City of Ralston

                "The Heart of the Metro" 
                                Ralston, Nebraska

Ralston City Council Regular Meeting

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Ralston City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 5:30 PM at Ralston City Hall.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Roll was called with the following present: Council members Konwinski, Fideline, Alberhasky, Krause, Sanchez, and Preis.  Mayor Groesser was absent. The agenda for this meeting 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.

Jim Buras, Trinity United Methodist Church, gave the Invocation.  Council President Krause welcomed the press and guests.  Krause said the meeting is subject to the Nebraska Open Meetings Act and a copy of the Act is posted at the rear of the Chamber.

Deb Groesser gave an update on Mayor Groesser.  He suffered a mild heart attack on Veterans Day but is doing very well.  Mayor and Mrs. Groesser thanked everyone for the well-wishes, phone calls, e-mails, cards and flowers.

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

Minutes from the November 7, 2017 regular city council meeting;
Claims; Department Head and/or Commission Reports; and Monthly Financial Report.

Motion to approve Consent Agenda by Konwinski, seconded by Alberhasky.  All voted yes.  Motion carried. 

Freshman thanked the council members for approving his equipment request at the last meeting.  He reported the 84th Street viaduct should be open tomorrow for two-way traffic in both directions and it will stay that way throughout the winter.

Bohling presented financial information for the month of October.

Klinker reported he and Bohling have spent quite a bit of time getting the TIF projects up to date.  It appears that the two TIFs from Main Street to Q Street are going to come to an end and be put back on the tax rolls.  The Colonies TIF ended last December.

Leonardo reported on the Click It or Ticket program.  The officer overtime is paid through a grant through the Nebraska Department of Roads.  Leonardo reported on the new police officer and that one of his officers has accepted a job with the City of Omaha.  Fortunately, there was a good list of candidates for his most recent hire.

Canfield reported on the annual report for fiscal year 2016-17.  Through the budgetary support of the City Council, the Library remains accredited at the highest level through 2019.  Canfield commented on the highlights for last year:  1,521 more people used the library’s meeting spaces in 2017; new programs and events; and new technology.

Eischeid presented the Ralston Fire 2016-2017 statistics and Chief’s report.  A total of 60 members responded to 632 calls which is a 9 percent increase in calls from the previous year.  Eischeid reported on the election of the new officers for 2017-2018.

Benis reported on the arena events.  The Zamora concert brought in about 4,600 people and $35,000 to $36,000.

Krause opened discussion on the new public records request form and the ordinance and minute books.  Russell commented that a form for public records will speed the process and ensure everyone is on the same page for information requested.  Russell displayed the current ordinance and minute book and the new binders that will be used in place of them.

Krause opened discussion on the request for a new operations position at the arena.  Benis indicated that before he began working at the arena, there were four full time operations positions.  Those positions are responsible for maintaining the building and most of the facilities, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, janitorial, and ice-making.  One of the positions was moved to part time when Benis was hired.  Doing so caused the additional hours to be added to the remaining full time staff.  The current full time operations positions work an average of 55 to 65 hours per week during the prime time and find it difficult to take time off because they are needed at the arena.

Benis hopes that with the addition of another full time position, the number of hours for the operations employees will decrease.  Discussion was held on salaries.  Bohling indicated he and Benis reviewed the budget and the current salaries come in under what was budgeted.  Fideline inquired if it is going to be easy to train someone for the position.  Benis indicated there are some part time individuals who would most likely apply for the position.  He added that he would like to hire in-house and fill it quickly.

Forrest would like to advertise and post the position and at a subsequent meeting receive authorization from council to actually fill the position.  Discussion was held on council input, administrative action and the personnel manual.  Klinker commented it is not an action item and suggested advertising the position and approve the employee and the position at the same time.

Benis commented that the positions will be renamed as Operations Manager 1 and Operations Manager 2 where there will be a stepping stone from Operations Manager 1 to Operations Manager 2.

After some discussion, Forrest indicated that it is his understanding that council has authorized to more forward and advertise and post the vacancy as Operations Manager 1 and once there is a recommendation of a person to hire, it would be brought back to council for authorization to hire.  Pries commented on taking action on discussion items and providing people with the opportunity to give input. 

Forrest said this item could be brought back to the next meeting for council approval of the creation of the position and authorization to advertise.  Benis indicated the position is there and commented on a title change.  Forrest has been working on job descriptions for the arena and technically it is a new position. 

After further discussion with regard to action items and discussion items, Forrest indicated this item could be brought back to the next meeting for approval and that not all items under discussion require council approval.

Krause opened discussion on a signage committee.  Forrest indicated he, Freshman, Canfield and Amy Roeder, Chamber Director, met a number of weeks ago to discuss the current sign ordinance.  They are not confident that the current sign ordinance is going to give the City the kind of regulatory tools it needs to ensure that signs that are erected in the community are attractive and fit within the architectural environment, particularly in the downtown area.  Therefore, they would like to form a signage committee to review the current ordinance and make recommendations to council.  Krause indicated that the Mayor could appoint the signage committee and the appointments can be brought before the council for approval. 

Krause opened for consideration Tyler Richards’ Eagle Scout Project in Koch Park.  Richards, 9135 Polk Street, is a member of Eagle Scout Troop 282, and explained his Eagle Scout Project.  The project is a monument display tribute in Koch Park to the men and women who serve the community as first responders.  The tribute will consist of three statues depicting a paramedic, a firefighter, and a police officer surrounded by a brick and concrete plaza, flag pole, benches, and flower and tree landscaping. 
The estimated project budget is approximately $19,500 and fundraising will be required in order to accomplish this project,.  Donations of materials and equipment will also be part of the project.  Richards commented on types of fundraisers to include brick sales, first aid kits and fire extinguishers, “in memory” donors, and community donations.  He plans to start the fundraising this winter and hopes to get the project started in March or mid-April to be complete by summer 2018.  Fideline thanked Richards for the project and said he is behind him all the way.  Konwinski said it is an excellent project.  Krause said the Park and Tree Commission approved the project and forwarded it to council for approval. Richards indicated the statues are made in Minnesota, so it will take some time to get the statues made
Fideline moved and Alberhasky seconded to approve Tyler Richards’ Eagle Scout Project in Koch Park.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause opened consideration of the appointment of Andrew Kanngieser as Police Officer effective November 27, 2017 at an hourly pay rate of $24.92.  Leonardo indicated Officer Kanngieser is coming from the Valley Police Department.  Prior to that, he was at Boy’s Town.  Kanngieser was top of the list of candidates after two panel interviews and a Mayor/Chief interview and he will be a good fit for the City.
Alberhasky moved and Fideline seconded to approve the appointment of Andrew Kanngieser as Police Officer effective November 27, 2017.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause opened consideration of the appointment of Kevin J. Eischeid as Fire Chief.  Konwinski moved and Fideline seconded to approve the appointment of Kevin J. Eischeid as Fire Chief.  Krause informed council members that council approves the yearly appointment of Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Konwinski moved and Fideline seconded to approve the appointment of Ben Burbridge as Assistant Fire Chief.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.
Krause opened consideration of the manager application for Dustin Fanning for American Legion Post 373, 7400 Q Street.  Leonardo indicated there are no issues.  Discussion was held on fingerprints being required.  Sanchez moved and Konwinski seconded to approve the manager application for Dustin Fanning for American Legion Post 373, 7400 Q Street.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

First reading for consideration of Ordinance 1219. Sanchez moved and Konwinski seconded to introduce and approve Ordinance 1219 regarding the payment of certain claims. 

Konwinski indicated it is a good idea to authorize the payment of claims prior to council approval to avoid payment of late fees.  Krause said this was originally going to be a resolution, but State Statute indicates this can be done if it is within the approved budget and an ordinance needs to be done.  Klinker indicated it is the practice to have public hearings for ordinances and that a public hearing could be held for the second reading.


Krause indicated this ordinance will authorize the City to pay certain claims prior to council approval to avoid late fees and interest; to take advantage of discounts; to meet previously approved contractual obligations; to settle arena events; to purchase alcohol for arena events; to pay employee benefits such as insurance.

All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause opened consideration to authorize the City Administrator to negotiate and enter into an agreement for IT Services with Integrated Solutions for city offices and REDiTECH for the Ralston Arena.  Konwinski moved and Alberhasky seconded to authorize the City Administrator to negotiate and enter into an agreement for IT Services with Integrated Solutions for city offices and REDiTECH for the Ralston Arena.

Konwinski inquired if there is already a contract with Integrated Solutions and Canfield indicated there is no official contract but he Library is using the method of agreement with them where they would pay for a set of prepaid hours.

Forrest commented that currently Integrated Solutions serves the Library and Infinet serves the other city offices and the Ralston Arena.  There will be no additional work created.  Forrest is proposing to give Integrated Solutions the city offices and REDiTECH the arena.  The same offices and operations are getting IT services. Infinet would no longer be a vendor for the City.  Konwinski inquired if the same amount of money that has been budgeted will be used and Forrest indicated he is not anticipating spending any more than has been budgeted.  Forrest commented that it was time to make a change.

Alberhasky inquired about having two companies and why one company cannot do everything.  Forrest indicated REDiTECH has experience in the arena environment and Integrated Solutions does not.  Based on conversations with Benis and his video production employees, it was felt that the arena would be better served by REDiTECH.   On the other hand, the Library is already working with Integrated Solutions and Forrest knows they can competently do the work for the city offices but he is not so sure they can handle every eventuality at the arena.  Staff felt more comfortable with Integrated Solutions primarily based on the good service they are already providing to the Library.

All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause opened consideration of CompChoice for Occupational Health Services.  Alberhasky moved and Fideline seconded to approve the engagement of CompChoice for Occupational Health Services.  There was no discussion.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause opened consideration of the fixed fee schedule for professional services with BKD CPAs and Advisors, 1248 O Street, Omaha, in connection with financial statement audit services and Keno agreed-upon procedures.  Sanchez moved and Preis seconded to approve the fixed fee schedule for professional services with BKD CPAs and Advisors. 

Bohling met with BKD and asked them to provide a fixed firm price for the audit this year.  The fixed fees provided by BKD resulted in a potential savings of $37,500 for next year.  BKD assisted with the budget process this year and Bohling doesn’t plan on using them next year except with assistance with the submittal to the State. Bohling recommended accepting the fixed prices for the services for the 2017-18 year.

All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Public Comment:  Freshman commented on the Holiday Magic event on Sunday.  Festivities start around 1:00 PM.  All the children’s activities will be at the Library and Santa arrives at 4:00 PM. 

Council Comment:  Council members offered their best wishes to Mayor Groesser.  Krause reminded council members of the election for council president at the first meeting in December.

For the protection of public interest, Alberhasky moved that the Council go into closed session at 6:29 PM for discussion of strategy regarding contract negotiations.  Seconded by Fideline.  All voted yes.  Motion carried.

Krause stated it has been moved, seconded and passed that the Council go into closed session for the purpose of discussion of strategy regarding contract negotiations.  The closed session is necessary for the protection of the public interest. 

Krause stated the Council is reconvened in open session at 6:54 PM.  He confirmed that no subject matter other than contract negotiations was discussed.  No formal vote, informal vote, straw vote or poll was taken during closed session.

There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 6:55 PM.

Next regular meeting Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 5:30 PM.

Rosemarie D. Russell                                      Gerald Krause
City Clerk                                                       Council President

CLAIMS  - 11/21/2017 - AA Wheel and Truck Supply, Inc., 133.52, Equip. & Parts; AAA Rents, 247.95, Rental; AB Refrigeration, 206.00, Labor & Materials; Action Batteries, Inc., 23.52, Batteries; Agrivision Equipment Group, 1,923.41, Parts; Amazing Arthur Entertainment, 400.00, Holiday Magic; American Classifieds of Omaha, 1,200.00, Advertising; American Legion Post #373, 600.00, Basement Rent; Ameripride Services, Inc., 88.04, Bldg. Maint.; Autographix Inc., 159.43, Window Tint; Axon Enterprise, Inc., 1,461.53, Equip.; Black Hills Energy, 405.78, Gas Svcs;  BMI General Licensing, 1,054.67, Licensing Fees; BMI Janitorial Group, 11,035.00, Janitorial; Board of Examiners for County, 20.00, Licenses; Bowen, Alex, 2,500.00, Performance Agmt.; Brownells, Inc., 165.62, Equip.; Carbonhouse, Inc., 500.00, Monthly Website Hosting; Carpenter Paper Co., 2,981.01, Janitorial Supplies; Caselle, Inc., 1,151.00, Support; Century Certified Services, 68.00, Pest Control/Mgmt.; Chief School Bus Service, Inc., 7,355.18, Bus Service; City of LaVista, 627.33, Special Services Bus; City Treasurer, 240.00, Schools/Conf; Coffee Carts and More, 432.96, Food/Equip; Command Center, Inc., 1,102.08, Contract Labor; Concert Security Service, 132.00, Security; Consolidated Management, 8.74, Training; Cornhusker International Trucks, 184.13, Parts; Coverall North American, Inc., 775.00, Cleaning; Cox Business Services, 3,002.55, Svcs; Daktronics, Inc., 4,550.00, Svcs; Demco, 130.37, Office Supplies, DH Pace Company, 2,624.00, Supplies; Diamond Laundry Service, Inc., 74.85, Laundry Svc; Digital Advertising Media, 4,600.00, Advertising; Donut Express, 749.07, Sales Commission; Eakes Office Solutions, 361.60, Office Supplies; EBSCO Information Service, 4,130.59, Subscriptions; Engineered Controls, 1,400.00, Repairs/Maint.; Enviro Master Services, 48.00, Janitorial; Experian, 80.60, Svcs; Factory Motor Parts Co., 350.62, Parts; Fink, Orenda, 350.00, Svcs; Fireguard, Inc., 990.00, Fire Alarm Monitoring; Fleek, Brianna, 100.00, Cleaning Svc; Gale/Cengage Learning, 207.99, Books; Global Financial Group, 116.11, Armored Car Service; Glock, Inc., 32.00, Equip; Grainger, 217.80, Supplies; Helget Gas Products, 392.91, Supplies; Heritage Nursery, Inc., 399.99, Trees; Hometown Leasing, 280.47, Svcs; Infinet Solutions, Inc., 1,376.99, Computer Support; Ingram Library Services, Inc., 2,940.06, Books; Interstate All Battery Center, 139.80, Supplies; KCL Group Benefits, 1,124.96, Life Insurance; Klinker, Mark, 975.00, Legal Fees; Kriha Fluid Power, 31.23, Part; LaRue Coffee, 207.84, Coffee; Lead Forensics, Inc., 1,440.00 Advertising; Liparoto, Mercedes, 150.00, Sales Commission; M & M Staffing, 3,843.75, Contract Labor; Marking Refrigeration, Inc., 640.13, Repair; Medical Enterprises, Inc., 110.00, Medical Screening; Menards – Ralston, 147.38, Supplies; Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, 11.99, City Administrator’s Lunch; Metropolitan Utilities District, 1,184.54, Utilities; Mid-American Benefits, Inc., 70.50, Cobra Administration; Money Handling Machines, Inc., 205.00, Service Agreement; MUD-Utilities, 177.79, Utilities; Muzzy Ice Service, 130.00, Ice; Nebraska Economic Developers Association, 500.00, Support of NEDA Research; Nebraska Iowa Supply Co., Inc., 2,592.08, Fuel; Nebraska Secretary of State, 30.00. Notary App-Jeremy Leifel; Nebraska-Iowa Industrial Fasteners Corp, 21.45, Supplies; NMC Exchange, LLC, 671.52, Transportation/Rental; OCLC, Inc., 339.29, Subscription; Omaha Compound Company, 818.62, Supplies/Maint.; Omaha Douglas Publ Bldg, 13.00, Parking; Omaha World Herald, 430.91. Legals; O’Malley, Margaret, 418.00, Janitorial Svcs; One Call Concepts, Inc., 47.19, Locate Fee; Oriental Trading Co., Inc., 80.92, Supplies; OS Sales Co., Inc., 1,422.19, Food; Pepsi-Cola, 7,461.38, Soda; Port-A-Johns, Inc., 122.50, Rentals; Premier-Midwest Beverage Co., 60.00, Rental; Protective Security Advisors, 400.00, Security; Quill Corporation, 248.83, Office Supplies; Ralston Arena Operating, 51,816.72, Craft Fair Settlement; Ralston Automotive, 87.76, Supplies/Svcs; Ralston Insurance Agency, 148,985.50, Property/Casualty/Workers Comp; Rapid Graphics and Signs, 253.74, Signs; Recorded Books, 579.63, Audio Books; Rose Equipment, Inc., 6,000.00, Rental; Rotella’s Italian Bakery, Inc., 197.46, Food; Salem, Zack, 750.00, Sales Commission; Sams Club, 48.15, Membership; Sarpy Serenaders, 60.00, Svcs; Shell, 219.88, Fuel; Spin Linen Management, 691.99, Linens; Staples Advantage, 158.85, Office Supplies; Supplyworks; 3,741.00, Building Supplies; The Reader, 387.00, Advertising; The Retoner, 45.95, Toner; Theatrical Media Services, Inc., 100.00, Rental Agreement; Trans Union Risk & Alternative, 25.00, Svcs; U.S. Foods, Inc., 14,540.01, Food/Lease; Union Medical Services, Inc., 562.50, Medical Squad; Unique Books, Inc., 80.55, Books; United Distributors, Inc., 134.85, Rental Fee; Waldinger Corp, 4,567.69, Svcs/Repair; Water Engineering, Inc., 175.00, Service Agreement; Westlake Ace Hardware, 140.74, Supplies; Woodhaven Counseling Associates, 340.00, Testing.


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.