Council moves contracts forward


At its April 16 meeting, the Seward City Council:

• approved a construction contract with BIC Construction in the amount of $2,498,000 for Phase I of the Civic Center renovation project, to be paid from the Langworthy Trust. Parts of the project may be reconsidered to bring the cost down to the $2.2 million budget.

• authorized administrative discretion for adding processing fees for credit card transactions when patrons pay for city services. The city is processing more cards than it used to, but card fees charged by credit companies are increasing, and the city is losing money on those fees. Administration will have the authority to decide when and where those fees will be implemented.

• heard an update on the Seward Wellness Center from Executive Director Joel Brase. The west end of the parking lot has been poured, and the east end should be poured this week. The project has expended about 20% of its budget so far.

• authorized the mayor to sign documents related to a $562,000 grant from the Nebraska Civic and Community Center Financing Fund for the wellness center. Brase said the city will receive half of the grant now and the rest once it has spent $562,000, which will not take long.

• established a $40 fee for special designated liquor licenses on a per-license basis. The city has already been charging this fee, but a formal policy was never in place to add it to the fee schedule.

• held a public hearing on and passed an ordinance to vacate the right of way for a road between Columbia Avenue and Plum Creek Lane. City Building/Zoning and Code Enforcement Director Tim Dworak said the road was platted years ago, but was never actually made into a road or named. The road is used by a resident as a private driveway and maintained as such. The city will maintain an easement to access sewer lines underneath the road.

• held a public hearing on and passed an ordinance to rezone a property near South Second Street and Izaak Walton Road from Agricultural Use to Rural Residential.

• amended a professional services agreement with The Schemmer Associates for the Worthman Boulevard Extension Project in the Seward Rail Campus. The $79,665.15 amendment will allow the road to be extended all the way to the western edge of the campus instead of just part way across. City Engineer Mike Oneby said companies have expressed high interest in locating their businesses in the rail campus, and it is most cost efficient to complete the entire road at one time.

• approved a supplemental agreement in the amount of $33,700 with Short Elliott Hendrickson for work on the East Seward Street improvement project for additional site inspection and documentation of underground utilities.