Water issues, trail naming on council agenda


In addition to a lengthy debate on the issue of wearing masks (see story in today's Herald), the Wayne City Council spent nearly two hours on several other topics during Tuesday's meeting.

Casey Junck, Water/Wastewater Superintendent, told the council that his department recently began "Round 4 of taking samples on the recently installed water transmission line. Some of these samples have come back good and others did not pass."

He talked about some of the options the city has, including hiring a firm from Texas to do a cleaning of the line or continuation of the chlorination of city water.

Richard Koenig, Water Supply Specialist with the Nebraska Health & Human Services, Department of Public Health Drinking Water Program, spoke to the council on the challenges of collecting samples and noted that winter "is not a god time to flush the lines."

Koenig praised the work of the JEO Consulting group in working to find a solution to the problem and said Wayne is not the first city to have problems with a new line. He noted several options and said that while some "are not cheap, the sampling process is not cheaper either."

Roger Protzman with JEO Consulting spoke to the council and talked about the steps the city, the contractor and engineers have taken so far. He said he felt progress has been made and feels "air is leaking out somewhere. We are working on coming up with a solution."

The naming of the entire Wayne trail system was discussed during the meeting.

Barbara Engebretsen, representing the Voices for Vision Coalition, told the council the group was formed last summer and were working on ideas to bring the community together. 

The naming of the entire trail was presented by the group and Engebretsen said calling the trail the Freedom Trail would be "inclusive and holistic for the community. She also said that she is a member of the Wayne Rotary Club and the group is looking at putting signage for the trail near the old swimming pool. The group is looking for grant money to pay for the signage.

Connie Hall, who lives near the start of the trail on the south end of Wayne, was opposed to the name Freedom Trail. Instead, she preferred the current name, Wayne Pedestrian Trail.

Council members voted to table taking any action on the agenda item until they have time to consider the issue further.

Following a public hearing, the council adopted Resolution 2021-8 which approves the city's one and six year street improvement program.

The only project scheduled to be completed in 2021 is the Pine Heights/East 10th Street Project.

Among the projects listed for the future include Fairgrounds Avenue from South Main Street to South Nebraska Street, West Third Street at the intersection with Oak Drive, East Fourth Street and Thorman Street and downtown alleys.

Council members approved an inter local agreement with Wayne County for the purpose of sharing the engineering and design costs for portions of Centennial Road and 21st Street.

Wayne County commissioners had earlier agreed to pay one-third of the cost of this work.

The agreement does not obligate either the city or the county to move forward with the construction of the project

Park and Recreation Director Lowell Heggemeyer gave a report on the work of his department.

Heggemeyer said that in 2019 the Parks Department and Recreation Department were combined. There are currently three full-time employees in the department and three- to four-part time employees. 

He listed the duties of the department including the parks, the trail, the Community Activity Center, the City Auditorium and the swimming pool.

Heggemeyer discussed a number of projects completed in the last year, including several projects at Bressler Park and work on the swimming pool.

Approval was given for a sign permit from Kari Patefield, owner of IKT. Patefield plans to install a sign on the former Mineshaft Mall, located at 112 East Second Street.

A public hearing was held and resolution passed approving the final plat for the Greenwood Addition. This will allow the west driveway of Greenwood Cemetery to become city property.

Ordinance 2021-3 received third reading approval and allows for parking changes int he northeast quadrant of the city.

The Wayne City Council will  at next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Community Activity Center.