Blecke hired as Wayne's new city administrator

A different face will be found in the Wayne City Administrator's office in coming weeks. However, the face is not new to Wayne.
During Tuesday's meeting of Wayne City Council, Wes Blecke was hired as the Assistant City Administrator from July 1 to July 31. He was also hired as the City Administrator, effective Aug. 1.
Blecke, a native of Wakefield, has served several roles in the Wayne Area Economic Development Office for the past 11 years and told the council he is anxious to get started in his position as City Administrator.
In a related matter, Matt Ley, President of the Wayne Area Economic Development Board of Directors, spoke to the council and asked for two council members to serve on a committee to find a replacement for Blecke as the director of Wayne Area Economic Development.
A considerable portion of Tuesday's council meeting revolved around the recommendation from Bryce Meyer, Recreation Director and Cassie Gubbels, Pool Manager, in regard to children at the pool being accompanied by an adult or babysitter.
Gubbels told the council there is no formal policy on children coming to the pool without any supervision. She said she and Meyer had suggested that children be eight years old to be able to come to the pool without supervision and those seven years old and younger would need to be accompanied by someone who was at least 16 years of age. She said those ages were presented as a starting point for discussion and also listed the regulations at pools in other towns in Nebraska.
Council member Jennifer Sievers said she had received comments from several residents, voicing their concerns about the proposed changes. She questioned why there was a need for the change and what was different from last year. She did say that with the new pool, there is "more stuff to do."
Mayor Ken Chamberlain said that he felt the age requirements for the pool should match those in place at the Community Activity Center. That requirement is that those children ages seven years and younger need to be accompanied by someone who is 13 years or older and those who are eight years old can be alone.
Holly Doring spoke to the council and asked whether the policy was being implemented because of the level of swimming abilities or because of behavior.
"We love the new pool and my kids beg to be able to stay. At the old pool, they were bored after 40 minutes and wanted to go home. I agree that there needs to be some type of policy, but don't punish everybody."
Discussion was held on whether the city needed  to implement the policy immediately, or if the changes could be made at the beginning of the next swimming season.
Following considerable debate, along with the possibility of allowing for a discounted rate for babysitters, the council voted to implement the policy, effective July 1. Until that time, pool employees will be educating the pool users on the new regulations.
In other action, the council approved a redevelopment plan for the Crown II Housing Project.
The project would be awarded $400,000 in TIF funding to Crown Homes for the purchase of property, water, street and sewer improvements for 15 workforce housing rent-to-own homes, six market rate homes, a market rate apartment project with garages and a privately operated daycare.
Council member Cale Giese said he feels a percentage of the TIF funds needs to be set aside for improvements to the city's parks.
After discussion on whether that needs to be a specific dollar amount or a percentage, the council voted to approve the redevelopment plan with a requirement that five percent of the money be used for park development.
Council members also approved a resolution which will provide funding to Providence Medical Center for ambulance services.
The agreement calls for the city to provide $51,000 in the next fiscal year and increase that amount by 12 percent in each of the next three years. After that, there would be a two percent increase through year 10 of the agreement.
Jim Frank, CEO of Providence Medical Center said the numbers were "better than originally presented. The agreement also assumes the Rural (Fire) Board agrees to participate."
Discussion was held, but no action taken on an ordinance that would amend the city code in regard to parking regulations, specifically off-street parking requirements.
City Planner Joel Hansen said the Planning Commission had reviewed these changes, many of which Hansen said came about after his research from the city of Hastings, and after discussion, brought forth a number of proposals in regard to the number of off-street parking spaces required for certain types of  housing and certain business categories.
Council members voted to table the issue until the ordinance can be further reviewed.
An ordinance was read and the three readings waived that will allow for one of the positions on the Community Redevelopment Agency to become an 'at large' position.
This will allow for former council member Nick Muir to remain on the Agency.
The council will next meet in regular session on Thursday, July 6 at 5:30 p.m. This is a date change due to the Fourth of July holiday falling on the first Tuesday of the month.

The Wayne Herald

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Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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