Bird Count

COUNTERS: The youth who gathered to count birds at Schramm Education Center on Jan. 3 encountered many different types of birds, which were tallied on the board pictured behind them. (Photo provided by Amber Schiltz)

ASHLAND – At the first Ashland City Council meeting of the new year, council members learned their ranks would decrease by one.

City Council President Paul Gossin announced his resignation because of increased time obligations with his job in Omaha with First Data.

Mayor Rick Grauerholz said the council would place an advertisement for the open council seat in area newspapers next week. Any interested persons should submit an application with the council’s office clearly stating “Attention Mayor,” said Jessica Quady, city administrator.

“After the mayor has reviewed the applications, met with potential candidates, and gotten feedback from other council members, then he will make a recommendation,” Quady said.

Quady said council members do not receive a salary, just a small stipend for their work.

Joking that the council’s agenda was “too short,” retired community member Shirley Niemeyer delivered a five-minute public commentary regarding safety concerns along Highway 6.

Niemeyer said plans for establishing the corridor and sidewalks along Highway 6, with crossings to connect to sidewalks such as under the railroad bridge would increase safety in the area, particularly in the advent of school children crossing.

“Every decision we make now impacts the next 10 years,” Niemeyer said.

In his mayoral report, Grauerholz talked about the cost of decorating and lighting Silver Street during the holiday season.

“The cost for putting up and taking down the decorations was $12,640,” he said. “And, that doesn’t include repairs.”

City Council Member Jim Anderson said the downtown holiday starbursts, wreaths and banners transform Ashland into a beautiful place.

“I’m glad we’re keeping the decorations up until the end of January,” Anderson said. “The beauty of it really adds a lot.”

Both Quady and Grauerholz agreed there was “a great need” for repairing the wreaths, most likely before being used again later this year.

The council voted to move into executive session at 7:23 p.m.

The next city council meeting will be held Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

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