As most of the nation battled dangerously cold temperatures early this week, public power plants and municipal stations struggled to keep up with the high energy demand. For many that resulted in planned outages and rolling blackouts to help alleviate the stress, and the city of Gothenburg was not immune. City Administrator Gary Greer updated the City Council on our local systems and how they fared during the regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 16.
Greer explained that Nebraska Public Power District is our supplier here in Gothenburg, and the pool we are in consists of 14 states. He said all of those states have been affected. “The temperatures are so cold across the nation that measures had to be taken,” said Greer.
In Gothenburg the power went down for about 40 minutes on Tuesday morning on the west side of town, and about 10 minutes on the east side due to the location of the hospital.
“This voluntary thing prevents catastrophe,” said Council President Jeff Kennedy.
Discussion and action items on the rather short agenda included approval of city funding for the RYDE Transit public transportation program in the amount of $1,260, and the approval of the purchase of a vehicle for the city’s parks department. A quote from Pony Express Chevrolet for a 2021 Chevrolet pickup at a cost to the city of $34,100 was approved.
The council also reviewed bids for the 28 planters located in the central business district downtown. According to City Parks Director Noah Dea proposals were requested for primarily the summer season, with the option of fall plantings and a winter mix. “Bidders were asked to provide bids for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 seasons as the city intends to enter into a 3-year arrangement for this service,” said Dea.
Only one bid was received, from Kennedy Landscape, in the total amount of $4,956 per year. After council president Jeff Kennedy excused himself due to a conflict of interest, the council discussed the proposal and voted to accept the bid as presented.
The council also gave approval to the annual liquor license renewal of the following businesses: Pete’s Lounge, Pizza Hut, Lakeside Lanes, OK Bottle Shoppe, Cubby’s Truck Plaza, Cubby’s Express, Kwik Stop, Peterson’s Supermarket, Bar W Lounge and T Walker’s on Main Street.
The only other item to come before the council was the approval of the Gothenburg Volunteer Fire Department roster. The roster includes 44 members, with Mark Ballmer continuing as Fire Chief, Mark Ostergard as 1st Assistant Chief and Matt Farr as 2nd Assistant Chief. Jason Wagner remains Rescue Captain, with Mike Wagner Assistant Rescue Captain. GVFD officers are: President - Adam Finke; Vice President/Training - Jared Rickertsen; Secretary - Shane Max; Treasurer - Trevor Anderson. Trustees for the department are Cameron Bullock, Jon Hudson and Rick Crown, and Riley Kort is Quartermaster.