Kearney Arch to seek $75K annually for next three years from council - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 12:24 am
Kearney Arch to seek $75K annually for next three years from council

KEARNEY, Neb. — The Great Platte River Road Archway Foundation will ask the Kearney City Council on Tuesday to help fund operations for the next three years.

The proposal would give the city direct oversight of archway operations.

On Tuesday, the council will consider a request for the city to provide $75,000 a year for the next three years to be used for the arch's operational costs.

“Once you ask for money from the city, we feel obligated to be very involved and evaluate costs,” City Manager Mike Morgan said Friday. If council members vote to approve the request, keno funds would be granted to the archway.

No city taxes would be diverted to the project, Morgan said.

The city would take over maintenance of the grounds and have control of operations. The agreement would require the archway to present an annual budget to the city. The council also would appoint a new member to the foundation and start operations and marketing committees.

A September judgment from a bankruptcy court relieved the archway of its financial burdens by eliminating all but $200,000 of debt. That debt has been paid, according to archway foundation chairman Joel Johnson, and operating costs have been slashed from $1.1 million to $770,000 with the help of the city.

Morgan said the city already negotiated an insurance rate for the archway about $150,000 lower than it had been in previous years. Morgan said this is an example of how guidance from the city could help pull the ailing archway back from the brink.

Morgan said the city could look into additional ways to use parts of the building not dedicated to the museum and to use the grounds on both sides of the Platte River.

Council Vice President Randy Buschkoetter said he feels strongly that something should be done to help the archway but isn't sure that the help will be enough to save it.

“It's a tough decision because if it closes, that is going to create another set of problems,” Buschkoetter said. “However it comes to them, a large part of me thinks that money could be better spent somewhere else.”

Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse and council members Jonathan Nikkila and Bruce Lear expressed similar thoughts. They say they won't make a decision until they have all the facts Tuesday.

Council member Bob Lammers couldn't be reached for comment.

The item will come before the council with a number of stipulations. For example, the Buffalo County Board must agree to match funding.

If council members approve the request, but the county board does not, the city will retract its approval of the funding.

Man, 21, shot in ankle while walking near 30th, U Streets
State Department moves to delay Keystone XL pipeline decision
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
High court denies death row appeal of cult leader convicted of murder
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
Saturday forecast opens window for gardening; Easter egg hunts look iffy on Sunday
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Last day of 2014 Legislature: Praise, passage of a last few bills and more on mountain lions
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
A voice of experience: Ex-gang member helps lead fight against Omaha violence
Church is pressing its case for old Temple Israel site
OPPD board holding public forum, open house May 7
The thrill of the skill: Omaha hosts statewide contest for students of the trades
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
When judge asks, Nikko Jenkins says ‘I killed them’
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
'The war is not over,' Chambers says, but legislative session about is
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »