Riverside Zoo, city council look for contract solution

Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson discusses the progress made between the city and Riverside Discovery Center on a potential contract during the May 6, Scottsbluff City Council meeitng.

SCOTTSBLUFF — The executive director of the League of Nebraska Municipalities will conduct a workshop with the Scottsbluff City Council Monday night.

Lynn Rex will give a presentation pertaining to governance and municipal ideas and host a discussion amongst the council members. With three of the five-member council serving their first terms, Mayor Raymond Gonzales and the council asked Rex to make the presentation to help them better define their roles and responsibilities. Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson said he couldn’t speak for the council, but he has an idea of what they’re hoping to gain from the session.

“I think where they’re at is that they want to make sure that they’re working as a unified team,” Johnson said, “especially with some of these bigger things coming down the pike.”

One of those things coming up is a contract renewal with the Riverside Discovery Center. The city currently provides $350,000 in funding to RDC under a 10-year contract that is up for renewal soon.

“The zoo contract is a big one,” Johnson said, “We’re a year out from the end of that. But then also, from a strategic planning aspect, everything from parks and recreation, whether that be a pool, to different revenue sources for the general fund, things of that nature. And making sure that we’re working cohesively together to be able to react to what the community wants, needs and desires are.”

Johnson said Monday’s session should be a valuable experience for the council.

“It’s essentially like a board retreat to get a discussion and make sure that they understand what’s going on, how they fit into the puzzle and how we can work collectively to move the city forward,” Johnson said.

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald and oversees the Gering Courier as editor. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at mark.mccarthy@starherald.com.

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