After having to cancel one of Gothenburg’s biggest events of the year last Fall due to Covid, this year’s Harvest Festival is moving forward full steam ahead! At the June 1 meeting of the Gothenburg City Council, Chamber Director Deb Egenberger presented the outline of the plans for the festival along with a request for the use of city property to hold it.
Harvest Festival 2021 is set for Thursday Sept. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 19, and will include a full slate of activities. “The schedule is fluid at this point and has not yet been finalized, but we do not anticipate any changes in the routes and spaces from years past,” said Egenberger. The council approved the request for the use of Ehmen Park Sept. 17, 18 and 19, closure of Lake Avenue for the Saturday parade, and street closures for various events as requested.
In terms of economic development, City Administrator Gary Greer brought some exciting news to the council. Greer reported that the Gothenburg Improvement Company (GIC) has been awarded a grant in the amount of $187,000 to be used to offer low interest loans to local restaurant and retail business owners. Greer said the GIC will be facilitating those loans and it is expected they will be made available very soon.
Also during the public comments portion of the June 1 meeting, business owner Terry Jessen addressed the council regarding issues about his property that had been discussed during the last meeting. Jessen explained that he is well aware of issues that need to be addressed on his properties, and explained that his own health issues and a number of other circumstances have interfered with accomplishing that. However, Jessen said he does have individuals working on the property and he expects to be able to report back to the board by the next meeting that those tasks have been completed.
The city is moving forward with infrastructure plans which include the construction of two new housing developments. Gary Steele of Miller & Associates is the project engineer for the housing developments and at the Tuesday meeting he presented a bid for the earthwork, paving and storm sewer portion of the project.
Steele said only one bid was received, which was from Nielsen Contracting, LLC of Kearney in the amount of $995,137. Steele has worked with this company before and recommended that the city approve and sign the bid award. The council agreed and the bid was awarded as presented.
Construction on the new sewer lines will begin late this Fall, with the completion of the housing projects expected to be the summer of 2022.
Finally, the second reading of an ordinance pertaining to the city’s parks and recreation committee was approved. Ordinance 1000, if given final approval, will designate a separate parks and recreation board apart from a tree board, and outline the responsibilities of each.