Two measures on topics related to controversies at past North Platte City Council meetings will get their next airings before the city’s Planning Commission.

Council members Tuesday gave first-round approval to an ordinance — already slated for a May 26 planning-panel hearing — to have the building inspector and Development Department take on duties long assigned to the defunct health inspector’s post.

They also referred a “blighted and substandard” study of land west of South Lakeview Boulevard to the Planning Commission.

Both measures were advanced without debate on 6-0 votes, with Councilmen Ed Rieker and Ty Lucas absent from the first full meeting for new City Administrator Matthew Kibbon.

No one spoke during a public hearing on the building-inspector ordinance, which needs two more “yes” votes to take effect.

A council memorandum said the ordinance would not be presented in final form until after the Planning Commission holds its public hearing and the measure comes up for second-round debate June 2.

The ordinance would generally conform the city’s “housing maintenance and occupancy code” to the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code.

It would assign “all duties formally granted to the (city) health inspector to the building inspector,” with any “health or environmental issues” the city building inspector isn’t certified to address to be referred to the West Central District Health Department.

Council members voted April 7 to assign the city’s authority to enforce health regulations to WCDHD under a one-year renewable agreement.

City codes otherwise assign that authority to a five-member Board of Health, which has officially existed since 1897 but is inactive.

Besides the proposed housing-code ordinance, the Planning Commission next week also will decide whether an 80.79-acre area mostly west of Lakeview meets the standard in state law to qualify building projects there for tax increment financing.

Wilk Builders Inc., a North Platte housing construction firm, will submit a study of the area by Marvin Planning Consultants of David City, authors of the 2018 North Platte-Lincoln County housing study.

The study area mostly covers vacant land but crosses Lakeview to include 24 existing homes along both sides of Sugarberry Road before it curves south.

Three-fourths of those homes are at least 40 years old, a necessary qualifier under state law in making a study area TIF-eligible.

In other business, the council:

» Went through the 35-minute meeting without holding an executive session on personnel issues or possible litigation. The possibility of such a closed session was added to the agenda Monday.

» Agreed to submit grant applications for federal COVID-19 funding totaling $139,724 to buy telephone and radio equipment enabling emergency operation of the 911 dispatching center from different locations.

That could become necessary, Police Chief Daniel Hudson said, not only in case of fire or natural disaster but also if dispatchers — all of whom work in a single room — were exposed to COVID-19 or another contagious disease requiring an entire shift to be quarantined at once.

The equipment the city would buy would be able to link other locations to the main dispatching center “so we don’t lose the entire department” and the ability to dispatch first responders, Hudson said.

No equipment will be bought unless the U.S. Department of Justice and the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice approve the grants, he said.

» Gave second-round approval to an ordinance to create a paving district to resurface a linked section of Reid Avenue and Spruce Street south of West Philip.

Kibbon and City Engineer Brent Burklund said core samples from the street’s base indicate it can be retopped with fresh asphalt for about $200,000.

The base is still good enough to get a 10- to 15-year life out of a new asphalt surface, they said. Waiting another year could cause the surface to deteriorate to the point of needing a complete $1 million concrete reconstruction.

» Gave final approval to an ordinance declaring North Platte and its surrounding 2-mile-wide zoning jurisdiction a “clean energy assessment district.”

That step paves the way for developers to gain “PACE financing” from the city to include energy-efficiency and clean-energy features. Developers would be assessed by the city for the costs.

» Approved an assessment schedule for a recently completed “water connection district” on East 16th Street between Taft and Bryan avenues.

Burklund said the three affected property owners successfully received certified letters notifying them of the assessments.

Some property owners involved in unrelated utility extension districts recently complained about a lack of notice, a problem traced in part to problems using regular mail.

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