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By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
A new soft-serve ice cream machine is being purchased for the Imperial Manor and Parkview/Heights, using city community development sales tax funds to help pay for it.
A letter from Terri Leibbrandt, whose parents reside in Parkview/Heights and the Manor, was read at the July 21 city council meeting, which spurred discussion of the machine.
She said ice cream is a big treat for residents there and didn’t think donations should have to purchase a new machine, feeling that could take years to accomplish.
“The ice cream machine is certainly a highlight to the residents and their visitors,” Leibbrandt wrote.
“While it may be viewed as a luxury to some, to the residents it can be the highlight of their day,” she added.
The residents have been without homemade ice cream since a compressor died in the 20-year-old unit they were using. A new commercial unit costs about $7,500.
Walt Day, a RHD manager who works with local manor staff, said visitors, children and relatives all enjoy the ice cream machine, which they also have in other facilities RHD manages. Sometimes, he said, the overall benefit of such items as this outweighs their cost.
Nutritionally, he said they have special ice cream mixes for diabetics, a benefit to older people.
Manor Administrator Peggi Davidson said she was planning a fundraiser to get the funds for a machine, and had about $900 donated so far. There may be some undesignated memorial money that could be used, too, she said.
In the end, the council voted 4-0 to designate $6,000 from the city’s sales tax funds (community development) toward the machine’s cost. A few donations were also offered that night from people at the meeting.
Davidson and Day also discussed senior services budget items while at the meeting.
Davidson said she is watching overtime hours more closely in all departments, and was happy to report they have not had to use “agency” help as of late for filling in hours in the nursing department. Bringing in such workers is at least double the cost of employees.
Day also said they caught a problem with payroll which inadvertently took out costs twice for some deductions including health insurance, life insurance, retirement and uniforms. That resulted in a $58,000 correction, turning the month of May to showing a profit of about $1,700.
Other council business
Ownership of Capitol Liquor is changing, effective Aug. 6 when Sam and Peri Crabtree of Wray, Colo., become the new owners. Last week’s meeting served as a public hearing on their request for license recommendation from the council. They are seeking Class D (off sale-only beer, wine, distilled spirits) and Class K (catering) licenses from the State Liquor Control Commission. Their trade name is S & P Liquor, and the Crabtrees are purchasing the business from Kris Musick at 1146 Broadway. Recommendation was given on a 4-0 vote.
Take Pride in Imperial Days have been established by the city that have set up a Saturday in August and one in October for “free dump days” at the transfer station. The first one is this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The other free “dump day” will be Saturday, Oct 4, same hours.
Council member Dave Fulton was appointed to replace Dan Thompson on the council committee that is meeting with the rural fire board. Among the discussion at those committee meetings are the new fire hall and updating the interlocal agreement between the city and rural fire districts. Also on the council committee with Fulton is John Arterburn. They expect to give a report at the council’s next meeting this Monday, Aug. 4.
With the Chase county Fair just around the corner, Public Works Supt. Pat Davison reported that eight new camper outlets were installed by the in the camper area on the fairgrounds’ north end, at the request of the fair board. That brings the total there to 80 outlets.
Police Officer Kelly Pearson is expected to graduate from the Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island Aug. 25, returning him to work on the city force. Another newly-hired officer Chad Ostmeyer will then attend the training. During his report, Police Chief Ryan Wisnieski said they’ve been busy in his department. One call investigated involved a scam in which a local resident thought they were purchasing a vehicle through Craig’s List, but lost $3,400 in the transaction. The police chief also noted that 13 warnings were issued from him regarding overgrown grass on properties, all of which had been mowed as of last week’s meeting.
A 2014-15 budget work session was set for Monday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. in the council chambers.