BEATRICE – The Beatrice City Council has given first-round approval to an ordinance that would allow UTV and ATV vehicles on city streets.   The vote came after the council voted down an effort to suspend the rules and give final approval Monday night…. a vote of 4-3.   Six votes were needed to move to final approval. 

The council heard opposition and support for allowing the vehicles on city streets….a proposal brought before the council by Councilman Tim Fralin. He said some people are ill-informed on the issue….but Mayor Bob Morgan cautioned that all opinions are worth listening to.

The proposed ordinance includes all state regulations governing the vehicles use…but does not include three-wheeled vehicles. Added to the local ordinance was a helmet requirement for using an ATV…..and a helmet or a seatbelt for a UTV.

The vehicles would be barred from using U.S. Highway 77, but would be able to use U.S. Highway 136 between Center Street and Second Street.  Exceptions to the regulations would include parades and the use of the vehicles for snow removal.

On the vote to advance the ordinance through one round, voting yes were Tim Fralin, Dave Eskra, Gary Barnard and Duane Ruh.  Voting no were Council members Ted Fairbanks, Rich Kerr and Mike McLain.  Councilman Terry Doyle was absent from the meeting.

The City Council has approved an agreement that will allocate $30,000 to the Main Street Beatrice organization.  The agreement is retroactive to the start of this fiscal year, October 1st, on a reimbursement basis.

Elected officials also voted to commit up to $50,000 in funding or in-kind services to a project to revive a waterfall located in the south part of Chautauqua Park.

The estimated overall cost of the project is about $85,000 and will help private efforts to raise funding for the project.  A grant the city is looking at would require end-of-this-year completion of the project.

On a third item, elected officials voted to asked the Nebraska Department of Transportation for a U.S. Highway 136 to a proposed commercial development by Hydo family….on property near East Scott and U.S. 136. 

City officials approved some contract bids, Monday night.  R.L Tiemann Construction has been awarded an alley reconstruction project between 8th and 9th…Court and Market…..for a cost of $70,869.  Lammel Plumbing will do a $38,950 project to upgrade a sewer lift station…..and Continental Restoration Co. has had their bid of $89,814 approved, for exterior building repairs at Beatrice Police Headquarters.