Two New Auburn City Councilmen Were Among Those Present for Nov. 20 Meeting
Auburn City Council met in regular session Tuesday, Nov. 20 and addressed several important matters.
Employee Service Anniversary Awards were presented to Eric Adams and Ed Cowan for their 20 years of service to the city. Adams has been with the Auburn police force for over twenty years and Cowan has provided his services to the street department for the same period of time.
Favorable Audit Report
The council heard from George Nelson of Massman Nelson Reinig PC. Mr. Nelsson review the independent auditor’s report that his firm conducted on the City of Auburn for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012.
Nelson commended the city’s staff for the job they did during the previous year, stating that the staff and board members were very active and it served them well. A cash basis audit was performed and Mr. Nelson said the city was in good shape fiscally.
Airport Authority Discussions
Item Number 11 on the city’s agenda concerned a letter the city received from Lincoln attorney William Blake in regards to Dottie Holiday’s concerns with Auburn Airport Authority. Dottie Holiday addressed the council and discussed issues she has with the Airport Authority. After a brief review of her ongoing concerns with how the Authority conducts business, attorney for the authority Albert Fuller spoke to the council about procedures and bylaws guiding the airport. He informed the council that amendments to the governing bylaws of the authority needed to be made to make it a more sensible working group.
Much discussion was held about the authority and how to address the concerns. City attorney Angelo Ligouri suggested that the authority’s attorney meet with him and work on a solution to solve the issues that Mrs. Holiday has brought to the council’s attention.
The council then passed motion to have its attorney draw up a resolution for the next regular meeting to petition the Nemaha County District Court to have members of the Auburn Airport Authority removed pursuant to Nebraska Statute in the event a solution to the concerns raised by Dottie Holiday weren’t resolved.
Weldon Slater addressed the council about concerns he and several other patrons had about a property located at 1213 9th street. Mayor Scott Kudrna informed Mr. Slater that the Board of Health has identified the property as nuisance and the structure is scheduled to be burned in the near future.
The council approved a resolution identifying a premises located at 715 11th Street as a nuisance and ordered the structure to be removed and abated. Council members passed resolution 20-12 to proceed with the process of removing the house.
The council okayed a recommendation from the Keep Auburn Beautiful committee for an in-fill project. The project would hopefully spur improvements and new structures on vacant lots within the city. The project would provide grants or free lots for those interested in constructing new homes. A notice will be placed in the community paper requesting proposals from interested parties.
The council approved the following items concerning CDBG funding activities:
~ A drawdown on No. 9 of CDBG #10-DTR-105 and related claim, and
~ An MOU for Amber Kinnaman transferring Project #14 grant from Dan Lunzmann to Kinnaman
A resolution to continue funding the Auburn Chamber through an annual payment of $2,000 was approved.
An agreement which renews a maintenance agreement between the Nebraska Department of Roads and the City of Auburn was approved. The annual agreement involves snow removal on Highways 136 and 75.
Holidays for 2013 — 10 in all were approved.
Law Enforcement Discussed
Discussion was had on law enforcements options. The council currently is considering options of either replacing the former city police chief who resigned or switching to county wide coverage with the Nemaha County Sheriff’s Department. Auburn Chief of Police Kris Baker has resigned and is presently moving his family back to the West Coast. The Mayor began the discussion by assuring patrons that Auburn will continue to have 24-7 police coverage.
Councilman Frank Critser began the discussion by stating that the county board would be discussing this subject at their next Board of Commissioners meeting and that he would be attending.
Councilman Shawn Clark suggested that the city hire from within.
Tom Clark, councilman elect, suggested that the council hire someone that is already trained and pay a little more.
Rick Janssen, another councilman elect, asked if Auburn were to go with the county what would we [Auburn] as a community be gaining or losing and he inquired as to the possible time-line involved with making a change.
The Council will meet again on Monday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. to further discuss and possibly take action on the law enforcement issue.
Reports given by department heads, including that over 456 kids visited the fire hall this past month and annual soup supper was held.
In his Economic Development report the Mayor said the Armstrong Building had a possible buyer. He didn’t have a whole lot of information to share with the council and patrons.
The council adjourned to enter closed session and discuss police department personnel as requested by the city attorney.
Councilman Larry Holtzman wasn’t present for the meeting.