By: Charlie Radatz
‘An Aquatic Park Waterfall Feature’ that recalls Falls City’s beginnings as Nemaha Falls will be constructed this spring and is expected to be completed in time for the City’s Hot Air Balloon event this summer. The feature will identify Falls City on the side facing U.S. Highway 73 and is a $68,000 project ramrodded by Second Ward City Councilman Lucas Froeschl. It is being funded in part by $7,500 Nemaha Natural Resources Grant, but the majority of the funding is coming from donations. However, during its Mon., Feb. 3, meeting the City Council authorized the installation of electrical and water lines by utility crews and approved a contingency fund request for $3,401.95 to cover any unexpected expenses.
Following a public hearing during which no comment was received, the Council approved a One and Six Year Street construction and improvement plan as outlined by consultant Anthony Fitzgerald of Olsson & Associates of Lincoln.
Projects proposed in the one year program, if all were undertaken, would cost an estimated $931,000.00 with the City’s portion being a total of $523,000.00 the same amount as the City received last year in state revenue sharing for street improvements. Included in that program is the construction of 33rd Street to be funded by Community Medical Center to run from the Hospital entrance to U.S. Highway 73. Also included are four street projects in the new Champion’s Crossing residential subdivision, extension of Abbott Street from 28th to 31st Street, a section of Shamrock Circle from Abbott to a cul de sac, a section of Tiger Trail from Abbott to a cul de sac, and a section of 33rd Street east of Highway 73.
Included in the six-year program is extension of paving of 21 Street from Fair Ave to the City Limits and north on 3301 Business Parkway north to Brenner Field Airport, a project that has languished on the City’s street improvement program and the County’s six-year roads program for decades because of the anticipated cost of the road and necessary right-of-way. The project is estimated to cost $1,295,000, with the city share being $518,000 and the County share $777,000. The present gravel roadway has a fairly narrow bridge and somewhat blind intersection with stop signs at the bottom of the hill north of 21st Street, the road produces quite a lot of dust in dry weather, and wet weather caused the roadway to become quite slippery near the entrance to the airport during last year’s Hot Air Balloon event. Paving of the road was not included in the six-year program adopted by the County in 2019.
The six-year and beyond program identified by Olsson & Associates includes approximately 1,300 feet of concrete north of Highway 159 to Burton Street that would provide additional access to that residential neighborhood, a nursing home located there, and a link between Highway 159, 21st Street, and the Airport Road. Also included in the six-year and beyond program is paving of 14th street from the existing pavement approximately 270 feet west to the city limits.
The Council gave first-round approval to an ordinance authorizing the issuance of a $375,000 Utility Revenue Bond to be paid down from sewer, water, gas, and electric revenues. The Ordinance requires approval at three consecutive Council meetings.
Also during the Feb. 3rd meeting, the Council renewed ten liquor license automatic renewals for A & G Pizza and Steakhouse, American Legion Club, Fiesta Bravo, Casey’s General Store, Corner Liquor, the Elks Club, Roland Lanes, Northvue Cafe, Spirit Shop, and Kwik Shop Store 648. No written protests were filed in the office of the City Clerk regarding any of the business as of Jan. 31, 2020.