Schall, Adams sworn in - Schall elected president

One of the orders of business at Tuesday’s Broken Bow City Council meeting was the swearing in of incumbent council members Chad Schall, representing the West Ward, and Bill Adams, representing the East Ward. Adams was appointed to the council in December 2010, while Schall was elected. Following the swearing in, Schall was elected by his peers as president of the council. The council also approved Mayor Cecil Burt’s annual appointments of city engineer - J.E.O., city physician - Dr. Shawn Lawrence, and city finance committee - Chad Schall, Bill Adams, Cody Schmick and Kelly Clay. Clay was absent from the meeting, and several of the items on the agenda were tabled to the January meeting. Those items included a recommendation from the Park Board to transfer $10,000 budgeted for Melham playground equipment towards the playground equipment at Custer School and approval of a memorandum of understanding between the city and the school for the Custer equipment. The mayor and council also opened sealed bids for a new police car, but decided to table awarding the bid to give Chief of Police Steve Scott an opportunity to review the bids. Also tabled to the next meeting was the consideration of a recommendation from the Board of Public Works for possible use of credit/debit cards for utility payments. The Board of Public Works recommends not accepting credit/debit card payments, a recommendation Council member Cody Schmick questioned. Lisa Spanel addressed the issue on behalf of the city’s utility office, explaining that the use of credit/debit cards for utility payments would increase the work load in her office. Spanel says some days, such as the 10th of the month, the office staff has all they can currently handle. However, Schmick says he believes the council needs to research the matter a little further. “It’s obvious this is where the world is going, so we can either do it now or play catch up later,” said Schmick. “We take pride in calling ourselves a progressive community.” Schmick also noted that personally he seldom writes checks, but rather uses his card for most transactions. “About the only check I write is to the utility company,” he added. The council will revisit the issue in a future meeting. Finally, after years of talking about it, the city has agreed to implement a wellness and disease preventative program for its employees. Employees will be given an opportunity to undergo a wellness exam and obtain membership to the Wellness Center, paid for by funds in an account set aside for insurance - not from the city’s budget. Council member Bill Adams suggested the city also pay a portion of the cost in the program for part-time employees who wish to participate. The motion received unanimous approval.