Council discusses ARPA funds for transmission line and new positions

During the December 20, 2021, City Council meeting, Stonebrook Exterior of Lincoln requested to block a portion of West 17th Street for the reroofing of F&M Bank.
The roof construction was anticipated to begin on December 15th and end on January 15, 2022. The end date is tentative and dependent on roof completion; road access could resume sooner. The motion was approved.
The Council agreed to move meetings to accommodate holidays and office closures. The motion was approved to move meeting dates for the following holidays: February 21 (President’s Day), July 4 (Independence Day) and September 5 (Labor Day). The Council will meet the Wednesday after the meeting had been planned.
City Administrator Kevin Cluskey asked the Council to consider creating the position of a Code Enforcement/Animal Control Officer.
Cluskey said in the short amount of time he’s been in his position, he’s noticed an oversight for buildings the City owns and manages. He also suggested someone oversee codes as far as street maintenance, from limbs to housing.
“So having a dedicated person to kind of oversee some of that, because there have been times where certain codes have kind of gone unnoticed because we don’t have the dedicated person looking specifically for that, said Cluskey.” I think for the work that the citizens of Falls City put into that [building permits and applications] they need somebody just as dedicated to putting the work in.” Cluskey said the City needed someone more versed in the codes who would later become trained to be a Building Inspector and right now, most of the work has been done by the Police Department and they’ve been understaffed.
The Council clarified that this would be two positions, a Code Enforcement Officer and an Animal Control Officer. A motion was approved to look into creating this position and looking into more logistics of the position.
Lucas Froeschl of EDGE updated the Council on the 33rd Street Project and funding. Froeschl said the one and six-year street plan was approved for Olsen.
The 33rd Street Project will run between Bill Schock Boulevard and Highway 73.
The Council approved the project that comes with an $865,000 price tag, with Community Medical Center pledging $250,000 to that amount.
The Council approved a proposal from EDGE Director Lucas Froeschl to submit a State ARPA Funds Request for Power Transmission Line to Falls City.
Froeschl said there are millions of dollars coming through for ARPA funding; he wanted to send a request to the Appropriations Committee during the next legislative session, which starts January 5, for a power transmission line to Falls City.
“We’re limited on power. You know, the Falls City forefathers had incredible foresight for giving us the power plant that we have,” said Froeschl. “I’m not asking for the City of Falls City to pony up any money. I’m just asking for your permission for Senator [Julie] Slama’s aide to draft a bill to see if we can seek some ARPA funding. Governor Ricketts was clear he wanted the Legislators and Senators to pick projects that were one time only. And the fact that we have both railroads at our southern border is a huge asset. But it’s not an asset because we don’t have the power to supply all the projects that we’ve applied for a recent project that I’ve submitted a bid for calls for 50 megawatts of power. We use anywhere from 50 to 70 megawatts and we’ve got maybe two to three to spare.”
Froeschl said he would really like to sell the state on Falls City and the asset, the return on the investment that we can create for them. “That’s what this is all about.”
The motion was approved to form an infrastructure committee that’s the first step to get the one-half percent sales tax proposal on the ballot for the May election.