Construction Projects, Job Titles Discussed At Wayne City Council

WAYNE – At the first Wayne City Council meeting of the new year, old matters like the extraterritorial jurisdiction map and the Wayne Trail were discussed, among newer issues.

Tuesday night’s meeting began with an update from Wayne State College president Marysz Rames on the Center for Applied Technology building project. Rames thanked the council for last year’s donation of over $1 million. Rames shared that the college doubled that amount from outside donors. She also mentioned that the project is still on track to be completed a year from this spring with classes to begin the next fall.

With annexation and expansion, the City was in need of a new extraterritorial jurisdiction map to reflect Wayne’s growth. As a first-class city, Wayne has the authority to go out two miles from the corporate limits, which helps for planning purposes. The planning commission created a new map, using 40-acre tracts as opposed to 160-acres, as it had been before, so that farms, lagoons or similar properties wouldn’t be partial within the jurisdiction map and partially out. Both the council and city administrator Wes Blecke were happy with the results.

“The planning commission did a very good job of kind of vetting the process with Joel (Hansen, street and planning director) and then the council agreed to go with that recommendation,” Blecke said.

Hansen, who previously was the City’s building inspector, planner and street superintendent was re-titled as the street and planning director by unanimous vote. The new title brings little change for Hansen, but will streamline organization for the City. Blecke looked at the position when he became administrator. There are three foreman who fall would have to deal with various aspects of road maintenance and planning, and they and Blecke often consulted with Hansen on big decision so Blecke felt the time was right to have one supervisor.

“We’ve got a lot of overlap there, ‘well, where do you go?’,” Blecke said. “Now, you’re going to Joel Hansen so it’s going to streamline things a lot.”

Betty McGuire and Marlen Chinn were reappointed to their roles of city clerk and police chief, respectively. In other personnel matters, the wage and salary schedule was amended to include the new street and planning director position and to fix a mistake made for the Senior Center cook position.

The council approved the hiring of a special engineer and plans, specifications and estimate of cost for construction of storm sewers as part of the 2nd Street Improvement Project. The storm sewer by State Nebraska Bank and the 1912 Emporium is not adequately sized, causing problems when there’s heavy rains. An estimated $345,000 project will fix capacity problems and replace brick and concrete in affected areas.

The Wayne Trail Project came before the council. An additional $7,500 in engineering fees were needed to cover new surveys to include development on Grainland Road and other changes since the project began. That brings the total engineering fees to $175,714.46.

After a $5,596.60 decrease on the project was approved, a final payment of $34,968.50 to Penro Construction, Inc. was approved for the Beaumont First Addition Water & Sewer Extension Project. A&R Construction was approved for a payment of $82,083.37 for the 4th Street Paving Project.

The next Wayne City Council meeting will be held January 16th, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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