Council president Spanel resigns

Monday’s City Council meeting began with an unexpected order of business. Pending the resignation of council president Scott Spanel, Mayor Cecil Burt appointed councilman Chad Schall as temporary president. The council then voted to accept Spanel’s resignation, though Schall commented that he would like to have more explanation as to the reason of the resignation. In a letter to Mayor Burt, City Administrator Tony Tolstedt and his fellow councilmen, Spanel said his resignation is effective Aug. 10, and “comes after weeks of thought and deliberation.” He did not cite a reason for his decision, other than to say, “It comes to my attention that the need for me here has since passed.” Spanel thanked the current and past mayors and council members he has served with. “It has been a privilege to have served the city of Broken Bow in my position for the last eight years. We have been a part of some great things,” Spanel’s letter reads. The council voted unanimously to accept the resignation and to begin advertising the vacancy. In other business, Don Ramsey presented a request to the council to pursue annexation of property surrounding the current city limits. Ramsey proposed annexing within a one-mile radius of the city limits, which would include approximately 75 homes. This annexation, he says, would add much needed revenue to the city in the form of tax dollars and relieve some of the burden of the city’s residents. Ramsey cited the low number of new construction homes that have been built within the city limits in recent years, saying he believes it is the city’s excessive tax base that is hindering the construction. He used the city of Aurora as an example, comparing their tax levy - which is about half of Broken Bow’s levy - and the fact that community also has a new swimming pool and new school. Ramsey presented the information to the council as “food for thought”, and the council members all agreed it is something worth looking into. Other items before the Council at Monday’s meeting included: • The Council voted to rezone the property on the east edge of Broken Bow from agriculture to commercial. • The park board recommended renovating the three outdoor tennis courts and practice court at Tomahawk Park. The board had gotten an estimated cost of the project of $23,790. However, Dan Anderson says the board has since discussed the possibility of converting one of the tennis courts into a basketball court. The council decided to table discussion on the project pending a final recommendation from the park board. • The Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting parking on the southwest corner of the junction of Rest Haven Drive and Thelma Street and extending 40 feet west along the south side of Thelma Street.