Council approves plan to slow traffic with speed bumps

RANDOLPH — Traffic will slow down on three streets in town when speed bumps are installed as discussed at the Randolph City Council meeting last week.

The Council approved installation locations for speed bumps on East Kemp Street, South Main Street, and South Douglas Street.

“The majority of complaints were from people on Main Street (about this issue),’’ said Josh Rayford, deputy city clerk.

Additional quotes for the work will be gathered as well as more research on the size of the speed bump and how each would be attached to the street. Two signs per speed bump will be posted at each location.

Along with the potential for speed bumps, other thoroughfares may be getting a new look – with fresh signage.

The Council heard from Rayford about the need to upgrade signage at Main Street and Highway 20. His suggestion is to upgrade lighting to LED, replace the beehive on the top of the sign with a cardinal or other feature, and a color message board. A Cedar County tourism grant may be available to help cover costs.

Highway 81/20 intersection signage is also in need of a refresh to better advertise Randolph, Rayford said.

For that project, the city will apply for a Pierce County tourism grant, along with other financial match partners. Rayford said he would like to have a commitment from the city before proceeding on the projects and the Council will review the proposal again at a future meeting.

In other Council news, a 25-year-old dump truck will have its workload lessened with the addition of a newer truck.

Mayor George Bradley and Council members authorized City Administrator Ben Benton to spend up to $29,999.99 for the purchase of a used dump truck to replace the 1996 truck that has broke down four times over the past month.

Benton said city employees John Dickes and T.J. Lackas will have input into the truck selection as will Mark or Austin Korth. Both have expertise in buying and selling equipment.

Councilwoman Janelle Biernbaum said it may be in the best interest of the community to spend more on the truck and perhaps investigate a lease option. State vehicle auctions may also be a good avenue to locate a vehicle for the city.

At its meeting last week, the City Council also:

• Approved a resolution to ratify 2020 annexation land project.

• Heard a water rate study from Randy Hellbusch of Nebraska Rural Water in which he recommended an increase in sewer rates. No action was taken.

• Learned the City uses a new cleaner for the auditorium floor which reduces time and provides better cleaning than manually mopping procedures of the past.

• Heard a report on the city’s dormant plots at the cemetery and the reclamation process. Hundreds of lots are unclaimed and purchased more than a century ago. If no one claims or pays the lot fees, they could be reclaimed and resold by the city. City Attorney Keelan Holloway will put together a proposal for the next meeting.

• Reviewed bids from Billerbeck Construction and J.T. Carpentry for renovations to city auditorium walls and insulation of the storage building. Bids were tabled and will be included in the 2021-2022 budget.

The council is reviewing options to install thermostats at the auditorium that are more easily monitored by utility employees and can lock out unauthorized people.

• Tabled the topic of changes to rates for dirt per yard. Currently, dirt is free with about 1,000 yards given away last month. Benton suggested a structured fee schedule at the rate of $1 per yard for residential customers and $2 per yard for commercial customers. A $3.50 per yard fee was suggested for those living outside of the area.

The council took no action and dirt remains free until April 1.

• Heard about an asset management system that will be in use in 2021 called Verizon Connect Fleet Tracking. This new system will be used for garbage route mapping and maintenance cycle visibility, as well as keeping track of mowers and other equipment. GPS capabilities would show how busy employees are and the scope of their work.

• Requested additional information on how other communities use Ziptility Infrastructure management to track work orders and service requests.

• Discussed truck parking option due to displacement by the flood risk management project starting in Fall 2021. Benton suggested short-term availability on the corner of East Park and South Nebraska streets. A long-term option may be to move truck parking to the Highway 20 corridor. No action was taken.

• Reviewed plans to acquire bids and seek locations for a new city storage building at East Park and South Nebraska Street. •

Heard an update on Phase II of the flood risk management project. The design is at 65 percent complete and remains on schedule with the timeline unchanged. Appraisals should start in February and March; property offers and acquisition in April and May. The project will go out for bid in June or July with an award selected in August or September. Construction is expected to start right away this Fall. The excavation in Phase I is complete with bridge work on Sholes Road to be finished this Spring. Work on the Bridge Street bridge will follow.

• Appointed Paul Leiting to the economic development advisory board; Wyatt McGhee to the Randolph Volunteer Fire Department; Benton as zoning administrator; and Tony Backer as certification administrator of the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act. The Act provides a $250 refundable tax credit for emergency responders.

•Entered executive session to discuss personnel issues and legal strategy.

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