Published On: Wed, Dec 12th, 2007

Howell is new police officer here

HARTINGTON — Hartington City Council filled the position in city law enforcement that has been open since the resignation of Chief of Police Dan Johnson.
Travis Howell from Yankton, S.D. was hired as a city police officer and Casey Nieman will move into the Chief of Police spot.
Howell, who is originally from Mead, has completed one year of education in Criminal Justice at Metro Tech in Omaha.

In January, Howell will start training at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Academy in Grand Island to become certified.
Howell and his wife will be moving to Hartington.

In other action, Carla Becker, Economic Development Coordinator and Dan Kathol, who is a member of the Economic Development Board, met with the City Council.
Kathol told Council members there is a need for signs, which would direct people to the Hartington schools.
“There are a number of people who drive into town and ask where the high schools are at,” said Kathol.
A decision was made to talk to the Nebraska Department of Roads about securing signs for Highway 57 and 84 that would point the direction to both of the schools.

“It is something we need to do,” said Kathol. “I will follow up on that.”
Becker told council members to watch for the change that will soon take place on the city web site.
“We have been working on the city web site,” said Becker. “It will have a whole new look within the next week or two. It will include a big square with revolving pictures of the community. Each page will have a series of pictures of what that department is all about.”
Becker and Kathol also gave an update on the BECA grant that had been applied for by Hartington and the community of Fordyce.

Tabling two action items on the Hartington City Council agenda made for a short meeting for city council members on Monday evening.
An increase on city utilities was tabled as City Attorney Steve Pier did not have all of the necessary paperwork completed.
“The increase will probably go into effect next January,” said Mayor Bill Yates.
No action was taken on a possible lease agreement which would allow Alltel to put a cellular tower on the Hartington water tower.
A letter which included recommendations from the city engineer, who is with JEO Consulting Group, had been mailed to Alltel.
“We are waiting for a response from Alltel,” said Yates.
Ed Bottolfsen said if an agreement is reached with Alltel he would like to see all of the income go into a savings account.
“The money would be used only for the repair and upkeep of the water tower,” said Bottolfsen.
City Council members have been discussing possible maintenance expense, liability issues and the amount of the fee Alltel would be charged since the Sept. 10  City Council meeting.
An application from Scott and Sheila Ulrich for a Class C Liquor License was approved by the Council after a public hearing was held at the start of the City Council meeting.

Ulrich is changing from a Class D License to a Class C, which will allow his customers to sample beer, wine and other liquor inside Scott’s Package Liquor store.
Ulrich asked the City Council to place a limit on the amount of liquor that can be poured.

“I won’t be able to pour more than four ounces of beer or wine or more than one ounce of hard liquor to any one person within a 24-hour period,” said Ulrich.
In other action Monday, City Council members voted to change health insurance companies for city employees.
“We met with all city employees. They all wanted to go with the new insurance policy,” said Yates.
The new company has better rates for the city and has better benefits said Yates.