Beatrice City Officials Mull Options, on Washed-Out Alley

BEATRICE – Beatrice City officials may be coming closer to a solution to a north Beatrice alley in bad shape, but it appears it comes down to selling the property to nearby owners, or using a law called gap and extend.

The problem is damage caused by drainage on a short stretch of alley between 5th and 6th….and Logan and Washington Streets.

One councilman, Rich Kerr, has written off gap and extend as an option…a type of forced assessment without a vote of abutting property owners.

:32                  “a neighborhood squabble”

Council members say the city has used the gap-and-extend law three or four times in the past…. but never involving an alley project.   A paving assessment district won’t work in this case, since property owners are split 50-50 on the need for paving the alley, which has been barricaded by posts.  The alley has not been formally closed by the city.

Councilman Ted Fairbanks sees gap-and-extend differently……saying there is an overall public benefit to using the law.

:36                  “damages the streets”

One property owner of an apartment building nearby, addressed the city council’s work session, Monday night.  Rich Daubendiek says his tenants appreciate the alley section being closed off, citing past suspected drug activity by neighboring tenants.

:29                  “away they went”

As for a solution to the scoured-out alley, Daubendieck says a system of drain tiles may be one possibility, to reduce damage after repairs are made.

The Beatrice City Attorney says he plans to meet with property owners about the potential for both acquiring the alley property.