City Council says yes to playground, with stipulations

The Broken Bow City Council met in in open session Oct. 23 to discuss several topics, including community branding, and the playground equipment located at Custer School. The topic that received the most discussion during the meeting was the possibility for the city of Broken Bow to purchase playground equipment that currently resides at Custer School. Under the offer that stands from the school board, the city is being asked to purchase the equipment at a cost of 50 cents on the dollar. This figure would amount to $25,000. The equipment would continue to reside at its current location or be relocated to one of the other existing parks in Broken Bow. On the other hand, should the city council vote to not buy the playground equipment, the school district would move the equipment to North Park School once the renovation project is complete. Opening the discussion, Mayor Burt commented that he had been contacted by several people in the community who were in favor of the city purchasing the equipment and leaving it in place. Mayor Burt expressed to the Council he was in favor of the action. Comments from members of the community attending the meeting included concerns about children being required to cross a busy highway to get to the playground equipment at the city square should the equipment at Custer School be relocated. In the event of a purchase, the city of Broken Bow and the School District would share in liability of the equipment and those who utilize it. This is due to the equipment being located on School property and the city owning the equipment. City Attorney Jason White offered that it would be up to the city to maintain the equipment. However, the equipment would still be located on school property thus creating the shared liability. Councilman Cody Schmick stated that $25,000 seemed to be a lot of money for seven year old equipment. Councilman Bill Adams agreed and moved to offer a donation to the school district for $15,000 with conditions stating that the equipment would not be relocated and the school district will maintain and continue to hold liability on the equipment. This motion was seconded and passed unanimously.Community Branding Economic Development President Melissa Garcia addressed the counsel regarding community branding. This would allow the city and other entities within the community to seek out a company that would build a web portal for Broken Bow. Garcia expressed she felt that the timing was right due to city growth and the establishment of seven new businesses since her tenure as president began. She explained that taking this action would allow for cohesive marketing collateral, a logo for Broken Bow, increased web presence for people exploring the possibility of visiting, and would open up future funding options for projects such as downtown revitalization. When asked by council members of the cost for such a project, Melissa explained that the preliminary cost would be $65,000, but $35,000 would be paid for by grant programs and private donors. The council agreed to further research into funding and the maintenance for the city branding project.Other Business In other business, the City Council: • Approved the appointment of Jess Taylor to the Broken Bow Board of Public Works, and Councilman Bill Adams to act as City Representative to the Custer County Fire Board and MFO. • Voted to close appropriate city streets for the Parade of Lights Nov. 26. from 6-7 p.m. The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. As public business concluded, the City Council continued in closed session to discuss wage bargaining and contracts. The next meeting fo the City Council will be Nov. 13.