Council hears importance of movie theater to area youth
Hold annual One and Six Year street plan hearing
Thayer County Healthy Communities Coalition members opened the Hebron City Council meeting Monday, Feb. 6, with results from a survey taken among county youth about the Majestic Theatre. In December, theater owner Carla Gebers announced that Hebron’s only movie house was closed.
“It raised a lot of concern with the TCHCC members because we know that the theater is a great place for youth to hang out in a drug free environment,” said TCHCC member Trelby Virus. “TCHCC members from each school meet monthly to discuss how we can address local conditions such as underage drinking and tobacco use and also plan drug free activities for youth in the county.”
Members said without the theater, they believe youth would be more tempted to participate in risky behavior and this type of behavior would be detrimental to the work TCHCC has done over the past year.
Members said they conducted the survey to collect data from 7th to 12th grade students to provide beneficial information to Gebers and for any non-profit organizations interested in purchasing the theater. Gebers has not said the theater is for sale and recently reopened over a weekend in January by showing the movie “Courageous.”
Virus said TCHCC visited with other organizations to help promote the movie which they asked Gebers to show. In the meantime, Gebers notes on the Majestic Theatre Facebook page that she will take keeping the movie theater open on a week-by-week basis.
TCHCC members are hopeful she will keep the theater open, but are gathering information in case a different solution is sought. “We heard that the Blair Theater in Belleville was operating under a non-profit board,” said TCHCC director Megan Hinrichs. “If the theater were to operate as a non-profit, there would be significant opportunities for grants.”
While the City was grateful to the group for sharing their collected information, the fact that the theater has reopened, albeit for limited hours, and that it is not for sale, means nothing can really be done right now. And, added councilman Kurk Wiedel, city officials aren’t really sure it will be up to them to make a decision about the theater should it close for good.
In other business, the city council went over the annual one and six year road and street plan. Project number 53, completed in November at a cost of approximately $15,000, included sealing cracks on Jefferson, Barger and Park avenues.
Six other projects make up the one and six-year outlook.
Topping the priority projects list, job number 52, at a cost of approximately $5,000 includes placement of 175 feet of guardrail on the east, north and west side of the south end of the storm drain between the CCCamp and third ball field at the Hebron Sports Complex.
Second on the list is job number 47, bearing a $25,000 price tag, includes tearing out the existing 18” culverts at Nelsen Street and Lincoln Avenue and replacing them with new 36” culverts. According to the report, city workers will remove the existing street over the old culverts and replace them with new concrete plus two new storm inlets.
Third in line, project number 50, includes the removal of gravel then paving (concrete) Nelsen Street between Lincoln Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, for 365 feet. The job will cost approximately $76,000.
Project number 49 includes the removal of old wood lighting structures and overhead wire throughout the corporate city limits of Hebron with an expected cost near $40,000.
The largest project (number 42), carrying a cost of approximately $158,000, includes the paving of Barger Avenue from Third Street to First Street. The project includes 750 feet of concrete with curb and gutter.
In other business, city worker Chris Fangmeier warned the council that Norris Public Power is raising its wheeling charge which will cost the city approximately $1,000 per month. The information was tabled until next month for more informed discussion.
Mayor Shane Day asked the council how efforts for the beautification of the canal at Duffield Avenue and 7th Street was coming along. The city officials approved planting cedar trees and lilacs as soon as possible.
The City declined to pay membership dues to the Thayer County Economic Development Alliance.
In final business, the council decided to investigate the need to paint the city’s fire hydrants. The Hebron Lions Club has offered to paint all the hydrants for $20 each for one color, $25 each for two colors. There are about 100 hydrants in town.