Donation approved for The Main Event

The Sabetha City Commission met at 6 p.m. Monday, July 8, at Sabetha City Hall. Present for the meeting were Mayor Cody Bletscher, Commissioners Jason Enneking, Nick Aberle, Maridel Wittmer and Trevin Edelman, City Administrator Doug Allen, and Assistant City Administrator Bill Shroyer. Guests present were The Main Event Committee members Amy Allen and Kathy Simpson, Fire Chief Jim Johnson, Austin Wasinger, and Steve Shafer.

The Main Event

A. Allen and Simpson were present to request a donation to go toward The Main Event. During the previous meeting, the commissioners had agreed to table a donation to the Main Event Committee for an audio/visual system. The board was given an updated quote, and Simpson told the board that they were given a generous $10,000 donation. The amount they are now requesting of the city is $6,712. The board unanimously agreed to donate $6,712 and approved using money from the tourism fund.

Fire Truck Update

Fire Chief Johnson came before the board to give an update on the new fire truck that was approved for purchase during the Dec. 11, 2023, commission meeting. Johnson reminded the board that the $450,000 cost of this purchase would be shared with the Nemaha County Rural Fire District No. 5 on a 50/50 basis. Each group guaranteed $25,000 in December 2023 to secure the truck at that price.

“The new stock fire truck was scheduled to be delivered in the spring of 2025,” Johnson said. “Two weeks ago… Terry called and said that it would be ready at the end of August 2024. The following week, he called and told me it would be done July 16… Things were just moving along… So we had to go to work on getting a loan secured and meeting with the rural board to see how much money they were going to have to come up with by raising their mill levy.”

After canvassing the local banks, Johnson said that United Bank came in with the low bid at 5.95 percent interest rate on a five-year loan. The payment will be about $95,000, so about $47,500 will be paid by each entity per year.

Commissioner Aberle inquired about the city loaning the money to Nemaha County Rural Fire District No. 5.

“For a $400,000 loan over five years, is it just too cumbersome for the city to pay that and loan their half?” Aberle asked.

“We can, we have just always chose to keep some balance, and our G.O. [General Obligation Fund] is not great, but it’s not bad,” D. Allen said. “We’ve got about two million in G.O., so we just usually leave it as payments, but if you guys want to do that, we could do that.”

The board discussed the amount they could save by paying off their half and loaning the other half to the rural district.

“I just think, with our public funds, we ought to think about what is best,” Aberle said. “They are going to pay for a loan either way, so if we’re making two percent at one bank and we can do a $200,000 loan to them for five years, they are going to save their people money and we are going to save money. I think we can charge them five percent… Obviously, we could charge them 5.95 percent… They have already agreed to that, I’m not saying hose them. I’m saying let’s save them some money so it’s a mutually beneficial deal for everybody.”

“We can look at it and bring it back to the next meeting and come up with some figures to look at,” D. Allen said.

The commissioners agreed to table the discussion until the July 22 meeting.

Also at the meeting:

The commissioners approved the minutes from the June 24 meeting.

The commissioners appointed Josh Bechtelheimer to the planning commission board — the board is now full.

The commissioners approved seven applications for Transient Tax Donations.

The next regular meeting for the commission will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, July 22, at Sabetha City Hall.

Julie Shafer64 Posts

Julie Shafer is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2021. Julie lives in Morrill with her husband and three of her five children.


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