Flooding may cost Tekamah $1 million

The streets in Tekamah that could least accept the stress of heavy rain coupled with fast snowmelt proved it.

Detours areas for the P Street project were high on Street Superintendent Matt Deemer’s list of flood damaged streets. That list was submitted to Tekamah City Council Thursday night and was expected to be forwarded to federal authorities Friday morning.

Cost estimates to fix the six streets on the work list, many of which did not have curb and guttering, came in at $805,000 to put them back into preflood condition. Improving the streets to include curb and guttering more than doubles the cost to $1.5 million.

Deemer said that while some money may be available through federal sources, it could be a year before a contractor could be available to do any of the major work. Keeping the streets open, he said, has cost the city nearly $30,000 already.

Deemer said getting P Street back open will alleviate some of the problem. That work was projected to restart this week. The agreement in place has P St. travelable by May 20.

Three of the biggest items on the list of six are P St. detours with 17th St., the detour to the cemetery, being the most expensive. Estimates show repairs would cost $330,000 to get back to preflood condition. Improving to curb and gutter boosts the price to $467,000 for the three-block stretch from P to S streets.

Part of the detour to Northridge, 20th between N and P, is slated to cost 99,000 without curb and gutter and $363,000 with it. Repair costs on another section of detour, O St. running 400 feet east of 20th, is price-tagged at $148,000 without curb and gutter and $178,000 with it.

The other three projects on the list include two near the intersection of 14th and S and a three-block stretch of G St. between 16th and 18th.

In other business March 28, the council:

—Approved the mayor’s recommendation naming Jean Neary to a vacant spot on Tekamah Airport Authority.

Neary will fill Kent Rogert’s term which expired at the end of the year. Rogert resigned from the authority board recently.

The council also approved Police Chief Dan Jacobs’ recommendation of hiring John Sparks as a full-time police officer.

Sparks, who currently is a security guard at the nuclear power plant near Fort Calhoun, was the only certified officer among the seven applications the city received, Jacobs said. Sparks has served as a police officer in Decatur, Winnebago and Bancroft.

—Accepted the bid from Inland Potable Services to inspect, clean and repair, if necessary, the inside of the city’s water tower. The Centennial, Colo., company offered a price of $2,875 plus the cost of any additional work.

—Renewed the city’s property and casualty insurance at a cost of $86,863.

Nearly half of the cost, $34,455, is for the coverage on the city’s buildings. That cost went up, insurance agent Kevin Brenneis said, due to the recent reappraisal of the city’s property by its insurance carrier. The reappraisal increased the value to $10 million.

Brenneis said the coverage is a blanket policy, meaning the total $10 million is available for use on any or all of the city’s property. For example, if a tornado destroyed the auditorium and the library, the $10 million is available to replace the two, not just the appraised value of each building.

The city also saw a $5,000 reduction in its workmen’s compensation insurance premium.

“That’s a testament for the people who work for the city,” Brenneis said.

—Hired the slate of applicants for lifeguard positions at the city pool this summer. Two of the applicants, Ashley Bohannon and Marin Jetensky, were hired as assistant managers.

—Approved the job evaluations and the suggested pay increases for City Clerk Karolyn McElroy.

—Took no action after adjourning from a closed session called to discuss real estate matters.