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

Kimball Annexes Land For Housing

Clean Harbors Backs Plan To House Workers As It Grows

Over three days –Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week – the Kimball City Council annexed and rezoned 150 acres of land contiguous to the City of Kimball to the south. The council conducted all three readings of the ordinance within the week.

On Tuesday evening, the council met for its regular meeting. The first item on the agenda was a public hearing on Ordinance No. 821, the annexation. With no comment from anyone, the council approved the first reading of the ordinance. The planning commission previously approved the annexation.

Additional readings of the ordinance were held Wednesday and Thursday, when the council unanimously approved the last reading and passed the ordinance. Clean Harbors is backing the annexation for housing to help accommodate added workers due to its expansion.

A public hearing also was held on rezoning Tract 1 from agricultural to R-1, Tract 2 from agricultural to R-1, and Tract 3 to be rezoned to C-4. The rezoning application was applied for by Nicola Properties, LLP/Charles Nicola from Centennial, Colorado.

After Tuesday’s vote, Councilman Don Muench referred to the annexed property and said, “The annexation process and the property being annexed, I can look at the map all I want to, but is there a way that somebody could drive by or accompany me to properties that we are annexing and the dimensions of where they go?” Morrison agreed to take Muench to the property.

After the public hearings, the council discussed upgrades needed for Gotte Park. Areas of concern include better lighting, improved playground equipment, installed fencing and cameras, paved roads, and doing something with the drainage ditch. Finally, Mayor John Morrison said the old missile needed to come down. A previous council had agreed to spend 75% of Keno Funds on the parks, which would be about $180,000.

In nearby communities, Sidney recently installed a new state-of-the-art playground, and Pine Bluffs erected a playground adjacent to their swimming pool.

In other business, the city building’s roof has sprung leaks with the rains that Kimball has received. A bid of $4,168 was received from Schank Roofing to repair with re-coat the roof of the city building.

The council declared the 1978 snowblower with a 460 Ford industrial engine as surplus, and it will be put on Big Iron to sell.

The city council approved the mayoral appointment of two police officers to the Kimball Police Department, Lateral Police Officer Colton McKenzie and Sergeant Jose Barboza. Both individuals start in the next few days.

Marvin Planning presented their final blight and substandard study, which will be referred onto the planning commission, then eventually sent back to the council.

Structures in the designated area were determined to be ranked from excellent to very poor. In the designated area, there were 33 structures rated above normal, 214 structures normal, 37 below normal structures, 29 poor, and five very poor.

Sidewalks were also analyzed in the study area. There were 0% of lineal feet of excellent sidewalk, 11% of good sidewalk, 17% average sidewalk, 7% fair sidewalk, and 63% poor or missing sidewalk. According to the blight study, sidewalks within a community provide a safe method of movement for people. Sidewalks allow the citizenry movement while keeping people off heavily traveled streets.

The blight study area also looked at curb and gutters and streets.

Morrison’s only comment during his reports was that he expressed deep disappointment in himself and the community for not continuing the LB 840 program.

According to Morrison, the blight study will allow “us to use TIFF.” TIFF is Tax Increment Financing, which helps with property tax. He said, “We are moving ahead, and Kimball has a future and a bright one.”

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for July 18 at 5 p.m.