Yuma City Council met twice last week

The Lake Yuma Project was back before the Yuma City Council during its regular meeting, last week.
It had to do with the new sod laid as part of the bank stabilization effort, and the need to expand the sprinkler system to water the new grass.

The roughly $500,000 project, which included a new aeration system in the lake, is covered 50 percent by a Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant, including the extra cost for the expanded irrigation.
City Manager Scott Moore told the council last week that the project’s engineering plan did not include that, and the city it should have. Nevertheless, the new sprinkler system had to be done as the new sod was quickly dying out in the summer heat, at least around about half of the lake that takes in the most sun during the day. It turned out keeping the sod alive was not part of the contract with Solitude Lake Management, which did the project.
Evergreen Landscaping did the sprinkler work at a cost of $15,020. Half of the cost will be covered by the grant. Moore was asked by council members if the dead sod would come back. He said some have said it will, while others have it will not.
The council unanimously approved paying Evergreen.
Mayor Ron Swehla and council members Marc Shay, Dan Baucke, Daniel Ebersole and Tim McClung were in attendance. Council members Marylu Smith-Dischner and Steve Hoch were absent.

NAPA alley
Closing half of the east alley in the 300 block of S. Main St. took up some council time last week.
NAPA’s University Auto Parts is spending most of this week moving from its downtown location to the former Fastenal building on Highway 34.
Moore informed the council that University Auto Parts was requesting to close half of the alley, September 14-17, while making the move. He suggested having a special meeting later last week after he had all the details.
That special meeting was held last Thursday, with Swehla, Shay, Baucke and Hoch participating.
University Auto Parts was requesting closing the north half of the alley during the move.
It was questioned if it would simply be better to close the whole alley.
Police Chief Jerry Thompson was asked his opinion. He said he thought closing just the north half would be adequate.
Council members noted it would be best to leave the drop-off mail boxes behind the Yuma Post Office south of there accessible as there would be room for people to make a U-turn and go back out the alley, instead of blocking off the mail boxes. Baucke noted he still wanted the outdoor mail boxes to be moved back to their former drive-thru location on the south side of the Post Office.
The council eventually voted 4-0 to close off just the north half of the alley during the business’ move.

Back to regular meeting
Last week’s regular meeting included the council approving the liquor license renewal for Nelson Inn and La Cabaña del Amigo.
Renewing the city’s health insurance came up before the council.
Moore told the council the health insurance through CEBT would be 2 percent for 2022, which equates to $12,168 in new costs. Moore was asked if the city ever shopped around for other health insurance. He responded that it did two to three years ago, but discovered it was tough to compare coverages, and it was felt at that time that CEBT was a good company to stick with.
The council unanimously approved the health insurance renewal for 2022.

A request for a street closure by St. Johns Catholic Church for this past Sunday, September 12, was approved.
A purchase of more than $5,000 for the Yuma Volunteer Fire Department was approved.