Freedom without sacrifice is not possible. And, with that in mind, Jim Meier, director of the Nebraska Chapter of Honor and Remember approached members of the Nebraska City City Council at the governing body’s regular meeting in the Bill Davis Room of City Hall on Monday night to obtain approval for a 2018 event to honor America’s fallen military heroes.
A run across America event is scheduled to begin in southern California in April and will be in Nebraska in June. The run will approach Nebraska City on June 6 and Meier was seeking approval and advice from the city on how to proceed.
Meier said his organization would like the run to come into Nebraska City and would also like to have a ceremony honoring veterans at a location that the city council would deem to be appropriate.
Event organizers would like to have an event which involves the entire Nebraska City community so that it would be special and memorable for all.
“I would ask you to own the day and seize the opportunity,” Meier said.
Those who could be asked would include any organization associated with veterans as well as scouts and other organizations who would like to be there.
Mayor Bryan Bequette said the next step would be to get contact with the appropriate people to coordinate and communicate aspects of the plan. Representatives from Honor and Remember will return to the council on more than one occasion in advance of the event in 2018 to get all of the details hammered out. And, as part of its motion and approval of the request, the Nebraska City City Council began to make plans for a committee of POCs or points of contact.
The importance of the event can not be overstated. Meier said these events honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and give comfort to family members who fear that their loved one’s sacrifice might be forgotten.
“That’s the biggest fear that any of these families have is that their loved one, who gave their life for their country, will be forgotten,” said Meier.

Clemmy Holmes Field
Tom Bales, the president of the Nebraska City Baseball Association, and Parks Commissioner Patrick Wehling provided the council with a project update and requested to take up a new project at Clemmy Holmes Field.
After the conclusion of the summer baseball season, the Nebraska City Baseball Association began a project to re-work the infield. The $60K-plus undertaking, which was facilitated thanks to funding from the Paul, John, Anton & Doris Wirth Foundation Inc., leveled the infield, placed new sod and installed an irrigation system that would both water the grass area and also the dirt area.
Wehling explained that the irrigation would keep the surface soft and playable while also making sure that the field dressing placed annually by the city, does not dry up and blow away.
All of the work on the infield is completed. Wehling said the final event will take place soon when the city receives turf blankets, a seasonal item that will be placed on the infield to protect it during the winter months.
On the new project side, the Nebraska City Baseball Association asked for permission and assistance with plans to demolish and replace the press box at Clemmy Holmes. Coach Bales explained that the current press box was deteriorating and that it was under sized for the use that the baseball program had in mind.
A new press box, to be paid for entirely by the baseball association, would allow for a larger space for media and scorekeepers, would give umpires a place to dress for games and would also allow for storage space to store items like the turf blankets.
The city will not be required to supply funds for either demolition or construction and would be asked only for help by way of instructing the parks department to ensure access to the project site by moving bleachers and doing other work to facilitate the project.
Wehling said, since such projects can’t be budgeted for by the city, the council was appreciative of the baseball association’s donation.

Mural addition
Kent Schwartz was on hand for the Monday city council meeting to ask for permission to add to the murals at Memorial Way and also to get approval for a grant application through the Paul, John, Anton & Doris Wirth Foundation Inc. to fund the work.
When he began on the mural project on the east wall of Memorial Way, Schwartz said he saw it as a two-phase project. The second phase will add more detail and provide more history, making the mural an “outdoor museum.”
Schwartz said he planned to begin work for the project at his home studio during the winter months.
The council approved the request by Schwartz to add to the murals and also approved a grant application in the amount of $28,610.

Golf Course
Ashli Leyden, manager of Wildwood Golf Course, and Scooter Edmisten, parks department director, spoke to the city council about the plans for the next season.
Leyden, who just recently took the position of manager, received credit for working hard to organize events and be creative in an effort to recapture the play of citizens who might not have been taking advantage of the golf course in recent years.
A proposed event was to have firemen and policemen square off in a golf tournament. Other event ideas are in the works as well. As far as rates go, Leyden explained that there are plans to offer different options for length of memberships and payment options, such as automatic withdrawal. Leyden said some discounts are also being utilized, such as a discount for educators.

In other business, the city council spoke with a representative from their health insurance company about the city’s strategy to utilize a wellness program to stabilize premiums and keep insurance costs down for the employees, approved the third and final reading for the voluntary annexation of the CHI Health St. Mary’s location, discussed the need for a formal city bid policy, approved a mayoral re-appointment of Joann Martens to the NC Growth Fund Committee, approved the use of donated funds for the purchase of a Bauer SCBA Compressor and eight ISO 6,000 pound bottles for $45,930.04; and approved the re-appointment of JEO Consulting Group as a partner for the city.