By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
At the request of Chase County Schools and Capitol Mobile Home Court management, the city council approved new handicapped parking, a crosswalk, speed limits and a stop sign to be added in areas south and west of the school.
The action Monday also came after recommendation from the Planning Commission.
Chase County Schools requested an additional handicapped parking space on East 9th Street, west of the circle drive and the crosswalk, for unloading special needs students.
According to Planning Commission Chairman Nick Schultz, the school requested the space so those students would not have to cross any traffic in the circle drive.
Currently, there are handicapped spaces in the visitor’s parking area, but when being transported, the students would cross possible traffic in the circle drive. The vans dropping off those students can also load and unload in the circle drive, but could impede traffic when other busses and vehicles are there, according to the discussion.
The new handicapped space will be directly west of the crosswalk, and allow loading and unloading directly near the sidewalk that leads to the kindergarten classroom entrance.
In related action, the council also responded to concerns of the managers of Capitol Mobile Home Court located just west of the school.
Concerns with occasional speeding vehicles in the court and the number of students arriving and leaving school through the court prompted the request.
The Planning Commission agreed with their concerns.
Speed in the court will be lowed to 15 mph on East 10th, East 11th and Shorthorn St.
A stop sign will also be added at 11th and Shorthorn, and a crosswalk painted at East 10th and Shorthorn.
There was also discussion about adding a stop sign at East 10th and Shorthorn, but that did not materialize.
Police Sgt. Ryan Wisnieski was at the meeting and was asked his thoughts on the changes in the court.
While not against the additions, he said the police have a lot of areas to monitor around the school, including a 15 mph speed limit and crosswalk on East 9th, as well as the crosswalk on Broadway.
While acknowledging all violators won’t be caught, Schultz said it is the Planning Commission’s hope that the changes will help slow down drivers’ speed.
The council directed City Attorney Josh Wendell to draft ordinances designating the handicapped parking space and changes in Capitol Court.
Other council business
- An update on the city’s nuisance code reviews by West Central Nebraska Development District’s Karl Elmshauser resulted in action rescinding two resolutions on nuisance properties because the items have been taken care of, seven new properties declared nuisances and a vote to abate (remove the nuisance) on another. The new properties were added because of trailers in disrepair, trash in yards, abandoned/unlicensed vehicles and uncompleted construction projects. Elmshauser recommended the abatement, or removal, of an unlicensed motor home at 640 Wellington. He said the owner had been sent a courtesy letter in May and it was later declared a nuisance in August. No action resulted, he said, so recommended the abatement. In a recap, Elmshauser noted there are 11 properties that WCNDD is following which had earlier been declared nuisances. He commended residents, saying many take care of the nuisance with no action ever having to come before the council.
- An agreement with Allo Communications was approved that allows the Imperial-based company to use the city’s right-of-way and poles for a small fee to extend fiber to their offices. Co-owner Jeff Kuenne said the extension of the fiber is being requested for Allo’s private use in their offices here, and they have no intention of competing with Great Plains Communications. According to the agreement, the city has no liability if any damage occurs.
- A vote of 2-1 will pay a $2,359 repair bill for damage to the Creveling family monument at Mt. Hope Cemetery. A chip to the stone and damage to vases were done this past year. There were no witnesses to the damage, and the city’s insurance company denied the claim. Art and Liz Creveling attended the meeting to continue to discuss the matter. Photos taken by Supt. Pat Davison indicated the height of the city’s mower did not match up to the damage. Council member Sue Moore said she felt they made a commitment last meeting to pay for the damage, and motioned to pay the repair bill. She and John Arterburn voted yes. Doug Gaswick voted no, saying, “the city is opening a can of worms here.” Mayor Dwight Coleman indicated the city will continue to pursue payment of the claim by their insurance company.
- An administrative subdivision requested by Josh and Tricia Moreno was approved. They are purchasing a piece of land and home at the north edge of the city, and requested that area be separated from the rest of the owner’s land. Since there are no changes to the infrastructure, additional development or city expense for the subdivision change, it did not require Planning Commission action and was approved directly by the council.