City council discusses grant, flood repairs

OSMOND — The Osmond City Council met Monday, Nov. 9, and discussed a number of issues, including a grant received by the Pierce County Economic Development (PCED) and flood repairs.

Grant to Help Communities

Susan Norris, director of the PCED, presented a report on a recent $247,000 grant awarded to the organization. She said the project came about because Zoning Administrator Heather McWhorter wanted to make some updates.

The project is proposing an entrepreneurial smart growth strategy that will help nine rural communities in Pierce and Madison Counties: Plainview, Osmond, Pierce, Hadar, Madison, Battle Creek, Newman Grove, Meadow Grove and Tilden. Norris said it is a good opportunity.

The process will identify and assess the current conditions and give each community a road map for the future to achieve goals such as resident retention, growth, revitalization, sustainable and affordable housing and economic development. It is yet to be determined if there will be a $1,000 fee to the city for this project. Norris will approach the council again in a month or so asking if the City of Osmond is interested and wanting to work with collaborative partners that have committed to taking communities through this project and beyond.

Flood Repair Updates

Mayor James Bessmer opened sealed bids received for Osmond’s EWP Flood Repair project to repair damages caused by the March 2019 flood to the two bridges on south State Street, rip-rap work to be done for stabilization of the bridges.

He acknowledged the Bid Bond and read the total price of each bid for mobilization, excavation and rock rip-rap Type C as follows: A&R Construction Co. of Plainview, $29,926.35; High Plains Enterprises, Inc. of Martell, $36,850.00; Husker Engineering of Burwell, $29,895.00; MC Wells Contracting, LLC of Omaha, $34,684.00.

Brian McDonald, senior project manager of JEO Consulting Group, Inc., was present at the meeting. He stated Husker Engineering had the low bid of $29,895.00. McDonald confirmed the completion date for this project is Jan. 12, 2021.


The council accepted the low bid pending JEO’s review of the bid proposals prior to awarding the project. The Mayor then executed the Agreement and Notice to Proceed with the EWP Flood Repair project.

Cindy Hoffman reported she had not received any updates from FEMA since the council’s last meeting. Since there is a strong possibility that the city will not receive grant funds from FEMA for flooded streets, council discussed several options on how to move forward with these street repairs.

The consensus was to divide the streets in need of repairs caused by the 2019 flood (including Logan to Main on First Street south of Poolside Park) into six districts, with the city attorney to draft and send a letter to each owner advising of the possible cost to them based on the amount of front footage owned in each of the districts.

The assessment to owners was set at $65 per foot. Any letters not returned to the city office will be counted as being in favor of the project.

New CPA Firm

Mayor Bessmer gave a brief overview of the reason for and options to engage a new CPA firm to audit the city’s financial statements for the past fiscal year. Following a brief discussion, the council approved the proposal from AMGL, P.C. of Grand Island to provide professional services to audit the City of Osmond’s financial statements for one year, FY 2019-20, at a maximum fee of $9,200.

Police Reports

Police Chief Tyler Wells reported he had removed the decals and other police specific items from the Dodge Charger and it is now ready to be sold. During discussion, it was agreed to accept sealed bids up until 5 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2020. The council agreed to advertise for bids for the 2010 Dodge Charger for two consecutive weeks, Nov. 18 and 25.

Wells reported he recently attended a conference in Kearney and training in Grand Island. He shared some of the incidents that were presented to the group and, all-in-all, he felt it was well worth his time. He also said he is looking at a grant through the CARES Act 2020 to maybe purchase added equipment that is needed for the police car.

LB424 Needs Further Research

The Mayor reported he had visited with City Attorney Dennis Collins earlier in the day and it was decided that further research will be done prior to the council’s consideration of LB424, Regional Land Banks. This bill, passed during the 2020 Legislative session, creates regional land banks that municipalities can join. The purpose of a land bank is to return vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties to productive use. In other business, the council:

— approved the Lot Split Application from James Rice for Lot 8, South Osmond in the Northwest Quarter of Section 6, Township 27 North, Range 2 West of the 6th p.m.

— approved the application for a Special Designated License as requested by Main Street Alley, LLC, for the fundraiser event, Christmas Wishes, to be held on Dec. 6, 2020 at the Osmond City Auditorium.

— reviewed the following building permits: Dennis Kuhl – erect a roof over existing patio; Michael A. Fink – addition of a 12-ft.x14- ft. deck.

— heard Mayor Bessmer state city sales tax for August 2020 was $15,194.31.

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