New Police Chief Montgomery Sworn In At Council Meeting

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The Cozad City Council met for the first meeting of the New Year on January 9th, 2017.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale swore into office Chief of Police Mark Montgomery to begin the meeting. He succeeds Randy Adams who left the department to work as an investigator for the Dawson County Sheriff’s office.
A public hearing was held on the application of MAD Food Services LLC dba Bella Italia for a Class C liquor license. Present to present the request were new Bella Italia owners Mark and Maria Diaz. The license was approved and council members thanked them for taking over the restaurant and continuing to provide the authentic Italian cuisine patrons have become accustomed to.
Discussion took place regarding the ambulance billing service. Deputy City Clerk Kelly Peden had submitted research she had conducted that showed Cozad hadn’t raised the ambulance rates since 2009 and that they no longer were in compliance with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield fee schedule. The current charge is $360.00 per ambulance run plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside the city limits of Cozad. The allowed billable amount for 2017 is $556.80. Peden recommended raising the rate to $550.00 to be in compliance with the fee schedule. Council members approved the $500.00 ambulance run fee plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside of the city limits of Cozad to commence in 2017.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that he would be attending the League of Nebraska Municipalities Meeting this Wednesday through Friday. He has accepted a nomination to serve on the League of Nebraska Municipalities Executive Board.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that Arturo Martinez has been hired to fill the vacancy created by Amanda Valenzuela who was recently hired to work at Cozad Headstart.
Cozad Fire Department Assistant Rescue Chief Travis Lee reported that the new stretcher has been installed. “An in-service attended by 15 members was recently conducted for the stretcher and it will truly be an asset to our department,” according to Lee. 
Chief of Police Mark Montgomery reported that he is getting settled in and thanked Police Sergeant John Peden for his assistance and guidance these past two weeks. “I sincerely appreciate his help in returning to the head of our fine department,” noted Montgomery.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale reported that a couple of city employees have inquired about the possibility of making memberships to the Community Wellness Center available as a payroll deduction. They have also asked if the city would consider a partial reimbursement each month for regular attendance at the center. “Half a dozen businesses in Cozad already do this for their employees, so it is something we may want to consider,” Trusdale commented.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, January 23rd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the City Office building.

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