Tuesday, March 16, 2010
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City briefs: farm lease, enterprise zone and more

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[March 16, 2010]  At the Monday night voting session of the Lincoln City Council, only seven of the nine active seats were filled, barely making for a quorum. Those absent for the evening were Alderwoman Marty Neitzel and Alderman Jeff Hoinacki.  [Click on map for larger image.]

Farm lease between city of Lincoln and Kent Cross approved

The city of Lincoln owns 40 acres of farm ground in the Lincoln Lakes vicinity. In past years this ground has been leased to Darrell and Sarah Benner.

The city's 40 acres is somewhat landlocked, with no access except to pass through the Benner property. Because of this, city attorney Bill Bates has said that it is difficult to bid this property out.

This year the lease is up for renewal, and at last week's meeting, Bates announced that there may very well be a new tenant for the farm because the Benners have sold their property to Kent Cross.

Bates said that he has talked to Cross and they have worked out an agreement, pending the city's approval.

In the past the city has participated in a fixed-rate lease on this ground that allowed them $150 per acre in cash rent.

The new lease with Cross, however, is what is called a variable rent lease and will provide the city with opportunities to realize greater income from the property, depending on yields.

The city will always receive the base $150 per acre. But in years when yields are high, the city may receive an additional share of the income from the farm.

Bates said that using grain price averages over a 10-month period and average yields, he and Cross have agreed that the base gross income from the ground should be $600 per acre. Each year after harvest, the true gross revenue will be calculated, and anything in excess of the $600 per acre will be divided equally between the city and Cross.

As an example, Bates said that using current figures, if this year's corn crop came in at 180 bushels per acre, the gross revenue would be $720 per acre. The $120 over the set $600 would be divided equally between the two parties, giving the city an additional $2,400 of income from the farm.

Bates reminded everyone that the 40 acres in question is part of a flood plain, and yields vary greatly from year to year depending on the weather, so increased income will not be guaranteed. He said there have been years when the ground yielded 200-bushel corn, but there have also been years when the yield fell well below 100 bushels per acre.

At the Monday night voting session, Alderwoman Joni Tibbs made the motion to approve the lease agreement.

During discussion, Bates said that he had been in contact with Cross, who said that the agreement was acceptable to him and he will sign it as is.

The lease was approved with a vote of 7-0.

Enterprise zone amendment is tabled

Attorney Phil Montalvo is acting on the city's behalf for the most recent amendment to the enterprise zone.

The additions being made to the enterprise zone are to benefit Hartsburg Grain Co., Farmers Grain Co., Taloma Grain and Elkhart Grain and will include the communities of Hartsburg, Atlanta and New Holland.

Bates disclosed last Tuesday night that his son is the attorney for the village of New Holland as well as Atlanta. Therefore, he felt that he needed to step aside as the city attorney to avoid any conflict of interest.


Montalvo said that in reviewing the documents presented by Andy Hamilton of Opportunity Alliance, he feels there are some problems that need to be addressed, especially in the area of the intergovernmental agreements.

He said he has talked to Hamilton and will be discussing this with him further. He suggested that the council table the vote and plan to discuss the enterprise zone document in detail at the next committee-of-the-whole meeting.

Alderman David Wilmert made the motion to table the matter, and it was approved by unanimous vote.

Bid awarded for bar screen

At last week's committee-of-the-whole meeting, bids were opened for the bar screen replacement at the Palmer lift station.

Those who submitted bids were E & I Corp. at $36,163 for bid one and $36,831 for an alternate plan; JWC Environmental at $95,500 and $111,792 for the alternate; and Fairfield Service Company of Indiana at $52,000 and the alternate quoted at $57,000.

Busby explained that the huge gap in the bids was due to the fact that E & I is the original fabricator of the bar screen for the city, and thus already has all the engineering and design work done, while the other two companies will have to start from scratch.

Monday night Busby said that he would move to accept the bid from E & I for the alternate plan at $36,831.

During discussion he said that the alternate included stainless steel construction, which will have a longer life than conventional metals, in the long run saving the city from having to replace the bar screen for a very long time.

The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

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Bids being sought

By unanimous vote the council approved seeking bids on two separate projects.

The first invitation to bid will be for the maintenance of Brainard Branch bridges. The work will be limited to only two bridges, those on Union Street and Grand Avenue. Bids are due at the city clerk's office no later than 5 p.m. on April 13.

The second project going out for bid will be for work on Omaha Street from Logan to Rutledge. The work is to include overlay, curb and gutter. Bids are due at the city clerk's office no later than 5 p.m. on April 27.


Included in this week's consent agenda were two proclamations.

The month of March was named as American Red Cross Month.

The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. The original congressional charter, signed in 1900, designated the purposes of the organization to include giving relief to and serving as a medium of communication between members of the American armed forces and their families, and providing national and international disaster relief and mitigation.

After World War I, the Red Cross focused on service to veterans and enhanced its programs in safety training, accident prevention, home care for the sick and nutrition education. It also provided relief for victims of such major disasters as the Mississippi River floods in 1927 and severe drought and the Depression during the 1930s.

After World War II, the Red Cross introduced the first nationwide civilian blood program, which now supplies nearly 50 percent of the blood and blood products in this country.

Today, American Red Cross employees and volunteers help keep the public prepared to respond to disasters and personal emergencies. The organization provides training in lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid, collects and distributes half the nation's blood supply, and helps victims of more than 67,000 disasters annually.

The week of April 11-17 was proclaimed as National Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials - International asks that everyone set aside this week each year to recognize and honor those who serve as the first responders in emergency situations, those who take the call.

The proclamation offered special recognition and gratitude to all 911 call center staff; radio dispatchers for fire, police and emergency medical responders; and many others for their dedication to providing rapid and professional response to the emergency calls they receive each day.

Budget meeting canceled for March 20

Alderwoman Melody Anderson said she was canceling the budget workshop meeting scheduled for March 20.

She said that, to date, she has not received the information they will need to complete the process, so there is no need to continue until she does.

She was referring to estimates on insurance premiums for the coming year.

Fill out the census form

Snyder said he had received his census form, and it took him only about five minutes to complete it. He reminds everyone that census information is very important to the community and encourages people to spend the five minutes and fill out their form.



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