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Council OKs offer for CARES grant

Council OKs offer for CARES grant


Monday night the Chadron City Council with council member Mark Werner absent, voted unanimously for a resolution to approve the CARES act grant offer received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for non-development assistance at the Chadron Municipal Airport.

The grant has a maximum value of $30,000, and City Manager Greg Yanker said the majority of the money will be used for the four full-time employees, and a small portion will go to utilities to try and fit it into this fiscal year.

In other action, council approved resolutions regarding upcoming events. The first was for the use of Highway 20 at the Main Street intersection for a procession of occupied motor vehicles on July 11 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

Chadron Lions Club representative Dennis Brown noted this procession was formerly known as a “parade.” It is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. July 11 and follow the regular route on Main Street from 10th Street to First. Participants can also drive by Crestview Care Center if they choose.

Brown said he has visited with Panhandle Public Health and explained the plan is to put signage up for social distancing, and make masks and sanitizer available. There is also heavy promotion that people should remain in their vehicles

Much like the annual Christmas parade, Brown said, the street will not be closed and vehicles can park along the parade route. Further, people who live along Main can watch from their porches but should not invite large parties.

Brown doesn’t expect there to be a big turnout, with eight registered groups this year, and there will be no candy thrown out. He is hopeful people follow the set rules to make this a safe event.

A special designated license for Helen’s Restaurant and The Grove was approved, for the Harvest Moon Fall Festival on October 3. Speaking in support of the license were Jennifer Wright and Brooke Keim, both members of the Dawes County Ag Society.

Wright explained women from Hemingford approached them about bringing the festival to Chadron. The women are organized, Wright noted, and plan to have events such as goat roping, bouncy horses, sheep herding, a farmers market, a maze, various games and other activities. Food vendors are also planned, and the whole Dawes County Fairgrounds will be used. Wright and Keim added the event is quite large, and there is something for everyone.

Wright said they would like to also have a beer garden, as well as a contest for people who make their own beer and wine — much like what is done during the fair Open Class — for which the license is required. The wine and beer brought for the contests will not be available for sale.

Mayor Miles Bannan noted the granting of the license is contingent upon Panhandle Public Health approval and beer gardens not being excluded from the state directed health measures. Current DHMs do not allow for beer gardens, which cancelled plans to have them during Fur Trade Days and Bands on Bordeaux; the decision was made last week to cancel the Bands event.

Council also approved resolution to declare two automated external defibrillators as surplus property and authorize their disposal. Police Chief Tim Lordino said sometimes equipment is sold, but the defibrillators should be destroyed as they are almost nine years old and unserviceable.

Lordino said the defibrillators are carried in the cruisers, and have already been replaced. The Chadron Volunteer Fire Department does a great job, he added, but they are volunteers who are not regularly at the stations. When a call for a defibrillator comes in, often police officers can reach the scene much quicker, and officers have saved quite a few lives.

In his report, City Manager Yanker reminded everyone of the upcoming budget workshop on Tuesday, July 14.

Janet Johnson reminded everyone there is a free swim at the aquatic center this Saturday from 12-6 p.m. The swim usually happens on Memorial Day.

In closing council member comments, Chery Welch said she was recently made aware of the Black Indigenous People Of Color (BIPOC) group, and is making an effort to read books and listen to music created by such people. She further added the council is welcoming to everyone but she wants ideas of creating Chadron as a city for liberty and justice for all. She wants the BIPOC group to know “I am your ally.”

George Klein was approached by someone who is concerned that Honor Flight has disbanded. He assured everyone there is a flight planned for 2021, hopefully in June. Those who would like to participate in the Honor Flight can contact Klein at his office, 432-4222.

Bannan expressed his sadness that Fur Trade Days events were cancelled and that he will miss it, but wished everyone a “Happy Fur Trade Days” and hopes everyone enjoys the procession of motorized vehicles on Saturday. He again expressed appreciation to all of the essential workers, medical personnel, firefighters and EMTs for all the work they are doing right now.

Council member Keith Crofutt advised everyone to stay safe, and despite Fur Trade Days events being cancelled he’s hopeful the DHMs will be released while still being safe.

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