area, Eischeid was informed that he doesn’t do any regular inspections in the City.  He just performs dispute or remodel inspections.  Forrest and Eischeid agree that it should be done more often than that to insure the safety of Ralston’s citizens.

The cities of Papillion and LaVista have recently gone away from using the State Fire Marshal’s Office because they have their own Fire Marshal to do the inspections.  Eischeid will be meeting with Papillion Fire Chief Bowes to discuss the process of the City taking over the authority for a Fire Marshal.  If the City has the authority, an issue can be handled immediately rather than waiting a period of time for the State to come in.  Eischeid commented on the public safety aspect and having the authority to handle any issues.

The Fire Marshal would have to be Fire Inspector 1 certified through the State of Nebraska.  Authority would also have to be requested through the State of Nebraska.  This would be for commercial property only; however, the Fire Marshal would be able to assist with arson incidents.  Eischeid suggested the Fire Marshal be someone currently on the Fire Department roster.

Forrest indicated this is a discussion item to introduce the topic to the City Council.  He recommended to take a hard look at this during the budget process.  Fideline commented that a number of years ago he was the Fire Inspector and it was a volunteer position.

Groesser opened discussion on the Black Hills Gas Franchise Agreement.  Klinker has been working on renewing the agreement with Black Hills Energy.  The agreement should be ready to be considered by the City Council at the next Council meeting.  Groesser commented on previously reaching out to Metropolitan Utilities District for a proposal; however, it is not something that can be done at this time.  Black Hills Energy has done a good job for the City of Ralston the last 25 years.

Groesser opened discussion on the noise ordinance.  Kavanaugh had received a complaint regarding a neighbor running a chain saw at all hours.  He commented on “quiet time” and thought he would bring the issue before the City Council.  Krause commented on looking at whether 10:00 PM is too late.  After some discussion, Krause said the current ordinance overall looks pretty good and covers nuisances.  However, the question would be if the language is too broad as well as the time frame.

Forrest encouraged council members to review the entire ordinance.  There may be some inconsistencies that may need to be looked at in addition to the issue presented by Kavanaugh.

Groesser opened discussion on the creation of a Ralston Arena Advisory Board.  Discussion has been held with regard to putting together an advisory board to help direct the Ralston Arena.  Benis has created a draft that establishes the advisory board and the purpose of the board.  There would be five members of the board appointed by the Mayor with approval of the City Council, with one member being a council member.  This board will help with marketing the arena among other functions. 

Groesser opened discussion on the purchase agreement between the City of Ralston and Keystone, LLC for the purchase of Lot 2, TMS Addition.  Klinker indicated this is DICON property on Burlington Street which is part of the Hinge Project.  The Hinge Committee and the Community Foundation both agreed to the purchase of the property.  The money for the purchase will come from the LaDonna Johnson Fund through the Ralston Community Foundation.

The agreement will be on the next council meeting agenda along with a resolution directing the performance of the contract.  Groesser indicated the property will be purchased and if a developer develops the property as part of the Hinge Project, the City will sell the property to the developer.  The proceeds from the sale will go back into the Ralston Community Foundation Fund.

Groesser opened consideration of the payment to Clover Construction for repair and adjustment project not to exceed $30,000.  Freshman commented on the mill and overlay request from last fall of $400,000 from bond money and $150,000 from Lottery funds for the project not to exceed $550,000.  The repair and adjustment project price includes ballfield requests of $3,102 which funds would come out of the Parks budget.

Freshman has spoken with Schemmer and Associates and it was indicated that it will be closer to $39,000.  The main reason for the project is to repair 74th and Harrison Streets, 84th Street and Ralston Avenue, 84th and Q Streets as well as double inlet repair and adjustment. After some discussion, Krause moved and Kavanaugh seconded to award $39,000 for Clover Construction to perform additional repair work not to exceed $550,000 that was previously allocated for cement and repair and maintenance work.  On roll call vote, the following votes were recorded on the electronic voting board. Aye:  Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Nay:  None.  Absent:  None.  Motion carried.  

Groesser opened consideration of the Fireworks Display Agreement between the City of Ralston and J & M Displays, Inc. for the annual fireworks display at the Ralston Arena.  There being no discussion, Krause moved and Konwinski seconded to approve the Fireworks Display Agreement between the City of Ralston and J & M Displays, Inc. On roll call vote, the following votes were recorded on the electronic voting board. Aye:  Konwinski, Fideline, Kavanaugh, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Nay:  None.  Absent:  None.  Motion carried.  

Public comment:  Amy Roeder, Chamber President, commented on a TeamMates field trip to the zoo.  There were 759 people at the wine walk this year and 28 businesses that participated.  Roeder thanked the City for helping with this event.  She is sending out a survey to the businesses to see how big they want to go for next year.  

Council comment:   Kavanaugh congratulated the Police Officers on their awards.

There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:31 PM.

Next regular meeting Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 5:30 PM.
                                                                                                                           /s/Rosemarie D. Russell                             /s/Donald A. Groesser
City Clerk                                                       Mayor

CLAIMS – 05-07-2019 – AA Wheel and Truck Supply, Inc., 84.96, Parts; Access Systems Leasing, 2,297.59, Copiers; AFLAC, 823.44, Insurance; Agrivision Equipment Group, 425.83, Parts; American United Life Insurance Company, 377.08, Life Insurance; Ameripride Services, Inc., 200.06, Building Maint/Rugs; Asphalt & Concrete Materials, 1,103.89, Supplies; Baxter Auto, 771.46, Parts; Benefit Plans Inc., 362.50, Services; Black Hills Energy, 850.30, Services; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of NE, 69,453.01, Health Insurance; BMI Janitorial Group, 325.00, Janitorial; Brianna Fleek, 60.00, Janitorial; Builders Supply Co., Inc., 59.86, Supplies; Caselle, Inc., 1,151.00, Services/Support; CCL Supply, LLC, 415.76, Supplies; Century Certified Services, 28.00, Pest Management; Chick Fil A, 1,524.66, Sales Commissions; City of Ralston-General Fund, 50,062.50, Transfer & Petty Cash; CompChoice, 455.61, Medical; Cornerstone Staffing, Inc., 6,320.60, Temporary Staffing; Cox Business Services, 1,886.24, Cable/Telephone; Cutchall Management, 6,120.95, Sales Commissions; Demco, 103.45, Supplies; Diamond Laundry Service, Inc., 74.85, Laundry Service; Donut Express, 2,682.62, Sales Commissions; Eakes Office Solutions, 408.22, Office Supplies; Engineered Controls, Inc., 1,250.00, Services; Enviro-Master Services, 30.00, Janitorial; Experian, 27.00, Services; First State Bank, 3,478.85, Loan Pymt; Fleek, Brianna, 180.00, Janitorial; Forrest, David, 15.00, Reimbursement; Fraser Stryker, PC, LLO, 1,801.92, Professional Services; Fraternal Order of Police, 600.00, FOP Dues; Gale/Cengage Learning, 53.23, Books; Global Spectrum, 8,000.00, Management Fee; Great Plains Uniforms, LLC, 193.50, Uniforms; Great Western Bank-Pension, 29,738.92, Pension; Great Western Bank-Visa, 2,448.22, Miscellaneous/Supplies; HDR Engineering, Inc., 20,962.69, Professional Services; Humana Insurance Co., 2,356.26, Insurance; Hy Vee Accounts Receivable, 83.32, Food; IIMC, 170.00, Annual Membership Dues; Integrated Solutions, Inc., 17,392.00, Computer Support; International Code Council, 135.00, Membership Dues; JEO Consulting Group, Inc., 2,892.50, Professional Services; Johnstone Supply, 166.62, Supplies; Jones Automotive, Inc., 3,883.42, Parts & Labor; Klinker, Mark, 5,932.50, Professional Services; Kriha Fluid Power, 202.50, Parts; Larry Vogler Trucking, LLC, 8,498.96, Road Salt; LaVista, City of, 1,963.57, Special Services Bus Share; Maria’s Enterprises, 10,209.66, Sales Commissions; Maui Wowi, 772.37, Sales Commissions; Menards-Ralston, 268.18, Supplies; Metro, 1,587.00, Service Contract; Mid-American Benefits, Inc., 43.50, Services; Mitchell & Associates, Inc., 1,200.00, Professional Services; MUD-Utilities, 315.70, Utilities; Nebraska Air Filter, Inc., 44.16, Supplies; Nebraska Iowa Supply Co., 4,028.80, Fuel; OCB Plumbing, 800.00, Supplies; Omaha Compound Company, 210.18, Supplies; Omaha Douglas Publ Bldg Comm, 24.50, Parking; Omaha Public Power District, 16,113.66, Utilities; O’Malley, Margaret, 464.75, Janitorial; Omni Engineering, 2,800.49, Supplies; One Call Concepts, 32.63, Locates; Papillion Sanitation, 26,807.74, Trash Collection; Paul Bartels Trucking Co., 4,892.70, Salt; Prairie Life Fitness, 128.40, Reimbursement; Quill Corporation, 101.96, Supplies; Ralston Arena Operating Account, 79,166.67, Transfer and Sales Tax; Ralston Automotive, 1,544.96, Supplies/Services; Ralston Public Schools, 1,230.00, Parking Ticket Fees; Ralston Volunteer Fire Department, 16,250.00, Fire Protection Agreement; Recorded Books, Inc., 732.19, Books/Audio Visual; Safety Vision, 144.16, Supplies; Sarpy County, 1,802.70, Animal Control; Sentrixx Security Solutions, 143.00, Camera Repair; Site One Landscape Supply, 238.89, Supplies; Sno Floss, 1,284.11, Sales Commissions; Specialized Engineering Solutions, 3,600.00, Professional Services; Talx UC Express, 151.94, Quarterly Fee; Titan Machinery-Omaha, 259.68, Supplies; TNT Cleaning, 500.00, Cleaning Services; Trans Union Risk & Alternative, 50.00, Services; Trede Electric & Lighting, Inc., 85.52, Services; Verizon Wireless, 1,270.42, Cell Phones; Voya Institutional Trust Company, 3,550.00, Pension; Waldinger Corporation, 3,950.09, Maintenance Contract; Westlake Ace Hardware, 84.72, Supplies/Parts.


Council Minutes-Archive

City Council Minutes

The Ralston City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of the month.  The minutes of the meeting are posted below.

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