Monday night’s meeting of the Chadron City Council — with councilmember Joe Johndreau absent —saw several approved motions in regard to the upcoming Fur Trade Days celebration. Two were for events traditional to the annual FTD. The north entrance to Greenwood Cemetery will be blocked off to allow for the Historical Walking Tours, and the intersection of Main Street and Highway 20 will be allowed use for the parade.
However, the third approved motion allows for a new event. A fireworks show in the vacant property along the south side of East Niobrara Avenue.
Fur Trade Days board member Miles Bannan said the show is something that’s been discussed in the past, and the council’s approval allows them to continue the permitting process for the show.
Bannan also assured council that the board has secured a vendor, and has been working with the Chadron Volunteer Fire Department to ensure the show is not only festive but safe. There are plans to mow the empty lots down prior to the show, and any adverse weather means either postponing or canceling it.
Bannan further noted the show, scheduled for 10 p.m. on July 10, will be happening at around the same time as other events such as the carnival and live music, as well as the softball tournament and demolition derby if there are enough entries. The location also makes it highly visible from several spots in Chadron.
With regard to the Historical Tours, this year marks the 10th for the tours. Figures portrayed on the tours include James Bordeaux, John Davenport, Doc Middleton, and Samuel and Nancy Palmer. The tours are at 4 and 7 p.m. July 10.
As for the parade, it is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 10. In addition to the regular parade, there will be a dog parade prior at the Dawes County Courthouse
Also during the meeting, two requests for LB 840 Community Development Funds were approved. Up to $60,000 was approved for the Dawes County Ag Society, to help fund the costs of a fire wall separating the new building from the existing building at the fairgrounds. The money will also be used for electrical work, and the construction of restrooms that are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ag Society Board Member Casey Schumacher and Secretary Brooke Keim spoke on the application. Schumacher said the project of the new building began in 2019 when an October snowstorm knocked the building down. He noted the board has also been working FEMA to replace it, but it has to be ADA compliant. The original building was built in the 1930s.
The second granted request for LB 840 funds was for an amount not to exceed $22,643, which will be used to purchase 42 new holiday decorations for the light poles along Highway 20. The current decorations are 27 years old and starting to show their wear, according to George Klein, who applied for the funds with his wife Emily.
The new lights “reflect the positive image of our progressive community, the beauty of our area and invite visitors to enjoy our quality of life,” according to the application. “The Fantasy Tree reflects the beauty of our forests and the Pine Ridge. The Star Spray reflects our 136-year history as ‘The Magical City,’ a theme that was commemorated at Chadron Quasquicentennial in 2010.”
As to any problems with the existing lights, Klein said they are referred to as “plum worn out.”
In other action, council approved a special designated license to allow the Knights of Columbus to serve alcohol at a wedding reception June 26, and a second progress estimate in the amount of $27,532.45 to Vintage Masonry for an addition to the existing water plant to house the emergency generator.