Capturing youth’s attention for an extended period of time can be challenging, especially when they are listening to local government officials talk about things like future land use maps, zoning, resolutions and ordinances.

Fortunately, for the Boy Scout Troop 212 members in attendance during Monday’s Columbus City Council Meeting, the proceeding was bearable.

“Troop 212, you picked a good meeting to come to,” Mayor Jim Bulkley said, with a smile. “It was pretty speedy but still efficient.”

Although it didn’t last longer than 25 minutes, the meeting was productive. Perhaps the big success takeaway from the gathering was a local contractor being awarded a bid to complete a substantial streets project along Third Avenue from Eighth Street to the area of about South Third Street.

The bid was contracted to Gehring Construction & Ready Mix Co. Inc. in the amount of $2,126,761.62. The project, according to information provided by City Engineer Rick Bogus, consists of work being done to the street, sidewalks, storm sewer stubs and inlets, utility adjustments, seeding/sodding and other related work.

The project is slated to gear up in June and be completed by the end of the year, according to Bogus. Project expenses are being shared by the city, benefiting homeowners and the Nebraska Department of transportation, according to released information from Bogus. Estimated city participation is just over $909,000, with benefiting properties assessments contributing around $400,000. These assessment amounts were capped in 2008.

A future construction engineering agreement, at city expense, will be provided for review and approval at a later date.

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“This is one of those that the naysayers said never was going to happen,” Bulkley said. “For all the naysayers, I hope they are listening tonight because it’s darn well happening. Like most things, there is a time and a place for things to get to, and this is their time and their place. So, it’s finally being done."

In other council news:

*Gehring Construction & Ready Mix Co. Inc. was awarded another contract in the amount of $1,283,544.25 for 15 municipal street paving improvements being completed this year.

*A resolution passed approving an agreement with Southeast Community College for field internship training and placement of EMT/Paramedic program students with the Columbus Fire Department.

*Officials unanimously approved the application of Loup Public Power District for the preliminary plat of Energy Triangle Second Addition, being completed south and east of Old Monastery Road and Lost Creek Parkway.

*The council approved the quote from Creative Sites LLC in the amount of just under $39,500 for playground equipment set to be installed at Frontier Park. Ward 3 Council Member Rich Jablonski noted that the city expense is really just around $9,000 because the local Sertoma Club is contributing around $30,000.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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