By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

Public Hearings quiet for Pine Bluffs council

 

Charlene Smith

David and Kara Acton took two of the many open seats at the Pine Bluffs town council meeting Monday evening. The Actons were present for the public hearing on their bid to transfer the liquor license from Pal’s Pub to their names. The Actons purchased Pal’s Pub in May, and began working at the bar last week. The hearing ended almost as soon as it began, and the council approved the transfer of the liquor license.

During the public hearing regarding the budget, not one voice from the gallery was heard, and mayor Bill Shain closed the hearing. After some review of the budget, the council approved it on third and final reading.

Jim and Norman Sanders talked to the council about the historic 100th celebration of the first transcontinental highway, Highway 30.

“There will be over 100 cars traveling and we would like to offer a pit stop in Pine Bluffs June 30,” Sanders said. “We would like a police escort for the cars.” Shain said Sanders should speak to police chief Robin Clark, but thought it was a wonderful way to promote Pine Bluffs. Linda showed the council the signs that would be placed along the highway as the rally came in to town.


The council received three building permits, and approved two of them. Shain asked town administrator Caryn Miller to contact the third petitioner and request more detailed information about the fence requested in the permit to place around the property off of Highway 30.

The council reviewed the information from Lidstone and Associates on the sewer rates.

“We would like to be more in line with other communities our size for rates,” explained Shain. “But we want to ease this change as much as possible for our residents.”

The council approved the option of increasing the sewer rates over three years. The first increase will be from $2.65 to $6.00 January 1, 2014, from $6 to $9 January 1, 2015, and finally up to $12 January 1, 2016.

Mark Anderson of Burns Insurance reviewed the renewal policy for the town’s insurance on their assets with the council.

“Your premiums have gone up,” sighed Anderson. “I asked many different companies and they all denied you.” Anderson explained the town had received $340,000 in claim money in one year and only paid about $17,000 in premium money. Anderson explained it was due to the hail storm, but this past year there had been significantly less claims.

Shain said he felt the council and staff needed to do more “homework” before insurance needed renewed.

“Maybe we should all go through the list of properties and vehicles a month before we need to renew to make sure everything is listed,” Shain said. “And there might be some buildings on the list that don’t need to be there.

The council took no time in moving through an agenda full of invoice approvals. They approved invoices from Lidstone and Associates for the water distribution project, from Reimer Corporation for the City Park project, from MSI for the water distribution project, and a pay request to Rusch’s General Contracting for the hanger and apron projects at the airport.


During department reports, councilman Tom Mohren said he attended the fire board meeting.

“They spend $10,000 on fireworks this year,” Mohren said. Shain said he thought there had been a misunderstanding with new people on the board.

“The town took over the fireworks when the fire department couldn’t raise the money,” Shain explained. “They still take care of them but we put $6,000 in an account to help pay for them, because we felt it was a good event for the town.”

Shain asked Mohren to talk to the board and explain to them the funding process and the hope of it reaching a “self-funded” level again.

“With $10,000 in fireworks, it should be quite a show this year,” smiled Shain.

The council adjourned to executive session to discuss legal matters and real estate. The next meeting will be Monday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Charlene Smith

 

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