Concrete Progress

Workers pour concrete at the APS track site on July 19, 2018.

The Alliance City Council, with newly sworn in members Mike Dafney (elected mayor) and Annora Bentley, concluded tonight's (Dec. 4) meeting with an executive session to discuss "a few date options" to offer the Alliance School Board which will work to have a joint meeting to discuss a resolution to the unresolved track issues as they relate to City property and utility services. The Council packet included a summary statement outlining the issues along with the history. Council included the deputy city manager and the City's legal council in the closed session.

Council voted to enter executive session at 7:42 and resumed open session at 7:53 p.m. with no action taken before adjourning.

Setting a joint meeting was not on the school board's agenda at their regular meeting Dec. 3. Friday morning (Dec. 7) Alliance Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker said he had not heard from City Manager Rick Kuckkahn since before Tuesday's meeting when Kuckkahn said council would be discussing dates for a joint meeting. Unzicker said the discussion of a joint meeting would not be on the Dec. 17 agenda without a proposal from the City.

Alliance High School runners will warm up for practice on a new track when the spring season starts Feb. 25, if rain or snow does not confine running to the high school halls that Monday. Workers fixed minor issues with the surface several weeks ago to complete a project in the works for years. Infrastructure below the track, football field and Bulldog Stadium had been a point of contention between the city of Alliance and Alliance Public Schools during construction this year. At their meeting Tuesday, council expressed their intention to schedule a joint meeting with APS on the topic.

Mayor Mike Dafney, elected by council members to open the meeting, said he felt with changes on the respective City and APS boards he wanted to see if there could be a proposal (including the community), “rather than have 10 people hash it out.”

Setting a joint meeting was not on the school board's agenda at their regular meeting Dec. 3. On Friday morning (Dec. 7) Alliance Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Troy Unzicker said he had not heard from City Manager Rick Kuckkahn since before Tuesday's meeting when Kuckkahn said council would be discussing dates for a joint meeting. Unzicker said the discussion of a joint meeting would not be on the Dec. 17 agenda without a proposal from the City.

At issue is a 70-year-old sanitary sewer line running below school property — the tract where the district built the current and previous running tracks. City Manager Rick Kuckkahn stated (in a July 21 T-H article), “We are convinced that it should be taken care of now, fill the old line with concrete and abandon it,” and that the city does not allow permanent structures over sanitary sewer lines, whether it be buildings or in this case, the track.

During mid-July 2018 both boards voted based on their respective positions. The school board would vacate right-of-way (ROW) need for the track and continue existing cooperation on the sewer line. Council voted to abandon and reroute the line at the school’s expense in exchange for a ROW transfer. The cost estimate at the time was $49,000.

In the City’s resolution it was decided to allow construction on the track with staff to meet with the school board for discussion.

Council, on Dec. 4, according to the agenda, wanted to offer APS date options for a joint meeting to discuss a resolution to the unresolved track issues as they relate to City property and utility services. Council entered executive session concerning the proposed meeting with no action taken upon returning 10 minutes later.

Recommended for you