Council says no to Pioneer Energy group

Effective immediately, Energy Pioneer Solutions, Inc. no longer has a working agreement with the city of Broken Bow. Clients who already have had work finished, and are being billed through the Utilities Office, will continue that method of payment through the end of their contract. April Christensen, Community Coordinator for Pioneer Solutions addressed the Broken Bow City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday to ask for a one-year extension on their contract. The original contract called for the city to be paid $.75 per bill for their efforts. This had since been amended to be $1.50 per bill. The company also volunteered to sponsor an “Ask Al” day, where one of their service people would be in the Utilities Office at the time the bills come due to be able to address any questions as they come in. “It’s amazing the number of people we’ve been able to help in Broken Bow,” said Christensen. In the end, when it was time to take the question to vote ... should the city of Broken Bow extend the contract with Pioneer Solutions, so that when work is completed on a residence to make the home (or business) more energy efficient, the home or business owner can pay off the contract over the next five years through their utility bills. Council President Chad Schall placed the motion to extend the contract, saying he was for the program. When asked if the program would remain without the contract ... Christensen said she could not make that guarantee. “We have to be able to function within a utility environment.” The motion died for a lack of second. The contract was officially up Feb. 4. In other business the council: n Conducted a hearing on closing South H Street between South 16 and South 17 Avenues. There were no objections so the street will be closed. n Approved a recommendation from the Park Board to purchase protective netting over the bleachers and dugouts at Melham Complex. A grant from the Custer County Foundation will pay for the project. n Voted to access the cost of mowing two properties back to the banks that have possession of said properties. n Discussed in detail Resolution 2013-4, the sale of Park Land. While the agenda said that the Park Land was to be gifted, City Attorney Jason White said that was not entirely true. The land has been put up for sale, but it came back with no bids. The land, located at Indian Hills, is being reoffered for bids from $1 to $5,000, but with some specific stipulations. Whoever places the winning bid must, within the next year, plat the property for a minimum of eight lots, and within one year must have completed the subdivision and six new houses. It will be the responsibility of the new owner to provide and install all sewers, streets and water infrastructure. The CRA board approved the property for TIF processing. This land offering, by law has to be posted for seven days. New developments are critical to the community, stated CEDC President Melissa Garcia, “Broken Bow currently has only 26 houses listed for sale, of some of these have sales pending. Occupancy in the rental units is currently 98 percent.” Garcia also talked about growth in the business community and the addition of jobs in Broken Bow. Having available housing is a key component to filling these jobs. ~~~ The next meeting of the Broken Bow City Council will be Feb. 22 at 8 a.m.