City of Abilene

The city of Abilene isn’t giving up on its Christmas celebration this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

City Manager Jane Foltz told the Abilene City Commission at its regular meeting Monday that the staff is working on a plan for the mayor’s Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Little Ike Park.

“We are working on those plans, taking it outside, and hopefully getting Christmas Tree Lane done and the decorations,” she said.

Abilene’s traditional Night of Christmas Magic has featured downtown activities and the arrival of Santa Claus in addition to the lighting of the mayor’s tree.

Foltz also said that she has met with county officials because of the spike of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“We will be meeting weekly via Zoom,” she said.

She said two city employees were being quarantined.

Since the Oct. 30 report through the Nov. 9 report, 131 new cases have been reported in Dickinson County by the health department.

Foltz said the city is still waiting to hear about the moderate income housing grant from Prairie Fire Development Group for the Highland development.

The Abilene City Commission approved a resolution in support of a $400,000 grant and a letter in support for the Prairie Fire Development Group in September.

The group is seeking to build six duplex units with 12 rentals. The 1,200 square foot two bedroom units would rent for $1,100 a month.

 

Rogers Street

The next major street reconstruction for the city is expected to be Rogers Street from N.W. Fourth Street to N.W. Eighth Street through Eisenhower Park.

The commission approved on a 5-0 vote for Olsson Associates to complete 30 percent of the engineering services to better determine probable cost and a timeframe for construction at a cost of $38,460.

“This will get us started and give us some real numbers to work with going forward,” Foltz said. 

The start date is next month with a completion date estimated at February 2021.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

 The city also approved, on a 5-0 vote, the consent agenda for Olsson Associates to provide an environmental assessment of obstructions at the Abilene Airport.

Last July the Airport Master plan was completed, listing areas of obstructions that need lights or removal.

 

Body cameras

The commission approved, on a 5-0 vote, to purchase 16 Axon Flex 2 body cameras and controllers, two Axon Flex 2 docking stations, 1,200 MG of annual data storage and necessary licensing for $26,057.

Police Chief Anna Hatter said the body cameras would arrive around the first of next year.

The city has budgeted $26,000 in the Capital Improvement Fund for the purchase and upgrade of body cameras for the Abilene Police Department.

The police department has used body cameras since 2015. The current contract with Axon Enterprises expires in March 2021.

“We currently are using body cameras and these will be an upgrade to our current cameras,” Foltz said.  

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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