Mayor Lynn Lathrop presided over his first quarterly meeting between officials of the Nevada City Council and the Nevada school board.
The first quarterly meeting of this year involved city representatives Elizabeth Hansen, city administrator, and council members Brian Hanson and Jane Heintz and school representatives Dr. Steve Gray, superintendent, and school board president Marty Chitty.
A main discussion of the meeting centered around the desired crow’s nest for the high school soccer field, which is located in the city’s SCORE Park. By the end of the discussion it was clear that while there is much hope between the parties to see this project happen, there is little certainty as to when it might be able to happen.
Hanson started the discussion by saying that he had contacted the person who did the layout of the new softball concession stand/crow’s nest and that person/company would be willing to tweak the softball building’s plans to what would be needed for the soccer field. The soccer field’s crow’s nest would not need all of the restrooms, which were part of the softball building, as there are already restrooms at the SCORE Park for the soccer field.
Hanson said he knew that if this project were to get going, the Booster Club would be on board. Chitty said the school would be on board to share in the cost, too.
"Let’s get this train on the tracks and get it going," Chitty said.
Previous discussions had centered around the crow’s nest project possibly being shared in thirds with the school, Booster Club and city all sharing in the cost. But Elizabeth Hansen said that the city hasn’t budgeted any money for this project yet, and she couldn’t indicate exactly when the city could budget for it.
The first thing, all agreed, is to move forward in getting a cost estimate of what it will take to construct the building. Then, each entity could talk about when it could come up with the funds to help pay for it.
Hanson said he’d move ahead with getting a cost estimate at this time, and that information would be shared with the school. All agreed that there will definitely be more discussion about this project in the future.
Another discussion was had about Billy Sunday Field and the desire to move the high school baseball facility to the northeast corner of the SCORE Park. It is hoped that the city and school can work together to apply for grant funds, and possibly even some of the Tope funds (which are only available yet this year before they sunset). It was also agreed that no major amounts of money should be spent on the present Billy Sunday Field, other than just what’s needed to keep it playable until a new field can be constructed.
Other noteworthy items of interest gleaned from the meeting:
* DuPont’s temporary driveway is still being used by workers, but it was noted that residents should let the city know if mud/dirt gets out on the highway too heavily and needs to be cleaned. Chitty also recommended that the city may want to repaint the highway lines in that area, as they have faded. Heintz recommended that maybe a warning sign needs to be placed in that area, as the shoulder of the road drops off substantially at the moment.
* A question was raised about what will happen to the old Ryerson building once Van Wall sets up shop in its new location. No one had the answer, but Chitty said the main street area has holes with the vacancies in Julieann’s former building, the Mom’s Meals former site and now Ryerson’s.
* The school will be placing a new digital informational sign along 19th Street near the softball field. Gray said it would be both functional with information and a way of adding curb appeal to the district.
* Gray noted that the school is planning to start a summer seed program for targeted readers in second and third grades, and the school will also take over operation of the summer meals program that was started last year. He said the school has put in a request to the USDA to change the site of the meals program to the elementary school, but if not granted, the program will probably stay at the Catholic Church fellowship hall, as it was last year. He said the school hopes to blend the summer reading program and meals program into something that helps benefit children with several needed services. It is hoped, he said, that the meals program can expand to three or four days a week this summer.
* Hansen said that the city will not budget for an SRO (School Resource Officer) this coming year, primarily because its police staff is young and they are just about fully staffed again with the hire of another new officer, who will be sworn in next week. "It’s a great program (SRO) and great to have one in the school system, but financing, having enough staff (in the PD) and finding the right person … make it hard to get somebody in that position right now," she said.
The next meeting between members of the City Council and school board will be held June 2.