NEBRASKA CITY – City officials from Nebraska City fielded questions ranging from the Steinhart Park Aquatic Center and soccer fields to the 4th Corso viaduct and project success stories during an hour long Town Hall Forum on Twitter Thursday night, thought to be the first of its kind in the state.
Residents were encouraged to get on Twitter and communicate with city employees using the #NECityListens.
The City of Nebraska City Twitter account, @Nebraska_City, started the conversation by asking “what is your favorite thing about Nebraska City?” Answers included the city pool, orchards, museums, Arbor Lodge and how progressive the town of 7,347 people is, including ideas like the Twitter conversation.
More cities/gov't should take note and explore new ways to interact with citizens & hear real feedback- the accessibility & transparency could go a long way toward restoring faith in elected officials. Great example tonight: @Nebraska_City's Twitter Town Hall. #NECityListens
— Michelle Haag (@spark4creative) September 14, 2018
Here are examples of questions asked by citizens and the city’s answers:
Q: The tax for the pool was advertised to go away after pool was paid for. Why is the city planning to keep the tax to pay for things that likely only a small percent of town’s population will use?
A: The 1/2 cent sales tax is repaying the bonds for the aquatic center and will be paid off in 10-12 years (estimated).
Q: Then why was the swimming pool fast tracked but a bridge to a lower income area of town put on the back burner for so long?
A: The 4th Corso viaduct project was actually under development (engineer/design/permitting) long before it was closed for safety. Federal funds and active rail lines and a creek (environmental) all played a part in the timeline.
Q: Any idea on when they hope to reopen the 4th Corso bridge?
A: The construction work is planned for completion in July 2019. With great weather, it could be much sooner.
Q: Are there any plans to add a stoplight to the Walmart driveway and Hwy. 75 intersection?
A: The State has control of access on Bus. 75 and conducts traffic counts to justify the need for stoplights. We’ll approach the State and ask about getting an update.
Q: What recently completed project are you most proud of and why?
A: There are many! The South Interchange addressed a major safety concern and will save lives. The Steinhart Acquatic Center, replacement of the Steinhart walking bridge & trail, 11th Street, Kearney Hill, etc. All are exciting!
Q: With current and future construction does the city have a plan to repair and replace streets used as detour routs? Such as central from 6th to 1st and 16th st. From business 75 and Central Avenue.
A: The City is aware of the extra wear and tear these roads are enduring, and there are plans for improvements in the future.
Q: Can you give us an update on the sports complex (soccer & baseball fields) now that the Wyuka Board denied the request? Where does the city go from here?
A: The Cemetery Advisory Board made no formal recommendation, and the issue is coming before the Council on Monday night for a decision on a conceptual drawing task order. Private grant funds are available.
Signing off of Twitter Town Hall. Keep up the communication and have a great night! #NECityListens See you AppleJack Weekend 9/21-9/23.
— City of Nebraska City (@Nebraska_City) September 14, 2018
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