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Council Inaction Places Entire Pathway Project In Jeopardy

Council Inaction Places Entire Pathway Project In Jeopardy
Strang/RRN/KNEB

A possible change to the Monument Valley Pathway north project might not even be considered after the Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening failed to place the item on the agenda as an emergency action on a 2-2 vote.

A number of residents in that northern portion of the project have been fighting against the route, which would cut through some of their properties making it’s way to Regional West.

After hearing the concerns from a number of residents during the July 1st regular council meeting, staff had requested the state allow changes to the plan. The state responded on Friday that eliminating the norther portion of the project would be possible, but they were examining the cost of such a move. City Manager Nathan Johnson had explained that he received an e-mail Monday morning from the Nebraska Department of Transportation indicating the cost of re-paying the state for eliminating that portion from the project would be $50,000 to $100,000. He told the council the NDOT required a response to the e-mail by 10:30 Monday evening, hence the need for the emergency action.

Jeanne McKerrigan and Terry Shaub voted in favor of placing the item on the agenda as an emergency, but Scott Shaver and Nathan Green voted against. With Mayor Raymond Gonzales absent from the meeting, the stalemate 2-2 vote left the measure with no action being taken.

Councilman Shaver said he felt it wasn’t an emergency because he had requested on July 1st that the pathway project be placed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.  Johnson said it was not placed on the agenda because they had no information to discuss at the time the agenda was published.

City Attorney Kent Hadenfeldt explained that the state’s email Monday morning could not have been discussed under the agenda item Shaver had requested anyway because it would have been too late for publication.

Both Shaver and Green requested a special meeting Monday night, however meeting regulations require advance notice and publication.

Johnson reminded the council that this is a federal project administered by the state, and warned them that the entire $5.5 million project is being jeopardized.

The lack of action on the measure by the council will now be forwarded to the NDOT, and Johnson plans to request an extension and see how the state responds.

You can watch all of the discussion regarding the pathway discussions below:

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