Council Minutes-Archive

    City of Ralston

                "The Heart of the Metro" 
                                Ralston, Nebraska

City Council Minutes

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

Ralston City Council Regular Meeting

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
The Ralston City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 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, Krause, Alberhasky, 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 Jim Haack, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 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.

The following building permits were approved:  #10173 to Ron Robertson, 8720 Polk Street – Change out electrical panel - $600.00; #10174 to Scott A. Hartz, 7507 Polk Street – Replace furnace - $4,500.00; #10175 to Antibro Properties, 5170 S. 72nd Street, Suite 106 – Replace commercial water heater - $11,850.00; #10176 to Edward Kelley, 6657 S. 85th Avenue – Replace electrical panel, $1,708.00; #10177 to Seran Gungor, 7614 Main Street – Install sign on front of building - $469.00; #10178 to Seran Gungor, 7614 Main Street – Install sign on side of building - $353.00; #10179 to Kevin Schaben, 5613 S. 77th Street – Install wall sign on side of building, $630.00; #10180 to Klinker Golden LLC, 5010 S. 80th Street – Complete fire repair, 20 amp service, 20 branch circuits - $14,000.00; #10181 to The Eating Establishment, 4713 S. 77th Avenue – Install new drop pole and secondary conductors - $3,000.00; #10182 to Judith E. Davis, 5302 S. 80th Street – Repair burst pipe - $11,300.00; #10183 to Yumul Lemuel, 5220 S. 77th Street – Install smoke detectors - $300.00; #10184 to Dynamic Properties, 5402 S. 75th Street – Change out electrical panel - $1,000.00.

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

Minutes from the February 20, 2018 regular city council meeting;
Claims; and
Department Head and/or Commission Reports.

Motion to approve Consent Agenda minus Maria’s claim by Fideline, seconded by Krause.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.    Motion to approve Maria’s claim by Fideline, seconded by Krause.  All voted yes, Sanchez abstained.  Motion carried.

Freshman thanked the Mayor and Council members with regard to the purchase of a new backhoe.  He has taken delivery of the new backhoe that replaced the 32 year old backhoe.  Hawkins Construction will start work on the 84th Street viaduct next Monday, weather permitting.  Freshman is still awaiting word from the State of Nebraska on the new Ralston/La Vista bus that was due the end of January.

Bohling reported the City has received $704,944 in 779 turnback tax from the Nebraska Department of Revenue for this quarter. 

Van Sant reported the law firm is working on the claims report for the year.  The CDBG documents are ready for signature should they be approved at this meeting.

Leonardo reported the Humane Society responded to 314 calls in the city last year.  They cited five people last year for licenses and vaccinations.

Canfield reported on a new service at the library.  They have an on-line service that gives the ability to learn up to 70 languages. 

Benis reported on arena events which include a Zamora concert, a comedy show, the Lancers game on Friday and a Beef game on Sunday.

Groesser opened discussion on the proposals to evaluate the Ralston Arena.  Staff has obtained three additional proposals.  Forrest and Benis recommend to consider Stafford Sports and Venue Solutions further.  They felt these companies were the best qualified for the work.  Forrest suggested having an ad hoc committee do telephone interviews with the consulting teams.  Groesser suggested himself, Konwinski and Sanchez be a part of the committee to review and bring recommendations to the full council.

Groesser opened discussion on the proposals for employment and labor law services.  Forrest indicated that 11 proposals were received on the request for proposals.  Copies of the proposals were forwarded to Council members and a summary of the proposals was included in the council packets.  Alberhasky asked for more time to review the proposals.  Krause suggested having a committee narrow down the list.  He would like to have Klinker and Van Sant narrow down the list of the firms that are qualified.  Discussion was held on what the City currently pays and Konwinski commented on different aspects that some of the firms charge for such as copying, travel, etc.  Alberhasky and Groesser volunteered to be on the committee with Klinker and Van Sant.

Groesser opened discussion on amending Ralston Municipal Code for rabies vaccination to a three year cycle versus a two year cycle.  Fideline commented that he took his dog to the vet and was informed that Ralston is the only City that requires rabies vaccination every two years.  Every other City requires rabies vaccination every three years.  The vaccine that is administered is a three year dose.   After discussion, it was requested that an amending ordinance be brought to the next council meeting.

Groesser opened discussion on rescheduling the April 17, 2018 City Council meeting.  Groesser indicated he, Krause and Konwinski will be out of town for that meeting and asked council to consider rescheduling the meeting to Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 5:30 PM.  Council members indicated they would be able to attend the rescheduled meeting.

Groesser opened discussion on an application for the Federal Opportunity Zones Program.  Forrest indicated the City has an opportunity to participate in a new Federal program that is as a result of the 2017 tax reform act.  This program essentially designates certain census tracts that are low to moderate income and designates those areas for certain incentives, such as tax credits and deferred capital gains tax.  A section of Ralston’s census tract is within this opportunity zone.  It is essentially all of Ralston north of the railroad tracts.  The deadline for the application is Friday, March 9th.  Forrest said it would be a useful thing for the City to do, particularly with the efforts to redevelop the Hinge area.  This would provide some additional incentives for private investment.  Groesser directed Forrest to submit the application.

Groesser opened the public hearing on a proposed use of Community Development Block Grant Revolving Loan Funds at 5:48 PM.  Forrest indicated the proposed project is that Beth Howie, the owner of Main Street Café, is requesting a revolving loan in the amount of $15,000 from the City of Ralston’s Community Development Block Grant reuse fund.  The location of the project is 7614 Main Street in Ralston.  The total project cost is approximately $30,000.  The loan is intended to provide working capital for the opening of a restaurant, Main Street Café, in downtown Ralston.  Loan funds shall be available upon loan closing and receipt of required collateral which will be inventory and equipment of the business.  Loan repayments will be due on the first of each month starting on May 1st, 2018. 

The term of the loan is five years with three percent (3%) interest.  The business is expected to create one full time equivalent (FTE) position.  Fifty one percent (51%) of the FTE positions created as a result of this loan shall benefit persons whose household income are defined as low to moderate income.  An environmental review was completed as a condition of funding.  Because the project does not entail building or land acquisition, new construction or changes to the existing building’s footprint among other factors, it is considered exempt and is therefore not subject to higher level environmental review.  The environmental review record is on file at the City of Ralston City Hall.  No displacement of persons or businesses will occur as a result of this project.

There was no public comments.  Groesser closed the public hearing at 5:50 PM.  Krause introduced Resolution 2018-5.  Russell read the title of Resolution 2018-5.  Konwinski moved and Krause seconded to approve Resolution 2018-5. Alberhasky inquired about default and Forrest indicated there is collateral that the City would seek. Van Sant indicated there will be a financing statement on the collateral. 

BETH HOWIE, D/B/A/ MAIN STREET CAFÉ       )         

WHEREAS, the City of Ralston, Nebraska received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and

WHEREAS, the City of Ralston has collected receivable program income from that CDBG award, and

WHEREAS, the City of Ralston, with consent from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, established a Revolving Loan Fund from collected CDBG program income to assist eligible local businesses in the community, and 

WHEREAS, the City of Ralston, with assistance from the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), shall administer a Revolving Loan Fund program that is in accordance with the requirements of the CDBG Program and the City’s CDBG Program Income (or “Reuse”) Plan, and

WHEREAS, Beth Howie, owner of Main Street Cafe located in the City of Ralston, has applied for Revolving Loan Fund assistance from the City of Ralston for the purpose of working capital, and

WHEREAS, the City of Ralston is authorized to release CDBG program income proceeds to provide direct financial assistance to Beth Howie, owner of Main Street Café, in accordance with the City’s CDBG Reuse Plan.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Ralston City Council authorizes the release of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) in eligible CDBG program income proceeds to Beth Howie.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 6th day of March, 2018.

                                                                      CITY OF RALSTON, NEBRASKA
                                                                      /s/Donald A. Groesser, Mayor
/s/Rosemarie Russell, City Clerk

Approved as to form:
/s/Mark A. Klinker, City Attorney

All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened consideration for the Community Development Block Grant Loan for Main Street Café.  Krause moved and Alberhasky seconded to approve the Community Development Block Grant Loan for Main Street Café.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened consideration of proposals for appraisal services for 10 properties, approximately 21.86 acres.  Forrest indicated that as part of the City’s efforts to redevelop the Hinge project area, he and Groesser have contacted all the property owners in that area and they have agreed to allow the City to have their properties appraised.  Forrest recommended the City Council approve a contract to move forward with appraisals because this is the first step towards the City acquiring options on the properties which would allow the City to control the properties and potentially identify private developers who would redevelop the properties.  This is the first part of a significant step forward.  The request for proposals was sent out to numerous firms and only one appraiser returned a proposal with a complete response.  The appraiser is David Wellsandt of Mitchell and Associated in the amount of $18,000 for 8 appraisals total.

This proposal was reviewed by the Hinge Committee.  The appraiser is someone that has previously worked with the Omaha Chamber.  Forrest indicated there are funds available in the Community Development Fund.  Alberhasky inquired about the likelihood that all the property owners are willing to sell their land and Forrest indicated that is down the line, one step at a time.

Krause moved and Preis seconded to approve the proposal received from David Wellsandt for appraisal services in the amount of $18,000.  Sanchez said that in the Hinge Committee meeting there was some discussion about whether or not the cost of this was a fair cost.  He inquired if it would be in the City’s interest to obtain another proposal.  Forrest indicated the City did receive a partial proposal for $35,000 for fewer parcels.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened consideration for bids for the sale of property at Lots 30 and 31, Lakewood Addition, City of Ralston, also known as 31 Country Club Road.  Forrest indicated this is the property that the City Council wanted to sell.  Bids were due to the City on March 1st and one bid was received from Ralston Rentals for $30,000.  Konwinski inquired if the proposal is better than if the City had an auction and Forrest indicated it is a competitive proposal based on the price Groesser received from a broker.

Alberhasky inquired what the use is planned for the property and Forrest indicated that question was not asked of the bidder.  City staff was directed to sell the property.  Preis indicated that the bidders will have to build within the zoning of the lot.  Freshman indicated that whatever is built would have to conform to the current zoning.  The bidder, Bruce Botkin, indicated the size of the lot is 40 feet by 90 feet. 

Krause said he is not in favor of putting the property up for auction because the bid received is a very good bid.  Krause said whatever is built will be relevant to the neighborhood and moved approval of the bid for the property at 31 Country Club Road from Ralston Rentals for $30,000.  Preis indicated the price is comparable to the lot that was sold next to his mother.  Freshman said the current zoning is R-2, which would mean single family dwelling.  Alberhasky seconded.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened for consideration his appointment of Deborah Woster to the Library Board.  Canfield reported the Library Board of Trustees recommended that Deb Woster be named to the board to fulfill the term vacated by Jason Feldman.  Council thanked Woster for volunteering to serve on the Library Board.  Konwinski moved and Fideline seconded to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Deborah Woster to the Library Board.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened for consideration the Fireworks Display Agreement between the City of Ralston and J & M Displays, Inc.  Forrest indicated the agreement is for the Independence Day fireworks display.  The contract price is $25,000 and the City accepts private donations to help subsidize the cost.  Krause moved and Konwinski seconded to approve the Fireworks Display Agreement between the City of Ralston and J & M Displays, Inc.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Groesser opened for consideration the CDL Drug and Alcohol Policy.  Forrest indicated there have been various discussions about this policy and requested City Council approval to move forward with a testing program.  Krause moved and Alberhasky seconded to approve the CDL Drug and Alcohol Policy.  It was indicated that a legal opinion was received from Fraser Stryker.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Public comment:  George Sevick, 8001 Main Street, commented on the memorial in front of City Hall.  He distributed photos and indicated the plants are basically hiding a memorial that was meant to be seen and honored.  Sevick asked the City Council to replace the plants with something that doesn’t grow as high.  He commented on the eternal flame being raised and inquired if it would be possible to put a solar light on the top of it so that the light will show up at night.  Sevick said the solar lights are not expensive and are basically maintenance free.  He said he could purchase the lights.  Forrest indicated he and Freshman and the Parks Foreman could meet with Sevick.  Alberhasky indicated the eternal flame was raised and inquired about raising the remainder of the memorial.

Sevick also reminded Council members about the American Legion Baseball Team pancake feed on March 10, 2018 at the High School from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Council comment:  Groesser directed attention to the new desk in the Council Chambers that was built by Jon Speichinger and commented that Speichinger did a great job.

There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:12 PM.

Next regular meeting Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 5:30 PM.

Rosemarie D. Russell                                  Donald A. Groesser
City Clerk                                                       Mayor

CLAIMS  - 03-06-2018 -AA Wheel & Truck Supply, Inc., 95.93, Supplies; AAA Rents, 1,357.80, Rental; American Classifieds of Omaha, 400.00, Advertising; American Lift & Sign Service, 7,972.50, Monthly Svc; Ameripride Services, Inc., 88.04, Building Maint/Rugs; Asphalt & Concrete Materials, 368.53, Cold Mix; Black Hills Energy, 3,749.00, Utilities; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of NE, 62,690.84, Insurance; Bluetarp Credit Services, 50.55, Svcs; BMI Janitorial Group, 13,541.25, Janitorial Svcs; Bohling, Timothy, 126.89, Reimbursement; Capital One Commercial, 519.23, Supplies; Carpenter Paper Co., 1,005.92, Paper Products/Janitorial Supplies; CCL Supply, Inc., 810.96, Supplies; Century Certified Service, 125.50, Pest Control/Mgmt; Chick Fil A, 473.53, Sales Commissions; City of Ralston General Fund, 31,691.66, Reimburse City; Coffee Carts and More, 329.87, Sales Commissions; Command Center, 2,197.80, Contract Labor; Cox Business Services, 568.02, Cable; Cutchall Management, 2,713.84, Sales Commissions; Dearborn National Life Ins., 158.24, Life Ins; Dicon Corporation, 3,000.00, Refund; Donut Express, 103.99, Sales Commission Correction; Enviro-Master Services, 144.00, Janitorial; Experian, 27.72, Credit Rpt; Fleek, Brianna, 100.00, Cleaning Svc; FP Mailing Solutions, 66.00, Postage; Fraternal Order of Police, 600.00, Dues; Gale/Cengage Learning, 105.83, Books; Great Western Bank-Pension, 22,236.78, Pension; Great Western Bank-Visa, 5,969.63, Visa Pymt; Groesser, Donald, 71.50, Reimburse; Helget Gas Products, 143.36, Supplies; Humana Insurance Co., 2,763.69, Insurance; HyVee Accounts Receivable, 220.76, Supplies; Integrated Solutions, Inc., 1,211.98, Computer Svcs/Support/Supplies; KCL Group Benefits, 1,272.51, Life Insurance; Klinker, Mark, 1,000.00, Legal Svcs; M & M Staffing, 2,730.80, Contract Labor; Maria’s Enterprises, 2,710.34, Sales Commissions; Mark Hydraulic Co., Inc., 90.78, Supplies; Menards-Ralston, 82.83, Supplies; Mid-American Benefits, Inc., 90.00, Admin Fees; MUD-Utilities, 2,195.12, Utilities; National Everything Wholesale, 170.99, Janitorial Supplies; Nebraska Dept of Revenue, 100.00, Taxes; Nebraska Iowa Supply Co., Inc., 5,333.65, Supplies/Fuel; Nebraska Water Environment Assn, 100.00, Conference; Nebraska-Iowa Ind. Fasteners, 77.90, Supplies; NMC Exchange, LLC, 799.27, Rental; NRG Media Live, 9,111.42, Concert Settlements; Omaha Public Power District, 41,306.78, Utilities; O’Malley, Margaret, 418.00, Janitorial; One Call Concepts, 30.30, Locates; OS Sales Co., Inc., 903.30, Food; Paciolan, 370.00, Repairs; Papillion Sanitation, 26,771.12, Garbage Collection; Paul Bartels Trucking Co., 4,821.13, Supplies; Pepsi-Cola, 1,703.44, Soda; Purchase Power, 17.46, Svcs; Ralston Arena Operating, 42,910.79, Event/Sales Tax; Ralston Automotive, 43.35, Supplies; Ralston Volunteer Fire Dept., 15,330.25, Fire Protection Agreement; Recorded Books, Inc., 124.32, Books; RediTech, 7,362.13, Arena IT Support; Reinhart Foodservice, LLC, 2,376.11, Food; Rotella’s Italian Bakery, Inc., 289.86, Bread; RYBA Construction, Inc., 1,100.00, Supplies; Sarpy County, 1,408.59, Animal Control; Sentrixx Security Solutions, 372.50, Camera Repair; Showcases, 52.28, Supplies; Sign It, 30.00, Supplies; Smith Medical Partners, 315.00, Supplies; Sno Floss, 487.66, Sales Commissions; Solution One-NE, 455.87, Copier; Solution One-TX, 462.45, Copier; Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement, 12,000.00, Annual Software Subsc; Spin Linen Management, 537.56, Linens; Stage Pay Services, Inc., 2,174.87, Event; Staples Advantage, 134.96, Office Supplies; Swan Engineering, LLC, 53.01, Supplies; T.L.K. Transportation, Inc., 2,550.00, Delivery Svc; T.N.T. Cleaning, 500.00, Janitorial; Targets Online, 154.00, Targets; Theatrical Media Services, Inc., 968.05, Rental Agreement; Tractor Supply Credit Plan, 54.69, Supplies; U.S. Foods, Inc., 9,135.74, Food; United Rent-All, 666.32, Svcs; Voya Institutional Trust Co., 2,850.00, Pension; Walmart Community, 1,463.23, Supplies; Westlake Ace Hardware, 60.62, Supplies.