Local News

North Platte City Council members on Tuesday will review the city’s 2017-18 audit with the firm that prepared it during a work session preceding their regular council meeting.

The audit review will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the evening’s main agenda beginning at 7:30 p.m. Council members will meet in their chamber at City Hall, 211 W. Third St.

The council voted Feb. 5 to accept the audit report for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2018, and review its findings later with representatives of the Grand Island accounting firm of Almquist, Maltzahn, Galloway & Luth.

The time period covered by the firm, which also did the city’s 2016-17 audit, closed three months before the initial January retirement of longtime Lincoln County Treasurer Sue Fleck.

The Almquist firm’s report therefore doesn’t reflect reported shortfalls in the city’s property tax receipts during the tenure of Fleck’s successor, Lorie Koertner. County commissioners removed Koertner Monday and appointed Fleck interim treasurer.

The city’s overall financial position as the 2017-18 fiscal year closed was similar to where it was a year earlier, according to the accounting firm’s last two audit reports.

Total city assets as of Sept. 30 exceeded liabilities by nearly $106.9 million, 1.1% higher than at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The city had $31.8 million available to meet its obligations, compared with $31.9 million a year before. The city’s total Sept. 30 general-fund balance was just under $2 million, 9.6% higher than on the same date in 2017.

During the regular meeting, the council will consider granting a license to fence off part of a city parking lot for a barbecue smoker for a new restaurant at East Fourth and Dewey streets.

Zachary Hiebner and GL Concepts LLC plan to open the Good Life on the Bricks restaurant and bar in the former location of Mallory’s, which closed in February. The firm filed a legal notice registering its trade name in Thursday’s Telegraph.

Hiebner wants to enclose an 18-foot-square portion of the Fourth and Jeffers parking lot behind the restaurant, where the smoker would be operated, according to council documents.

Council members also will take up a maintenance plan for intended new sections of a hiking-biking trail along West State Farm Road. The city’s Trails Committee is seeking a grant from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for the project, which would connect several existing sections of the trail.

In other business, the council will:

» Consider purchases of two refurbished street sweepers to replace three sweepers being traded in by the Public Service Department.

The city’s fourth sweeper would remain in service.

The purchases would cost a combined $150,000 after the trade-ins, compared with more than $440,000 to buy two brand-new sweepers, Public Service Director Layne Groseth said in his request to the council.

» Decide whether to renew the city’s interlocal fuel agreement with Lincoln County for another year. Under the agreement, the city buys fuel for the county, when then buys it from the city for the delivered cost plus 1 cent per gallon.

» Consider issuing warrants to various contractors for recent public works projects and approving a warrant purchase agreement for those warrants with First National Bank of Omaha.

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