Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

City Gives Annexation A Look

About 25 people attended the first Kimball City Council meeting of the year. Many businesses owners had been waiting for the new round of business improvement grants to be released at the beginning of the year.

The following businesses – GRI, Dino's Pet Spa and Muench Electric, Woody's Liquor and Sporting Goods, Kimball State Bank, Karen's Kitchen, and Ondori Ramen – received more than $42,000 for business improvement grants.

The business improvements included everything from new signs, refrigeration, lighting, flooring, ADA bathrooms, electrical and plumbing upgrades. Reimbursements ranged from the hundreds to the maximum allowed of $10,000.

A new Kimball police officer was approved by the council, and he was sworn in on Tuesday evening, filling the final vacancy in the police department. New policeman Joseph Leitz will start immediately.

The previous council meeting saw a request for annexation to the city of 104 acres south of town from Ryan McElroy and Stephanie Risk-McElroy. The January meeting found James and Ann Warner requesting annexation of 61 acres of land on parcel #530162191, which is located just north of I-80 and south of Country Road 43.

For any property that Kimball annexes, the city must extend city services, but these are voluntary annexation petitions. According to City Attorney Matt Turman, they would all be put under one ordinance, therefore saving publication fees. An annexation agreement would be made with each request. At a later date, the city can determine the extension of services. A motion was approved to direct staff to start the annexation process.

The Walking Trail Park and Janicek Dam, both city properties, were also on the annexation list.

The council approved two conditional use permits. One was for a classic car dealership at 715 W. 2nd St. and applicant Don Gregory. The other one was for a service and sales of vehicles at 703 E. 3rd St. and applicants Mike and Sherry Winstrom.

Mike Montross of Canterbury Park gave an update on racing and gaming in Nebraska. He did caution that no timeline has been given for the process by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission.

No new racetrack location has been approved by the racing and gaming commission, and none of existing racetracks have submitted for a gaming license.

A public meeting was held on Dec. 17, where gaming rules were approved and adopted by Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. Montross explained that now the rules and regulations will be forwarded to the Nebraska Attorney General's Office, which will provide an opinion on the rules and regulations. Then the rules and regulations will then be forwarded to the Governor's Office. If approved by the governor, the rules and regulations would go to the Secretary of State's Office, where they would become official.

After the lengthy state approval process, the Racing and Gaming Commission will consider gaming licenses at the current racetracks. Then the commission will consider new racetracks.

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