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Council discusses sale of Willard Park

Hebron City Councilman Doug Huber said 30 to 40 years ago, it was tough to find an empty picnicking spot in Willard Park and now, it’s barely used.
Huber put the sale of the park back on the council’s agenda for its March meeting Monday evening.
“Does the town use Willard Park?” Huber asked.
He envisions using the sale of the park to replace equipment elsewhere in Hebron.
“We need people here to give their comments on Willard Park,” Huber said.
Although the city will need to follow a legal process to sell the park, the council is eager to hear from the community about the park and its equipment. The matter will be on next month’s agenda as the council meets April 3.
City council members mulled the cost to maintain the unused park in maintenance, such as tree-trimming, painting benches and general upkeep.
In other business, the city will include an ongoing item on its permanent agenda — dilapidated homes, so that it may address the issue as needed.
Councilwoman Denese Sudbeck said a precedent should be set that homeowners will be talked to first by City Administrator Chris Fangmeier as to avoid placing homeowners on the defensive.  
“I think Denese is right, but in some cases, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Councilman Kurk Wiedel said.
Councilman Robert Dodes said any letter the city sends out through its attorney will most likely be offensive.
But if the city waits to send warning letters, it loses 30 days of the legal process, City Attorney Joe Murray said.
Wiedel said he probably had two  residents who didn’t like the city’s goal to clean up properties as opposed to the 25 residents who did.
Recently, the city went after a structure that is said to be historical.
“Historical or not, it needs to be maintained,” Fangmeier said.  
The issue came up later in the meeting as Huber asked for the city’s criteria in labeling homes as needing a cleanup.
Wiedel said he checks out properties when he hears from his constituents.
“I don’t personally target homes,” he said.
Huber said the council needs a set list of guidelines when inspecting properties.
The council also discussed the city’s liability for the walking trail, as it prepares to enter more phases, including behind Blue Valley Lutheran Homes and to the Korff Fitness and Wellness Center.
The council believes the city’s insurance may already cover liability. The actual trail leading to the wellness center needs to be defined as it will reach back into the trees.
The City of Hebron has a new website that is county inclusive at http://www.hebronnebraska.us/.
Chamber of Commerce Director Jana Tietjen said the website will soon be ready for residents to pay bills online and the community calendar accepts submissions.
Some residents preferred if the city listed its projects on the site and those have been added.
“We need to make people aware we are listening to their concerns,” Tietjen said.
Wiedel said the photographs on the site were well done. The mobile version is friendly, however, the city plans to make it more user-friendly in the future.
Tietjen said organizations needs to inform the city of their upcoming events.
Tietjen also gave an update on the beef cook-off Friday evening. She praised the girl scouts for their “outstanding displays” and said the food was great.
Blythe Norder also gave a Stastny Community Center update. The center is operating $1,100 ahead after 2016. Norder said the center is now on its 111th event.

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