Minatare City Council Minutes
City Council Minutes
October 10th, 2023 A regular meeting of the Minatare City Council was held in the Council Rooms in open and public session at 6:00 p.m. Present were Mayor Cheryl Spencer, Council Members: Jon Grumbles, Frank Costa, Celeste Sanchez, Barbara Ross, City Clerk: Angie Hernandez. Also present were Christy Manka, Carolyn Nelson, Chris Lally, Melissa Lally, Jared Shephard, Mike Winget, Josie Hall, Tiffany Hall, Dallas Vernon, Dana Vernon, Colt Edmunds, Marcella Kreiling, Dave-PADD, Kaleb Schank, Notice of the meeting was given in advance by posting in three designated places, the method of giving notice as shown by Certificate of Posting Notice attached to these minutes. Availability of the agenda was communicated to the Mayor and Council of this meeting, and a copy of their acknowledgment of receipt of the minutes and the agenda is attached to these minutes. All proceedings hereafter shown while the meeting was open the attendance of the public. Mayor opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, she also pointed out the open meetings poster to the public. Motion to accept the agenda and the minutes, Grumbles Motion seconded by Ross Roll call Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez. The following claims were read and audited: ActionCommunications:$19.71,Alfac:$403.86,AngieHernandez :$44.81,BlkHillsEnergy : $252.10,BobbinHeads:$160.00,Bytes:$1736.25CityofScottsbluff:$3264.91,CANSurety:$356. 87,ContractorsMaterials:$411.60ConsolidatedServices:$2603.30,DearBornGroup:$17.20, EakesOffice:$235.55,Ellison,Kovarik:$4603.84,EnviroServicesINC:$25.00, EFTPS:$6063.33,FirstNet:$315.26,FranklinTempleton:$631.96,Galls;$381.10HawkinsInc;$ 633.00,Idealscleaners:$330.51HometownLeasing:$75.62,JudyHoatson:$700.00,Menards:$1 4.97,Larm:$25,841.00,Library:$100.00MonumentPrevention:$612.00,MobuisComm:$62.10 Nebr Printworks:$74.05, NEbr Public Health:$970.00, Nebr State tax:$457.37, Nebr Rural Water:$500.00,NPPD:$2928.55 One Call Concepts:$7.12, Panhandle Coop:$419.00, PVBank:$1680.35SargentDrilling:$7,297.00,SCBFCOUNTYCLERK:$232.36,ScbfBuidling &Zoning:$35.00,ScbfCountyCourt:$17.00Spectrum:$422.92,StarHearld:$745.82, TomCase:$329.44,UMEMPLOYMENT:$5.87UsableLife:$40.50,WasteConnections:$6413.3 7, Payroll$18,189.51 Old Business Handbook: Renew of Melbeta Contract- Jared- Melbeta decided on renewing their contract with the same hours as the contract was last year nothing changed on this beside it will be a 1-year contract instead of a 6 month contract. New Business: Building Permits/Streets: Con Sanchez: NO SHOW again Angie made it very clear to Con when he wanted back on the agenda that if he doesn’t show up this time, he will not be allowed to get his name on the agenda again. This makes 2 NO SHOWS in a round. Cats- Tiffany Hall: Tiffany is very concerned on all the cats in town and has been talking with Midtown Animal Clinic regarding get rid of them not in a bad way. Tiffany read a State Guidelines cruelty to animals and the fines, imprisonment and will be charged with a felony is this does happen, Tiffany states there is a solution this on Cats & fletch located in Colorado. Tiffany can get a group of them and remove them; Midtown Animal Clinic will give the City of Minatare a discount, but she needs 2 traps and her and her wife will match up to $1,000.00 with the city. Keno $ can be used for this to match. Midtown will discount to spade a male cat is $50.00, Female is $90.00 and then Rabies and distemper shot only. Celeste suggested will table this til next month and see how this go. There was a concern on people that are feeding the stray cats already and with the weather changes this might not be a good idea. Grumbles motion that that City donates $500.00 from the Keno account to help with this, and Tiffany and Josie Hall will match with $500.00, 2nd- Costa, Roll Call yeas: Ross, Costa, Grumbles, ney: Sanchez. Tiffany will keep the city informed of how things are going and get with Midtown Animal Clinic in the morning and have them set up an account in City of Minatare name then they will send a bill here and Tiffany will then drop a check off for $500.00 and we can go from there to see how this works out. PADD: Dave was invited by Celeste to talk about getting some grants for the city. Apparently, there was a misunderstanding about how this program works. Dave talks about getting a Planning Group/Grant together and that will cost $2,000.00 this will hire a planning person. The city needs to go Grant founder to see what kind of grants there are out there and see what will benefit the city. Dave thought the planning grants are good for 5 years but was not sure that he will need to check in to this to give us the correct information. Some grants are easy, others not so. There is a fee that will be filed for each grant, so need to make sure that is what we want and have the $$ for. For example, like downtown, sidewalks, signs. Building downtown that are not being used or maintained Dave mention about ordinance, taxes, fines even lien on the property to the owners. We need to check our ordinance on this to see what it states, and Dave thought start putting pressure on the owners and mention nuisance/abatement with PADD we can adopted their ordinance thru PADD states the building is unsafe and go that way. This would be something that the council will need to think about and decide if they want to start making their city start to look nice! Minutes – Star Herald vs Website- Angie brought to the council since August she has spent over $750.00 already to post the minutes in the local newspaper what is our option to post it on the website and save the city some money. Our Atty Jim states that since we are a 2nd class, we do not have to post it in the newspaper. Angie can post in 3 places and have minutes available for inspection in the office during regular business hours. His research disclosed no newspaper publications requirement. You can also post the agendas, minutes, and ordinance on the City Website as convenience to the citizens. The city code also covers this at 1-307 and 1-3017. Cheryl asked at this time if Celeste could give Angie the Password so she could go in and post agenda, minutes for the town. Celest states that she will get with Brian Hale and have him get that information to Angie and show her some things regarding post on the website. Engine Braking- Cheryl Melissa Lally from the State came in and talk about the requirements on the signs and who and what is the city responsibilities after the signs are installed. The state will put up the signs at no charge, but if they are wearing out, tear down, accident, vandalize this is the city responsibility to get this replace and fix the State will come out to fix them but will charge that City which this is expensive to do. Just a reminder that Frank made a comment the first time that these signs were free, come to find out they were not. It was Tom’s responsibility to order the signs. Frank took it upon himself to order the signs through and company that the city never have used and had them deliver to the office because the FedEx guy was unable to deliver at Frank’s House. Angie had no clue on what was going on because this was to be discuss at the Tuesday meeting. Angie called J&A traffic Products and spoke with Jeff Mindham. Jeff informed Angie that these signs were ordered By Frank Costa and asked to be delivery at his house and was paid with his credit card. We later received a receipt that states there was a donation with some of the residents around town. Transfer money- Carolyn per Judy the CPA that we still need to transfer $3,107.00 from the street to general because this pool is overdrawn per Jada the Auditor this need to have this taken care of. Close out Sewer and Water Tax accounts: Angie and Carolyn spoke on behalf of Judy asking us to close these accounts and put everything into General. The council is afraid that if the money goes into general then it will be spent, and they do not want this to happen. We have a water and sewer bond that’s comes out twice a year and that money is already reserved for that. If it goes in the general the council is afraid that we would not be able to pay for these bonds and they have to be paid for no excuses. The council decided to leave things the way they are and not move or close these 2 accounts. Communications: Angie wanted to remind everyone that we need to have better communications between each other regarding having a day off, appointments, if something is being delivered here to the office or anything. Lagoon Bank Repair- Tom has been speaking with the engineer Michael Olsen at MC SCHAFF Paul Reed quote us $38,600.00 for the riverbanks to be fixed over the last 3 years it has gotten bad, Tom stressed that this needs to be done asap. Melissa with the State stated that Tom called her boss and maybe they can help with lower the cost it might be cheaper to go with them. Grumbles Motion to accept $38,600.00 to get started the Lagoon Bank Repair, 2nd by Sanchez, Roll Call Yeas: Costa, Sanchez, Grumbles, Ross. Water well-Tom states the pressure switch is not working the wells are weak and losing water this is not good, the well is from 1976 Tom proposed a VFD motor, 3-way switch will cost $45,000.00this will take care of the old well, piping and new stuff to it. Grumbles Motion to Fix the Water Well for $45,000.00 before something really goes wrong and the city doesn’t have water. 2Nd Ross, Roll Call: Yeas, Sanchez, Grumbles, Ross, Costa Meter Repairs- Tom Meters can last 20 years then needs to be replaces we are getting that this point where the meter are needing to be replace for example PMS 4” guts. Meters. Spinners are needing to be replace Tom is needing to get a meter order at this time unsure what the cost will be he is thinking $300 -$400 for a meter $180 for registration, We might have a few other meters that might be going out too and would like to have some in stock. Sanchez motion to allow $2,000.00 to get this meter replace for PMS , 2nd Grumbles, Roll Call yeas: Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez ADJORN: 7:10 p.m. Motion by Ross, Sanchez 2nd, Roll call: Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez /s/ ___________________________ Cheryl Spencer/ Mayor ATTEST: /s/ ____________________________

Minatare City Council Minutes
City Council Minutes
October 10th, 2023 A regular meeting of the Minatare City Council was held in the Council Rooms in open and public session at 6:00 p.m. Present were Mayor Cheryl Spencer, Council Members: Jon Grumbles, Frank Costa, Celeste Sanchez, Barbara Ross, City Clerk: Angie Hernandez. Also present were Christy Manka, Carolyn Nelson, Chris Lally, Melissa Lally, Jared Shephard, Mike Winget, Josie Hall, Tiffany Hall, Dallas Vernon, Dana Vernon, Colt Edmunds, Marcella Kreiling, Dave-PADD, Kaleb Schank, Notice of the meeting was given in advance by posting in three designated places, the method of giving notice as shown by Certificate of Posting Notice attached to these minutes. Availability of the agenda was communicated to the Mayor and Council of this meeting, and a copy of their acknowledgment of receipt of the minutes and the agenda is attached to these minutes. All proceedings hereafter shown while the meeting was open the attendance of the public. Mayor opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, she also pointed out the open meetings poster to the public. Motion to accept the agenda and the minutes, Grumbles Motion seconded by Ross Roll call Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez. The following claims were read and audited: ActionCommunications:$19.71,Alfac:$403.86,AngieHernandez :$44.81,BlkHillsEnergy : $252.10,BobbinHeads:$160.00,Bytes:$1736.25CityofScottsbluff:$3264.91,CANSurety:$356. 87,ContractorsMaterials:$411.60ConsolidatedServices:$2603.30,DearBornGroup:$17.20, EakesOffice:$235.55,Ellison,Kovarik:$4603.84,EnviroServicesINC:$25.00, EFTPS:$6063.33,FirstNet:$315.26,FranklinTempleton:$631.96,Galls;$381.10HawkinsInc;$ 633.00,Idealscleaners:$330.51HometownLeasing:$75.62,JudyHoatson:$700.00,Menards:$1 4.97,Larm:$25,841.00,Library:$100.00MonumentPrevention:$612.00,MobuisComm:$62.10 Nebr Printworks:$74.05, NEbr Public Health:$970.00, Nebr State tax:$457.37, Nebr Rural Water:$500.00,NPPD:$2928.55 One Call Concepts:$7.12, Panhandle Coop:$419.00, PVBank:$1680.35SargentDrilling:$7,297.00,SCBFCOUNTYCLERK:$232.36,ScbfBuidling &Zoning:$35.00,ScbfCountyCourt:$17.00Spectrum:$422.92,StarHearld:$745.82, TomCase:$329.44,UMEMPLOYMENT:$5.87UsableLife:$40.50,WasteConnections:$6413.3 7, Payroll$18,189.51 Old Business Handbook: Renew of Melbeta Contract- Jared- Melbeta decided on renewing their contract with the same hours as the contract was last year nothing changed on this beside it will be a 1-year contract instead of a 6 month contract. New Business: Building Permits/Streets: Con Sanchez: NO SHOW again Angie made it very clear to Con when he wanted back on the agenda that if he doesn’t show up this time, he will not be allowed to get his name on the agenda again. This makes 2 NO SHOWS in a round. Cats- Tiffany Hall: Tiffany is very concerned on all the cats in town and has been talking with Midtown Animal Clinic regarding get rid of them not in a bad way. Tiffany read a State Guidelines cruelty to animals and the fines, imprisonment and will be charged with a felony is this does happen, Tiffany states there is a solution this on Cats & fletch located in Colorado. Tiffany can get a group of them and remove them; Midtown Animal Clinic will give the City of Minatare a discount, but she needs 2 traps and her and her wife will match up to $1,000.00 with the city. Keno $ can be used for this to match. Midtown will discount to spade a male cat is $50.00, Female is $90.00 and then Rabies and distemper shot only. Celeste suggested will table this til next month and see how this go. There was a concern on people that are feeding the stray cats already and with the weather changes this might not be a good idea. Grumbles motion that that City donates $500.00 from the Keno account to help with this, and Tiffany and Josie Hall will match with $500.00, 2nd- Costa, Roll Call yeas: Ross, Costa, Grumbles, ney: Sanchez. Tiffany will keep the city informed of how things are going and get with Midtown Animal Clinic in the morning and have them set up an account in City of Minatare name then they will send a bill here and Tiffany will then drop a check off for $500.00 and we can go from there to see how this works out. PADD: Dave was invited by Celeste to talk about getting some grants for the city. Apparently, there was a misunderstanding about how this program works. Dave talks about getting a Planning Group/Grant together and that will cost $2,000.00 this will hire a planning person. The city needs to go Grant founder to see what kind of grants there are out there and see what will benefit the city. Dave thought the planning grants are good for 5 years but was not sure that he will need to check in to this to give us the correct information. Some grants are easy, others not so. There is a fee that will be filed for each grant, so need to make sure that is what we want and have the $$ for. For example, like downtown, sidewalks, signs. Building downtown that are not being used or maintained Dave mention about ordinance, taxes, fines even lien on the property to the owners. We need to check our ordinance on this to see what it states, and Dave thought start putting pressure on the owners and mention nuisance/abatement with PADD we can adopted their ordinance thru PADD states the building is unsafe and go that way. This would be something that the council will need to think about and decide if they want to start making their city start to look nice! Minutes – Star Herald vs Website- Angie brought to the council since August she has spent over $750.00 already to post the minutes in the local newspaper what is our option to post it on the website and save the city some money. Our Atty Jim states that since we are a 2nd class, we do not have to post it in the newspaper. Angie can post in 3 places and have minutes available for inspection in the office during regular business hours. His research disclosed no newspaper publications requirement. You can also post the agendas, minutes, and ordinance on the City Website as convenience to the citizens. The city code also covers this at 1-307 and 1-3017. Cheryl asked at this time if Celeste could give Angie the Password so she could go in and post agenda, minutes for the town. Celest states that she will get with Brian Hale and have him get that information to Angie and show her some things regarding post on the website. Engine Braking- Cheryl Melissa Lally from the State came in and talk about the requirements on the signs and who and what is the city responsibilities after the signs are installed. The state will put up the signs at no charge, but if they are wearing out, tear down, accident, vandalize this is the city responsibility to get this replace and fix the State will come out to fix them but will charge that City which this is expensive to do. Just a reminder that Frank made a comment the first time that these signs were free, come to find out they were not. It was Tom’s responsibility to order the signs. Frank took it upon himself to order the signs through and company that the city never have used and had them deliver to the office because the FedEx guy was unable to deliver at Frank’s House. Angie had no clue on what was going on because this was to be discuss at the Tuesday meeting. Angie called J&A traffic Products and spoke with Jeff Mindham. Jeff informed Angie that these signs were ordered By Frank Costa and asked to be delivery at his house and was paid with his credit card. We later received a receipt that states there was a donation with some of the residents around town. Transfer money- Carolyn per Judy the CPA that we still need to transfer $3,107.00 from the street to general because this pool is overdrawn per Jada the Auditor this need to have this taken care of. Close out Sewer and Water Tax accounts: Angie and Carolyn spoke on behalf of Judy asking us to close these accounts and put everything into General. The council is afraid that if the money goes into general then it will be spent, and they do not want this to happen. We have a water and sewer bond that’s comes out twice a year and that money is already reserved for that. If it goes in the general the council is afraid that we would not be able to pay for these bonds and they have to be paid for no excuses. The council decided to leave things the way they are and not move or close these 2 accounts. Communications: Angie wanted to remind everyone that we need to have better communications between each other regarding having a day off, appointments, if something is being delivered here to the office or anything. Lagoon Bank Repair- Tom has been speaking with the engineer Michael Olsen at MC SCHAFF Paul Reed quote us $38,600.00 for the riverbanks to be fixed over the last 3 years it has gotten bad, Tom stressed that this needs to be done asap. Melissa with the State stated that Tom called her boss and maybe they can help with lower the cost it might be cheaper to go with them. Grumbles Motion to accept $38,600.00 to get started the Lagoon Bank Repair, 2nd by Sanchez, Roll Call Yeas: Costa, Sanchez, Grumbles, Ross. Water well-Tom states the pressure switch is not working the wells are weak and losing water this is not good, the well is from 1976 Tom proposed a VFD motor, 3-way switch will cost $45,000.00this will take care of the old well, piping and new stuff to it. Grumbles Motion to Fix the Water Well for $45,000.00 before something really goes wrong and the city doesn’t have water. 2Nd Ross, Roll Call: Yeas, Sanchez, Grumbles, Ross, Costa Meter Repairs- Tom Meters can last 20 years then needs to be replaces we are getting that this point where the meter are needing to be replace for example PMS 4” guts. Meters. Spinners are needing to be replace Tom is needing to get a meter order at this time unsure what the cost will be he is thinking $300 -$400 for a meter $180 for registration, We might have a few other meters that might be going out too and would like to have some in stock. Sanchez motion to allow $2,000.00 to get this meter replace for PMS , 2nd Grumbles, Roll Call yeas: Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez ADJORN: 7:10 p.m. Motion by Ross, Sanchez 2nd, Roll call: Grumbles, Ross, Costa, Sanchez /s/ ___________________________ Cheryl Spencer/ Mayor ATTEST: /s/ ____________________________

Agenda
Agenda
  • September 12th, 2023 The Minatare City council will meet in regular session on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023, in open and public session at 6:00 p.m. in the Community Room. AGENDA:
  • PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
  • OPEN MEETINGS LAW POSTER , ACCEPT CONSENT AGENDA: (AGENDA, MINUTES, CLAIMS)
  • OLD BUSINESS:
  • PD Stats- Jared
  • Watch Guard Project-Jared
  • Taser Project- Jared
  • Submittal of Jack Lewis Safety Grant- Jared
  • NEW BUSINESS
  • Building Permits/Streets- Con Sanchez
  • Transfer $$/Spending- Carolyn/Angie
  • Office Hours- Angie
  • On Line Bill Pay- Celeste
  • Clarification Chief Contract/Vacation- Jim
  • Empty Lot with Water Service- Cheryl
  • Library — Cheryl
  • Renew Melbeta Contract-Jared New Tahoe- Jared
  • Adjourn
  • NEXT MEETING OCTOBER 10TH 2023
  • City of Minatare reserves the right to adjourn into executive session per Nebraska
  • Revised Statutes,
  • Section 841410(Reissue 2008")

  • TABOR DAYS 2023
    Tabor Days 2023
  • TABOR DAYS WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!!
  • A SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS WE COULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS WITH YOU!!
  • THANKS TO ALL OF CRAFT AND FOOD VENDORS,VOLUNTEERS, PEOPLE THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE PARADE
  • KID SHELEEN BAND MUSIC WAS GREAT
  • AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO MY CO-CHAIR FRANK COSTA

  • NEW POST MASTER
    New Post Master
    WE WANT TO WELCOME BRIAN BUTTERFIELD AS OUR NEW POSTMASTER HE IS ORIGNALLY FROM UTAH, AND HIS FAMILY BOUGHT A RANCH IN WYOMING BRIAN STARTED HIS CAREER IN CHEYENNE, THEN WAS TRANSFERED TO TORRINGTON WHERE HE NOW RESIDES. BRIAN COMMUTES TO MINATARE EVERYDAY TO WORK. BRIAN STATED THAT HE LIKES THE RESIDENTS VERY MUCH THEY TREAT HIM LIKE FAMILY, HE ALSO, STATED THAT HE WANTS TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT THE NEW POLICY FOR USPS RURAL COMMUNITIES NEEDS TO HAVE THE POST OFFICE BOX NUMBERS ON ALL MAIL OR THEY WILL BE SENT BACK. BECAUSE FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT WE DON'T HAVE MAIL CARRIERS IN MINATARE.
  • ****BRIAN WELCOME TO MINATARE***

  • City Council 2023
    City Council
  • FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
  • JOHNNY GRUMBLES, BARB ROSS, CHERYL SPENCER/MAYOR, FRANK COSTA, CELESTE SANCHEZ/PRESIDENT OF CITY COUNCIL

  • New office hours
    New City Hours
    "CITY OF MINATARE OFFICE NEW SUMMER HOURS" STARTING MAY 1st, 2023, Monday thru Thursday 7am TO 5pm Friday 7:30am to 11:30am

    HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS
    Homes For Our Troops
    KEY CEREMONY
  • FOR SSG TIMOTHY KRAMER
  • 300286 COUNTY RD J
  • MINATARE, NE
  • SATURDAY MARCH 4, 2023
  • REGISTRATION STARTING @ 9:30AM
  • HOMES FOR TROOP ORGANIZATION BUILDS HOMES ESPIECIELLY DESGINED FOR
  • OUR DISABLESD VETERANS

  • Angie Hernadez City Clerk
    Angie Hernandez / City Clerk
  • Angie started with the City of Minatare Novemeber 2022
  • WELCOME to City of Minatare!!
  • Mayor/ Cheryl Spencer, Council President/Celeste Sanchez, Council Member/Frank Costa Council Member/Barb Ross, Council Member/ John Grumbles
  • Minatare Police Chief/Jared Shepard, Police Officer/ Matt Rockwell, Police Officer /Mike Widget

  • Dollar General
    Dollar General In Minatare
    For the first time in more than five years, Minatare is home to a grocery store. A new Dollar General opened on Sunday, Jan 23rd at 130910 Stonegate Rd., adjacent to Highway 26.

    Minatare in 1950's
    Minatare Back In the Day in the 1950's
    Just doing some research on Minatare and I wanted to share with you on some Nostalgia that I am sure you will enjoy.
  • WHAT HAPPENED?????????????
  • MORE TO COME

  • Minatare Police Dept.
    Police Department Information
    Minatare Police Department Information
  • #600 Jared Shepard Chief of Police
  • #601 Matt Rockwell/ Police Officer
  • #602 Mike Winget / Police Officer
  • If you need an Officer for a Non- Emergency, you may call 308-436-6666 Communication Center

  • Accreditation
    MPD Made History
    Since Minatare, NE was founded in 1887 the Police Dept. has never been accredited. Now under the direction of our dedicated Chief Shepard who received a letter July 20, 2022 which reads: Dear Chief Shepard: Per the Commission's assessment of your agency's accreditation submission, your agency has met the requirements to be accredited under the Commission's program. In the coming weeks you will receive a certificate that attests to your agency's accreditation status. Please accept my congratulations on attaining accreditation. should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the Commission Staff handling accreditation at NCC.Accredit@nebraska.gov. Sincerely, Dr. Don Arp, Jr., Executive Director, Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. According to Carolyn Nelson our City Clerk who has been City Clerk for 40 years told us in her 40 years as City Clerk, this is the FIRST TIME Minatare Police Department EVER Received Accreditation! CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW CHIEF Jared Shepard & Officer Matt Rockwell FOR ALL OF THEIR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION FOR The City of Minatare, and our residents. WE DO APPRECIATE YOU!

    Bench
    Buffalo Calf Shoe Company
    BUFFALO CALF SHOE COMPANY The early history of the Minatare Library is obscure, but, in 1902, the Presbyterian ladies began a library. The library, as we know it today, was started in about 1921, without the benefit of monies to purchase books or a building. Many People donated books and locations, including a bank and a grocery store. At one time the library was in the corner of Mr. Johnson's grocery store. When people came to browse through the books, they took advantage of a bench to sit on and escape with a good book. However, if you were in the store to purchase a pair of shoes, you had to stand up to try them on because the bench was crowded with book worms. When the store closed and the library moved to a new location, the librarian was told to take that "darn" bench along with the books. So, every place the library went the bench followed. Today the Minatare Library has a building of its own located on Main Street. The some time to check out a good book and see why former resident found this bench so comfortable. Story Laurie Baker, Minatare Class of 1988 taken from Minatare-From Moccasins to Main Street- The Story of Our Town, copyright 1982. Plaque sponsored by the Authors of Minatare Memories: Juanita Baker, Sharon Johns, Jolene Kaufman, Betty Kenyon, Wanda Mowry, and Alice Reuter

    Martinez Trucking
    Martinez Trucking
    Carlos and wife Nadia started Martinez trucking in 1997. Their children Jazmin, Jacqueline and Carlos Jr. have graduated from Minatare High School. His family is involved in the business in one aspect or the other to make his business thrive. He bought a building in downtown Minatare and refurbished it and an added their own touches and flare. They have brought some spark to downtown Minatare.

    We want to reach out to the Martinez family for taking pride in our community. Thank you!

    Making History / Minatare Fire Chief Brandi Ehler
    MAKING HISTORY 1ST WOMAN FIRE CHEIF

    She's got 10 volunteers in the Minatare-Melbeta department, with only three EMTs currently on the force. She now works as an EMS instructor, and hopes to get two more people certified. She said it's hard to get people interested in working for free.

    "It's not just us, a lot of departments are struggling with recruitment," she said.

    It's not an easy job, she said. There's plenty of midnight calls, and she wants to keep the small force from burning out, and hopes to push for more recruitment and trainings this year.

    She's not the only woman on the force. She inspired her daughters, Ashlee Wells, 19 and Lashae Ehler, 20, to join as well.

    The pay is $150 a month, and the hours long. Ehler also has her own business, Building Blocks daycare in Gering, meaning she has some flexibility to try and get to every call.

    She said, like everyone else, COVID impacted their department's operation.

    "It's changed the whole lifestyle of our class. We mask just like everybody else, we're trying to protect our people from getting sick," she said. "It's really hampered our trainings."

    Ehler said training is a core part of her mission at the station, saying that wildfire season this year could be grim if drought conditions worsen, which could spawn another incident like the dayslong fire that burned 4,000 acres in the Wildcat Hills.">Brandi Ehler has a moment which splits her life into a before and after: the summer of 2013, when her house in Melbeta burned down. "Our community's amazing," she said. "They helped us out so much that I figured the least I could do to give back was joining the fire department."

    In the aftermath, she joined the volunteer Minatare-Melbeta Fire Department, climbing the ladder to emergency medical technician, a lieutenant, a safety officer, search and rescue diver, and assistant chief to Brian Lore.

    Now, after seven years, she's the fire chief & the city's first woman to hold that position, after Lore stepped down in November.

    Ehler grew up south of Lyman, a farm kid, who didn't anticipate fighting fires in adulthood.

    "I never expected to get where I got. It was a big surprise," she said. She oversees a combined rural and city fire district spanning just over 300-square miles. It covers all of Minatare, McGrew, Melbeta, a portion of Banner County and a part of Sioux County. It also includes the town's namesake Lake Minatare, the Panhandle's largest body of water. That's a lot of ground to cover.

    "The nice thing is we have what's called a mutual aid agreement. So we work a lot with other fire departments. So if we ever have a major call, we can depend on them," she said.

    Jerad Shepard Chief of Police
    Chief of Police
    Mayor and City Council are proud to announce, that we hired Jared Shepard for our Chief of Police. He started with Minatare January 3, 2022.

    Jared began his career in law enforcement with the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office in December of 20211 and graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center Basic Academy in April of 2012. He remained employed by the Sheriff’s Office to mid-2016 when he and hiss family moved to Washington State. Jared worked as an officer for the city of Wenatchee for just over 5 years before he and his family relocated back to the Scottsbluff area.

    Throughout his career Jared has served in the capacity of a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, School Resource Officer and SWAT Team Operator, and now the New Chief of Police for Minatare NE. Jared and his wife have two daughters, Ruth and Bette. Jared and his family are happy to be back in Western Nebraska with family and friends.

    Jared has appointed Matt Rockwell as his fulltime Officer, Matt has 23 years in law Enforcement and is respected by all of his peers. They make a GREAT Team.

    CONGRATUALTIONS TO BOTH OF THESE GREAT OFFICERS IN THEIR NEW ROLE

    Mayor Cheryl Spencer
    MAKING HISTORY/ FIRST WOMAN MAYOR

    The small town has had struggles - like many rural areas - with a lack of jobs and a small population to balance upkeep of roads and buildings. Main Street, which Spencer reminisced once had several beauty shops, a laundromat, a drugstore and a place to pay your electric bill.

    The town's only grocery store closed in 2016, and people have to travel into Scottsbluff for gas and banking. The old Platte Valley Bank branch is now City Hall and only a handful of businesses remain: An auto shop, the post office, a beauty salon and the Broken Spoke Bar and Grill.

    Spencer said there are some new prospects, with a Dollar General and a development at Stonegate and County Road 26.

    "It would be great to see those develop and open up to our community," Spencer said. Spencer, 65, didn't start in small-town politics. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, and moved with her husband in 1976 to Minatare.

    She raised two daughters while working as a registered nurse at the Bayard nursing home. She returned to school and earned her licensed practical nurse certification to work at Northfield Villa and later a doctor's office.

    She also got involved, joining the Minatare School Board in the early nineties while her children were in junior high and high school, and later held a term on the City Council. She lost her husband to a work accident in 2016, but said she continued to look for ways to help in the community.

    "I'm still trying to find who I am. Because I've always been mom, wife and stuff," Spencer said. "But I've always liked to be involved in the community, and here I am."

    With small-town politics, the tactics were a little different. She bought one banner, hand-painted old signs given to her by a friend to put lettering onto, was given an extra cloth sign made by a neighbor and supporter. She didn't participate in a forum but said she tried to be available. She was inspired to run by friend and new city councilwoman Celeste Sanchez.

    Sanchez said she pushed Spencer to run because of her "open mind, and willingness for trying something new."

    "We just need some new ideas," Sanchez said. "It's like winning a lotto ticket: 'Why don't I ever win a lotto ticket?' Well, you have to enter to win."

    Sanchez, who's lived in Minatare 44 years, said she will balance her human resources career with being on the city council, her first public service position.

    "I would like to see Minatare evolve, as far as housing, improving the looks of the city," Sanchez said. "And working with other people getting new businesses in, what can we offer companies to come in to this area, we don't have a lot. As far as downtown, I would like to really put a new facelift on downtown."

    Spencer said the election was the easy part, now it's time for the real thing.

    "I do realize the mayor doesn't always have a lot of power. You're more of a figure head - but you vote, when there's a tie, she said. "But surely you know if you see issues and address them as a council, maybe we could get some things done."

    ">Forty-five years ago, Cheryl Spencer fell in love with Minatare's small town charm.

    "It's just, to me, a nice little town. People that you don't even know will wave to say good morning. We look out for each other." she said. "I think that's what Minatare is about - is helping each other."

    Now, Spencer, is in her first week as mayor. In the town of 896 people, she wants to see the place where she put down roots to grow back.

    Spencer won the election over incumbent Bob Baldwin by a margin of 45 votes, winning 142 of the 239 votes cast in the election. Baldwin did not respond to a request for comment. Spencer said her focus is to promote businesses, clean and maintain properties, fix roads and reimagine housing.

    "I don't think any city ever has enough money to do everything they'd like to do. But if we could just maintain both that small town atmosphere, that when you come here, this is nice, well-maintained and it would be great to see some new housing."