Aquatic overhaul proves appealing to Bellevue, but finances may slow process
Bellevue residents would likely embrace an aquatics program that would replace the city's five pools with two new ones and three splash pads, the City Council was told.
Four of the city's aging pools need major renovations, an aquatics consultant told council members.
The recommended alternative, he said, is to replace them with two new pools and three splash pads.
The cost of renovating all existing pools was placed at $2.2 million.
Two new pools and three splash pads are estimated to cost between $5 million and $8.5 million.
Kyle McCawley, associate engineer at Larkin Aquatics of Kansas City, presented the findings of a study assessing the City of Bellevue's aquatics program.
He said all five pools fall short of federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Four of the pools lose between 3 and 5 inches of water each day.
City Administrator Dan Berlowitz sound a note of caution, pointing out the city's ongoing financial difficulties. He described the report as a guide rather than a proposal that will be quickly implemented.
“We are sincerely interested,” he said, “and want to move forward in a time frame that we can financially support.”
Ralston fire department expects fewer calls after Papillion-La Vista merger
The fire departments in Ralston and La Vista, neighboring municipalities along Harrison Street, have long worked together.
So the end of La Vista operating its own volunteer fire department could affect Ralston, too.
Under an agreement forged a decade ago, the Ralston and La Vista departments respond to each other's calls between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Ralston Fire Chief Joe Eischeid said Ralston will see its calls drop after La Vista outsources its fire and emergency service to Papillion's paid department.
“I think it's going to hurt Ralston,” Eischeid said. “It'll definitely cut our calls by half or more. We've been helping La Vista every day for a long time, and it'll hurt to lose that.”
Ralston had a record number of calls in 2012 at 960. About 400 of those originated in Ralston.
Eischeid said he's met with Papillion Fire Department Chief Bill Bowes on a new mutual-aid agreement.
“There will be times when we'll need that mutual aid La Vista gave us, and we're going to have to look to Omaha or Papillion to assist now.”
Bellevue schools eye upgrades and expansions of security system
The Bellevue Public Schools is reviewing security in its buildings.
Superintendent Frank Harwood said the district wants to upgrade and expand its surveillance cameras. Infrastructure is being put in place anticipating new cameras and stricter access to buildings.
The district already was conducting a security audit when the Newtown, Conn., school shooting happened.
In June, the school board approved a $39,837 contract with Prime Communications for a new video surveillance system.
Beyond cameras, Bellevue is considering using remote door locks, which would allow the district to put all the buildings in lockdown “with the touch of a button,” Harwood said. Time is of the essence in such a situation, Harwood said, because incidents are often resolved in minutes.
The committee might follow Papillion-La Vista and Millard districts in recommending the entrance to school buildings be locked during school hours, requiring visitors to initially pass through the administrative office.