Downtown business owners to maintain bumpouts

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Care and maintenance of the downtown bump-outs along Central Avenue will switch from the City of Nebraska City to a group of downtown business owners.

The Nebraska City City Council approved a plan for business owners to assume responsibility for the cleanup, cleanout and routine plant care during the council’s May 17 regular meeting.

Kelly Bequette, owner of The Keeping Room, and Doug Grimm of Grimm’s Gardens, which would maintain the bumpouts, brought a request to the council to change the caretaking responsibilities from the city to some business owners.

Grimm said he thought a combination of annuals and perennials would be planted in the bumpouts going forward.

Council members also approved a variety of requests relating to upcoming community events, including:

The Community Picnic, sponsored by Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce, on June 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (rain date of June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.) at north Wildwood Park;

The first Treestock day-long concert on the Central Avenue side of Steinhart Park, sponsored by NCTC

The Jaycees Independence Day Celebration at Steinhart Park on July 3 (rain date of July 4), along with the annual Road Block fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 12 at 10th Street and Central Avenue (rain date of the fundraiser will be June 19);

An afternoon and evening concert sponsored by the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building parking lot, on the corner of 8th Street and 1st Corso; and

The annual AppleJack Car Show, sponsored by the River City Classic Car Club on Sept. 19.

During the meeting, the council also approved a $15,000 contract with the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund for planning related to the Nebraska City Veterans Memorial Building Project kitchen and stage areas.

Council members also approved a policy change to clarify that Nebraska City Rescue is a tax-supported service of the city.

When the Rescue Department was consolidated with the Nebraska City Fire Department in 2008, the expectation was that the Rescue Department would be self-sufficient.

However, subsequent changes in insurance reimbursement and state and federal agencies have created a situation in which the city has had to subsidize Nebraska City Rescue until the reimbursements were collected, according to a memo from Nebraska City City Administrator Lou Leone.

Leone noted that delays and non-payments in the past two years have created a situation in which city subsidies have increased.

The policy change will still have Nebraska City Rescue working to cover costs with revenue when possible.

The next regular Nebraska City City Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, June 7, at the Rowe Memorial Public Safety Complex, 1518 Central Ave.