SCOTTSBLUFF — The Scottsbluff City Council Monday night first acknowledged the contributions of former Mayor Don Overman, then gave final approval to its fiscal year 2019-20 operating budget.

Prior to the meeting, Mayor Raymond Gonzales asked those in attendance to observe a moment of silence for Overman, who died early Monday morning.

“Mr. Overman served this city for many years, most of those as mayor,” Gonzales said. “He accomplished many great things for the City of Scottsbluff during his tenure, and he continued to do so even after his tenure. The City of Scottsbluff is very grateful to Mayor Overman for all the things that he accomplished for this great city of ours.” Gonzales expressed that the thoughts and prayers of the council are with the Overman family at this time.

The council gave final approval by a 4-1 vote to the $45.5 million 2019-20 budget. The budget includes a $2.5 million chip seal project for the next construction season that will resurface all of the asphalt streets in the city. The city is budgeting a decrease in sales tax revenues; however, the council also approved an additional 0.5% lease payment through Nebraska Public Power District. Revenue added through the NPPD increase will go into the city’s general fund to help with expenses there. The increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, for NPPD customers and the city will see its first contribution of those funds in February. Consumers are currently assessed a 12.5% tax for the lease payment. As an example, a customer with a $100 utility bill will see their lease tax amount go up from $12.50 to $13 with the increase.

“We hope as some of these items that need to be addressed in the general fund from things such as the downtown plaza, additional school resource officers, pathway, 23 Club, things of that nature, that fall into those categories can then be addressed,” City Manager Nathan Johnson said.

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Mark McCarthy is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9049 or via email at

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