City to undertake major street repairs

City Clerk/Treasurer Gary Jorn will seek bids on two major street repair projects, after receiving authorization from the City Council during the Monday, March 18, meeting.

Jorn said the “trouble spots” on 18th Street between Harlan and Lane and 16th Street between Chase and Crook are beyond the scope of city workers.  The projects, estimated to cost in the $75,000 to $100,000 range (for both), will require milling and asphalt overlays, Jorn explained.

Mayor Tim Hersh endorsed the idea, noting that the streets are definitely in need of repairs.  Council members unanimously voted to authorize receiving bids.

After a public hearing that elicited no comment, the council formally approved a resolution that allows the Main Street Falls City committee to apply for CDBG funds that would be used for further planning in the Downtown Revitalization effort.  CDBG funding of $30,000 will be sought and the City would provide matching funds of $9,500.

During a public hearing, Katrina Miller appeared before the council to explain what she has in mind for the former Southside Inn building at 623 Harlan.  Her plan is to open a business, “Just One More Bar & Grill,” an establishment that will serve alcoholic beverages and eventually include a kitchen operation, with some interior and exterior improvements. Miller said she hopes to employ as many as six people within six months.

Her goal is to bring new business to an area of Falls City that is growing with the construction of the CBG facility.

After the hearing, the council voted 7-1 to endorse Miller’s application for a Class I liquor license.  Councilperson Judy Murphy explained that her “no” vote was not a reflection on Miller.

In other developments, the council:

—Heard a presentation from Benefit Management’s Dan Duren about City health insurance costs to this point in the fiscal year.  Duren said both employees and their employer (the City) have benefited under the Benefit Management plan.  He said thus far, the savings have been about $36,000.  Duren said the company believes a “win-win” atmosphere has been created for employees and the City.  He said the company is helping the City prepare as health care reform continues to be implemented.

—Approved a request from the Employee Advisory Committee to help fund the annual Employee Appreciation dinner that will be held April 13.  Spokesperson Sandra Ferris said the dinner is for employees, council members and spouses.  Awards will also be presented.  The approximate cost will be $1,100.

—Heard Mayor Hersh express his congratulations to the boys’ and girls’ teams from Falls City Sacred Heart, as each finished their seasons with third place performances at State.    

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