July 6 Geneva City Council Meeting

Published on Monday, 12 July 2010 20:15
Written by thenebraskasigna

By Signal Staff

Despite a rather light agenda, the city council meeting last Tuesday, July 6 was somewhat lengthy. Council members Delton Myers and Chuck Udell were absent.

Topics highlighting the meeting included the optional sale of land to the Fillmore County Hospital for a replacement facility, dilapidated housing and nuisance properties, and a new state law affecting dog licenses.

An option to purchase agreement was presented to the council regarding land located on the north side of F Street between 18th Street and Highway 81. The property abuts other real estate on which the hospital has acquired options to purchase.

Councilman John Westphal questioned several items in the agreement, including a line item requiring the city to pay half the cost of the title insurance policy and half of the escrow fee, despite the fact the agreement would allow the city to purchase the property for only $1.

"Is that common practice?" Westphal asked Geneva City Attorney Joe Bixby.

Bixby responded that he had not read the contract, but the language could be changed easily to dismiss the city's responsibility for those items.

Westphal also questioned what would happen to the land if the hospital agreed to buy it for the stated $1, but had a negative outcome on the August vote, or didn't get the USDA loan to build the facility.

Bixby and council members found in the contract that a clause would allow the hospital to 'assign the Agreement (for the property) to any person or entity at Hospital's election.'

Again, Bixby noted that a change could be made by inserting the word 'not' into the clause.

Westphal and council agreed that the land should revert back to the city if no hospital was built on the land in question.

Fillmore County Hospital Administrator Paul Utemark said that he would have no objections to those changes.

The council approved the resolution to sell the property to the hospital with the two changes as noted.

After a lengthy discussion about dilapidated housing and nuisance properties, council members agreed to Bixby's suggestion to send a letter to the owner of record for property located at 1119 E Street. After an investigation by the Public Health Services, substantial mold, a missing door and broken window, and issues affecting the foundation deemed the property substandard and in need of repair.

The State of Nebraska recently made a change in their policty, requiring any county, city or village that requires a license for dogs or cats, to collect an additional dollar fee for the State of Nebraska. A collection fee of 3 cents for every dollar collected would be returned to the city.

Council members decided to retain the current dog policy, and consider a change at the beginning of the year when current dog licenses are due.

Community Betterment Grants were approved for Geneva Revitalize banners, $4,275; Geneva Ballplayers concession stand, $25,000; Beautify Geneva Committee benches, window and flower pots on 9th Street, $4,500; Main Street Gardeners, $600; and the Fillmore County Cinema Association carpet for the theatre, $3,700.

Geneva Planning Commission recommendations were tabled to the second meeting in August, when information on the Hospital vote would be available.