Firemedic in spotlight; capital improvement plan discussed

October 3, 2018

A Norfolk firefighter was given a special honor — and future city spending was discussed, too — at a relatively low-key meeting of the Norfolk City Council on Monday night.

Norfolk firemedic Brock Soderberg was presented an award by the Norfolk Morning and Noon Optimists Clubs for “outstanding dedication and service to the community.” Noon Optimists president Liz Wallace presented the award.

Along with Soderberg, more than a dozen firefighters and medics, including fire chief Scott Cordes, were on hand to witness the presentation.

Additionally, Mayor Josh Moenning also recognized the work of the fire division and first responders in a proclamation. Moenning proclaimed the week of Oct. 7 through Oct. 13 as “Fire Prevention Week.”

Among the few items on the council’s meeting agenda was discussion about the city’s 2019-2028 capital improvement plan.

Lyle Lutt, city risk manager, said the capital improvement plan lays out future city spending on items and projects that cost more than $50,000. It covers a variety of city needs, ranging from snow plows and fire trucks to water and sewer extensions.

Lutt said the 10-year plan is like a conveyor belt, with items being added and eventually making their way onto the budget for a specific year. The plan is flexible because needs change with time, he said.

“If there’s a fire truck planned for five years from now, and it (the existing truck) is still in good working condition, then that can be pushed back, but if we need it sooner, that can be done, too,” Lutt said.

Costs for long-term spending plans are determined by taking the current expected median cost of an item and adjusting for about 3 percent inflation.

Also passed was an amendment to a contract with Rutjens Construction for the South Water Main Loop project. The revised contract increased the total cost of the project by about $108,000.

Steve Rames, city engineer, said the main reason for the increase is for pavement replacement. More “fatigued concrete” on city streets is in need of removal and replacement than originally anticipated.

The mayor and council also formed a board of equalization to levy special assessment charges against an unresponsive property owner. Property at 401 N. Fourth St., the site of the former post office, is being charged nearly $400 for mowing charges and waste removal.

The property has been a headache for the council, as nearly $3,000 in special assessment charges have been levied against the property, which is owned by an East Coast interest.

The only other agenda item for the council was a public hearing and an ordinance regarding adding property near downtown to the Vehicle Off-Street Parking District No. 1. The request was made by property owners Dan and Connie Geary.

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