City approves LEC contract, discusses housing rehab, community center
The Hebron City Council approved a city contract with local law enforcement Monday night – no changes were made from the 2012 issue, discussed the housing rehabilitation program and talked about forming a community center committee.
Thayer County Sheriff David Lee requested $141,552, money he says increases the city’s patrolling hours and ordinance enforcement by the county police department. Hebron receives 12 hours of patrolling and ordinance support for $11,796 per month according to the contract. Sheriff Lee bases his rates on man-hours and services provided to each of the communities.
Last year in July when the contract was under negotiation, the county department, according to a call sheet kept on file at the sheriff’s office, answered an average of seven calls per day for the city. Situations in the report included criminal activity such as assault with a weapon, child abuse and criminal mischief to ordinance complaints such as loose animals, suspicious activity, and fireworks.
Also last year councilman Jay Bauer questioned costs for Hebron stating the price for added service from the county department is three times as much per person as what the other three communities in Thayer County pay. Bruning, Davenport, and Deshler all have contracts with the county police department for extra help in dealing with criminal activity and ordinance enforcement. But each of the three communities pays from $11,400 to $12,000 each year while Hebron pays $11,796 per month.
Again this year, Bauer questioned the costs and again several council members reiterated the department’s positive impact on the community. Council president Larry Fangmeier said he felt the extra policing the city received from the department was worth the funds spent. “It comes down to quality of life,” he said during the discussion. “It’s worth every penny of it.”
The council agreed with Bauer that it wasn’t a fair split, but that they needed to concentrate on what was best for the City of Hebron, not the other communities.
In the end, the council voted unanimously to accept the contract.
In other business, council members moved forward in creating a committee for the housing rehabilitation program. The council moved to accept new committee members Pat Kenner and Chuck Fink. Councilman Robert Dodes was also added to the committee. There are two additional members pending agreement that will be added.
The rehabilitation program is part of the Nebraska Affordable Housing Program. It was created to help residents who need financial assistance in completing home improvement projects.
Eligibility for the program is based on several criteria which includes owning and occupying a single-family home and annual household income limits.
Discussion about the community center continued at this month’s meeting. Councilwoman Beth Goldhammer presented information and the design from the initial plan created in 2003.
“It’s pretty grandiose,” Goldhammer said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for what we have in mind.”
Although this was the consensus from the entire council, they decided to wait for the creation of the steering committee before any other decision was made about the Center.
Council members Goldhammer and Bauer are in charge of forming the steering committee. They are in the process of selecting members.