A vacancy now exists for a Ward 1 representative on the Milford City Council.

Council member Kelly Heser resigned at the council’s Oct. 1 meeting.

She was elected to the council during the November 2018 general election.

“You get to a point in your life that you have to realize you just can’t juggle all the things life throws at you,” Heser said. “I came in with full dedication, and my time is very limited and my priorities have changed quite drastically.”

Heser said she will be out of the state for an extended period of time starting Jan. 1.

“I don’t think that’s justified as a council member to be away that long,” she said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the people of the community, and the fire department especially.”

Applications are being accepted for the position, and Mayor Patrick Kelley will recommend a candidate, who must be approved by a vote of the council.

Applicants must reside in Ward 1, and the appointed person will serve as the liaison to the recreation board, fire department and auditing committee at least until the board reorganizes assignments in January.

Applications are due to City Hall by Monday, Oct. 21. The mayor is expected to present a name at the council’s Nov. 5 meeting.

Also at the meeting...

At its Oct. 1 meeting, the Milford City Council discussed financial and construction matters, among others.

Fire Department

The council heard from council member Kelly Heser that two firefighters from Hebron spoke to Milford Fire and Rescue members in September about fundraising ideas and Hebron’s method of charging a fee for calls.

Heser said the presentation was meant to give the department information and educate members on the idea so that the department could decide if it wanted to charge for calls or not.

Milford Mayor Patrick Kelley brought up the idea of charging for rescue calls at the council’s July budget workshop as a way to pay for hiring a city administrator.

The idea was met with opposition from a dozen fire and rescue personnel in attendance at the July meeting, and Kelley said he would no longer pursue the idea.

Cyber insurance

The council approved purchasing additional cyber insurance  for the city through INSPRO at a cost of $2,421 per year.

City Clerk Jeanne Hoggins said the city’s insurance plan included minimal coverage for cyber incidents that compromise data, such as ransomware attacks.

Ransomware is a method through which hackers can access data, documents and information on a user’s computer system and hold it for ransom until the user pays a large amount of money to get it back. Sometimes the information is returned, and sometimes it’s not.

“It’s the way of the world right now, and (the insurance) is something we should consider putting in place,” Hoggins said.

She said she spoke with clerks in other cities of similar size, and many of them already have coverage or are putting it in place.

Project bids and payments

The council:

• awarded a bid for senior center meals to Sunrise Country Manor.

• approved two pay requests from Tru-Built Construction for the new municipal building, one for $57,766.20 and the other for $21,300.10.

• awarded a bid to Van Kirk Bros. Contracting for a Fifth Street Water Main Improvement Project in the amount of $179,992, which was $8 less than the estimated cost.

The project is expected to begin sometime in November and is to be completed by May 1, 2020.

Other items

The council:

• adopted a resolution allowing the mayor to sign the Municipal Annual Certification of Program Compliance to the Nebraska Board of Public Roads Classifications and Standards for 2019.

• heard from council member Tony DeLong that the city is looking into purchasing two electronic speed signs to place on D Street to help control speed going down the hill.

Two signs plus mounting would cost $5,359. The board took no action, as the item was not on the agenda.

• held a public hearing and approved a request from Lanny and Bonnie Stauffer for a zoning change for property along 252nd Road from Residential-2 to Residential-Suburban. The Stauffers are building a house on the property, but also raise crops on the land.

• hired Bruce Stutzman as director of the adult co-ed volleyball league.

• renewed an interlocal agreement with Seward County for prosecution services.

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