The council approved the city's annual maintenance agreement with the Nebraska Department of Transporation (NDOT) for 2020.

The NDOT will pay the City of Blair $42,756 for maintenance of the highway, which includes the two inside lanes and any turn lanes. The two outside lanes are already considered the city's responsibility.

Maintenance includes snow and ice control, pavement markings, pavement and pot hole patching and panel replacement.

“Just about all the normal street maintenance that you would see us do on our streets, we would be doing on their highways as well,” Director of Public Works Al Schoemaker said.

City to purchase new street sweeper

The council approved the bid for the lease purchase of a 2019 Elgin Pelican NP Dual Gutter Broom Street Sweeper for $216,412. The city will receive $32,350 in trade-in value for its 2009 street sweeper, making the total cost $184,062.

The council also approved a 7-year lease from Washington County Bank with an interest rate of 3.55 percent. The city will make annual payments of $26,046.

This past summer, the streets department replaced several panels along the highway near Walmart. Schoemaker said the work cost the city nearly $10,000 to complete.

“It is kind of expensive to maintain those highways,” he said. “I'm not sure if the City of Blair really breaks even on these numbers, but nonetheless I haven't come up with a better plan to recommend to the DOT or the city council other than the current one.”

Date set for Northern View subdivision assessments

The city council, acting as the Board of Equalization, set Dec. 10 as the date for the board to levy special assessments on lots and parcels of land for paving, water and sewer in the Northern View subdivision.

Schoemaker said the total cost of the project was approximately $48,000 per lot. The assessed amount per lot is $38,000.

“It did get kind of on the higher side, but we're not too much out of line in what we've seen in other subdivisions,” he said.

The assessments allow the developer to know their total costs as homes are built in the subdivision.

Council member Brad Andersen was astonished at the cost.

“That makes affordable housing very hard in the town,” Andersen said. “This is just paving and sanitary sewer. It doesn't count buying the land or doing the grading or the electrical.”

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