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Mayor Jean Stothert | City of Omaha

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 (July 9, 2019)

Mayor Jean Stothert will hold a series of Town Hall meetings this month to gather input to develop the city’s first long-term road maintenance and rehabilitation plan.

”These public meetings will give citizens the opportunity to participate in the development of a maintenance and improvement plan that will greatly improve the safety and longevity of our streets and reduce annual maintenance costs,” said Mayor Stothert.

The Town Hall series, “A Road Map to Better Streets” will provide an overview of infrastructure needs, repair and maintenance, major construction projects, and current and future funding options. 

“Street repair and resurfacing has been one of our top priorities since I was elected in 2013. Each year we have increased the street maintenance budget, but we need to do much more,” said Mayor Stothert. “Citizen input and buy-in will be an important part of our planning process.”

City budgets for the last 10 years show the annual budget increases in road resurfacing:

2010: $2.8 million                                          2015:  $7.3 million

2011: $3.9 million                                          2016: $8.7 million

2012: $5.6 million                                          2017: $10.7 million

2013: $6.6 million                                          2018:   $11.7 million

2014: $6.9 million                                          2019:   $12.2 million

Mayor Stothert’s 2020 budget, to be introduced to the City Council on July 23, will include another increase in the resurfacing budget. In addition, the 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Plan includes approximately $320 million over the next 6 years for transportation projects, $66 million in 2019. The CIP lists capital projects that are funded with bonds.

TOWN HALL SCHEDULE:

Tuesday July 16                4:30-6:00pm          Saddlebrook Community Center         14850 Laurel Ave

Thursday July 18              5:00-6:30pm          The Venue at Highlander 75 North     2112 N. 30th Street

Friday July 19                   11:00am-12:30      The Salvation Army Kroc Center          2825 Y Street

Monday July 22                6:30-8:00pm          The Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center     6400 University Drive   (UNO Campus)

Since taking office in 2013, Mayor Stothert has held 42 Town Hall meetings, seven each year in September and October.  A Fall Town Hall series schedule will be announced in September.

(July 2, 2019)

New lights on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge will be red, white and blue for the Fourth of July weekend.

The City of Omaha Parks Department has completed installation of more than 100 LED lights, replacing the original lights installed ten years ago.  LED lights are energy efficient and lower cost.

Additional lights that shine on the cables and pylons have also been installed which better illuminates the bridge and the plaza on Riverfront Drive.  Planning to replace the original lighting started several years ago and completed before the opening game of the College World Series last month.

“The view of the Bob Kerrey Bridge from TD Ameritrade Park is spectacular,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.  “The bridge is one of the signatures of Omaha’s skyline, especially at night and this upgrade is especially beautiful.”

A sophisticated computer program has the capability to choreograph the bridge lights in all colors and in motion.  The colors of the lights can be changed to recognize holidays, events and occasions, or special requests.

“The bridge is a popular destination for family events, proposals, fundraising walks and tourists.  We can make all those events even more special with the lighting improvements,” said Parks Director Brook Bench.   

The LED lights cost $720,000, paid from the Bridge Fund.  Both Omaha and Council Bluffs contribute $130,000 annually to the Bridge Fund for maintenance, repair and improvements.   

The pedestrian bridge opened September 28, 2008.

The Parks Department has also completed the installation of additional cameras across the span of the bridge. While the cameras provide another measure of security for the Omaha Police Department, the Parks Department uses the cameras to monitor weather conditions on the bridge and other activities.

(July 1, 2019)

The City of Omaha Celebrates America concert and fireworks spectacular drew more than 60,000 to Memorial Park on Friday evening, June 28. The popular summer event, produced by the City of Omaha and sponsored by the Omaha Parks Foundation, featured headliners Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, with Special Guest Chris Isaak. Local band The Firm opened the show, and an incredible fireworks display wowed the audience as the culmination to the evening.

“Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, along with Chris Isaak and The Firm, put on a great, energetic show that had everyone on their feet,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “We are proud to have been able to continue this fun tradition, and to support our Nebraska neighbors at the same time. It was the perfect kick-off to summer!”

 

The City of Omaha partnered with Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation during the concert to raise money for its Disaster Relief Fund. Through contributions from community members, the event raised $10,000 to assist Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities affected by recent storms and flooding. The text line will remain open throughout the weekend for additional donations: Text NEFLOOD to 50155 to donate.

(June 14, 2019)

A tenth glass recycling collection center is now located in southwest Omaha, it is the tenth glass recycling drop-off location in Omaha.

The bright purple container is located in the parking lot of Super Saver near 144th & Millard Avenue. 

In 2017, Keep Omaha Beautiful partnered with the City of Omaha and Ripple Glass to help make glass recycling more accessible throughout the community. Since this partnership, Keep Omaha Beautiful has assisted the City of Omaha in securing grant funding to purchase four new glass recycling containers and has helped identify new drop-off locations, including Hy-Vee at 180th & Pacific, Fresh Thyme at 150th & Maple, Baker's at 120th & Center, and now Super Saver at 144th & Millard Avenue. All four of these grocery stores have bright purple collection containers in their parking lots, which are open to the public twenty-four hours a day.

“We are thrilled to work with Super Saver to open this new collection location given that the far southwest section of Omaha was lacking a nearby glass recycling site,” says Keep Omaha Beautiful’s Executive Director Chris Stratman. “Our goal is to help the City of Omaha continue to expand the glass recycling program so it is as convenient as possible for residents.

"Last year, more than 3,300,000 pounds of glass was collected in Omaha and recycled, equating to roughly 1,650 tons of recyclable material diverted from the landfill. The glass is shipped to Ripple Glass in Kansas City where it is converted into new bottles and jars, and fiberglass insulation.

 

(June 6, 2019)

On June 5, 2019, the Missouri River in Omaha reached an elevation of 31.97, just below moderate flood stage.  This is the third highest flood on the river since the construction of the flood control dams, with the flood of 2011 and this year’s spring flood being the only instances that exceeded this current event.

The river is expected to remain at or above the minor flood stage of 29 for at least two weeks, and likely much longer. 

On June 1, the US Army Corps of Engineers raised the releases from Gavins Point to 75,000 CFS, to account for recent heavy rain and snow in North and South Dakota.  This flow is anticipated to remain in place through at least the month of June, with sustained high releases to continue through the summer.  

The most recent forecast from the USACE indicates that this will be the second highest year of runoff on record in the Missouri River Basin, with only 2011 being higher.    While this is not anticipated to be anything like what we experienced in 2011, the river will remain at high levels throughout the summer.  Even if levels fall below the minor flood stage of 29, local rains can raise the river two feet or more, resulting in the need to monitor the gates that keep the river from backing up into the City at river elevations below minor flood stage.     

As a precautionary measure, the Public Works Department is coordinating with Douglas County Emergency Management and the Omaha Fire Department to establish an Incident Command Center in order to be prepared if the conditions on the river worsen.  At this time, the river is expected to remain just below levels that impacts the levees.  As was demonstrated in 2011 and earlier this spring, the City has a reliable and robust flood protection system that is well managed and maintained and fully capable of protecting the City from the river.  The primary concern is to be able to get the water out of the City when it rains.   The Public Works Department is staging pumps across the levee and flood control system in order to maintain sanitary flows to the treatment plant, and to pump storm water up and over the levee during rain events.   Department staff are in contact with property owners who may be impacted, and will continue to communicate throughout the summer as needed. 

Dodge Park is currently closed and will reopen after the water recedes, power can be restored and the park and marina can be cleaned and opened safely.  Lewis and Clark Landing is also impacted.  Barricades are up in some locations for public safety. At this time, river elevations do not warrant closing the flood gates along the flood wall, and activities are on schedule, including the Santa Lucia Festival. 

Area roads on the Omaha side of the river remain open.  The I-680 bridge has been closed due to water over the interstate on the Iowa side of the river.

(June 6, 2019)

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Mayor Jean Stothert and the Omaha Sister Cities Association announced the development of a Sister City relationship with the region along the Normandy Coast of France, including historic Omaha Beach.

Omaha Beach is located in the Isigny-Omaha Intercom, a region of 59 townships in northern France.

“Omaha Beach is part of our country’s past, and will always be remembered,” said Mayor Stothert. “History connects us, and the future will provide many opportunities for cultural, educational, business, and most importantly, the personal relationships which are fundamental to all Sister Cities. It is an honor for the City of Omaha to develop a Sister City relationship with this region.”

Isigny-Omaha Intercom will be the City of Omaha’s seventh Sister City.  The others are Shizuoka, Japan; Braunschweig, Germany; Siauliai, Lithuania; Naas, Ireland; Xalapa, Mexico; and Yantai, China.

“The iconic connection between Omaha, Nebraska and Omaha Beach continues and resonates on a deeply personal and emotional level,” said Andy Schilling, Vice-President of the Omaha Sister Cities Association and Senior Director of International Business Development at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

The Association made the initial contact with its counterparts in France, and learned there was shared interest in forming a sister city relationship.  “The memory, the emotion and the reverence for the heroism of our servicemen at D-Day are all still prominent in their gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifice,” said Schilling.

In early March, a delegation of five Normandy mayors visited Omaha.  In April, a delegation from Omaha visited Normandy.  The Sister City Friendship Agreement will be signed in October in France.

“Omaha’s Sister City Association brings the world to Omaha,” said Mayor Stothert, who also serves as the Honorary Chair of the Association. “These relationships are important to our growth as a partner in international trade and education.”

Shizouka was Omaha’s first Sister City.  The agreement has been in place since 1965. The agreement with Yantai was signed in 2010.

“Our parent organization, Sister Cities International, has a simple but noble mission,” said Schilling. “To promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation—one individual, one community at a time.”

For more information about the Omaha Sister City Association, please visit http://www.omahasistercities.com/

(June 3, 2019)

Continuing delays with trash and yard waste collection prompted Mayor Jean Stothert to require an immediate plan of action from Waste Management to get trash picked up. "Two, three, and four day delays are unacceptable," said Mayor Stothert.

Waste Management has responded with these steps:

Waste Management will not collect recyclables through Wednesday June 5.  This will add 18 additional trucks for garbage and yard waste collection. Recycling can be held for your next pickup day, or you can take to any of the City’s recycling drop off locations, listed at https://wasteline.org/recycling-information/recycling-drop-off-locations

Waste Management has brought personnel from other cities to Omaha to help.  Currently they have 73 drivers.  Waste Management does not have enough helpers, the employees who toss trash and yard waste into the trucks.  Waste Management is working with two temp agencies here in Omaha to hire 25 helpers.

Waste Management is making improvements to the roads in the Douglas County Landfill. Due to heavy rain, the time it takes to unload trucks has increased from 20 minutes to up to an hour. In some cases, tow trucks are being used to tow the garbage trucks in and out of the landfill.

Beginning Tuesday, Waste Management will have access to the River City Recycling transfer station at 60th and Q to unload up to 250 tons of garbage and yard waste which will reduce travel time to and from the Douglas County landfill allowing Waste Management to work faster.

Waste Management reports there has been an increase of 166 tons of yard waste and solid waste daily, contributing to the collection delays.

As of Monday night, Waste Management reports it still has 2,440 collections missed last week to pick up. It also has 24,268 Monday stops that have not been collected yet.

Collections will resume Tuesday morning.  Worst case scenario is that Waste Management will not complete all collections until Saturday.

Please report missed collections only to the Mayor’s Hotline, we need to document the information in order to reduce our fees to Waste Management.  We will not pay for services we are not receiving.  Our contract also us to reduce the monthly payment based on the number of complaints received.  Report to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., omahahotline.com or call 402-444-5555 8:00am-4:30pm. 

(May 10, 2019)

Neighborhood art projects, landscaping, community gardens and National Night Out activities will be funded with grants awarded by Mayor Jean Stothert.

29 community and neighborhood organizations received grants for a total of 75-thousand dollars.

Eleven mini-grants will also support National Night Out parties in August.

“This grants program creates important partnerships with our neighborhoods and that’s why I like to recognize good projects with Mayor’s Neighborhood Grants, said Mayor Stothert. “Our city is better because of the hard work of dedicated neighbors.” 

Neighborhood grants are awarded each Spring to qualifying organizations. This year, 41 grant applications were received.

Applications are reviewed by a committee and recommended to the Mayor. The committee includes representatives from the Planning, Parks, Public Works, Police and Fire Departments , Keep Omaha Beautiful and One Omaha.

GRANT RECIPIENTS

 

AKSARBEN-ELMWOOD PARK - $1,886

Park benches for Schroeder-Vogel Park

National Night Out grant for game prizes and yard signs $200

 

ARMBRUST ACRES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION - $1,400

Neighborhood Beautification Day-planting trees at the neighborhood entrance

 

BEMIS PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $2,750

Neighborhood landscaping and beautification: seeds, tools, landscape design, water tank, mulch, soil

 

BENSON FIRST FRIDAY - $3,750

2019 Public Arts Initiative; banner design and youth art project costs

 

BENSON NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION -$4,730

Furnishings for a children’s nook at Benson Library

 

BIG MUDDY URBAN FARMS - $3,964

Marketing campaign to increase participation in the Gifford Park Neighborhood Market

 

CITY SPROUTS - $5,000

Summer youth internship program

 

DAHLMAN GARDEN CLUB - $582

Supplies and tools for the neighborhood garden

 

ELKHORN STATION MAIN STREET - $4,964

Hanging flower baskets for the Olde Town Elkhorn Business District

National Night Out grant for posters and yard signs $200

 

ELMWOOD PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $600

Gardening on the median at 69th and Dodge

 

ESCALANTE HILLS - $4,900

Trees and mulch for the neighborhood common area

National Night Out grant for party equipment $200

 

GIFFORD PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $5,000

Supplies and promotional items for neighborhood events including Porchfest OMA, Halloween and  holiday banquet events

 

GLOBAL LEADERSHIP GROUP - $5,000

Installation of a pergola at the community garden

 

HANSCOM PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $1,897

Equipment and supplies for 2nd annual CenterFest

 

HIGHLAND SOUTH-INDIAN HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $4,992

South Omaha Back to School Bash

 

HIGHLANDER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION -$1,100

Supplies and activities for Highlander Community Day

National Night Out grant for back-to-school book bags  $200

 

IN-COMMON COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - $4,467

A “Block Party Kit” mobile trailer stocked with supplies for interactive block parties

National Night Out grant for promotional supplies  $100

 

LEAVENWORTH NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $1,800

Neighborhood shredding event

 

METCALFE-HARRISON NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $5,000

Infant and toddler swings for Metcalfe Park

 

MORTON MEADOWS COMMUNITY GARDEN - $1,891

Community Garden covered picnic area and rain water collection system

National Night Out grant for children’s games $100

 

PARKER ACTION ALLIANCE - $2,807

Rededication and beautification of Parker Street from 24th Street to 35th, including a free library, neighborhood cleanup material, and landscaping

 

PIEDMONT-WYCLIFFE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $332

Equipment for the citizen patrol

 

SOUTH 13TH STREET COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP - $1,388

Materials for a 12-week demonstration of uses for vacant lots and green spaces in the neighborhood

 

THE UNION FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS - $5,000

The North Omaha Mural Project

 

PACIFIC HEIGHTS-SHAKER HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $200

National Night Out grant for equipment and supplies

 

PEPPERWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $180

National Night Out grant for scavenger hunt supplies, prizes and toys

 

QUARTERS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $200

National Night Out equipment

 

SUNNY SLOPE-SUNNY VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $200

National Night Out equipment and supplies

 

WILLOW WOOD NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION - $200

National Night Out equipment rental

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(May 9, 2019)

Mayor Jean Stothert will propose an annexation package that will increase the city’s population and tax base.

After the annual evaluation of the City’s 132 SIDs, the financial analysis shows four SIDs and two adjacent areas are good candidates for annexation.

Mayor Stothert’s 2019 annexation goals are consistent with previous years; the City’s ability to provide police and fire protection, eliminate islands that are already surrounded by the city, and annexation must be revenue positive for the city over the next ten years.

The City’s population will increase by approximately 955 based on 2010 Census data.

After annexation, property taxes in the four SIDs will decrease. The average reduction is $475 per $100,000 valuation.  

 Over the next ten years, projections show the City will collect an estimated $9.6 million in revenue:

  • $8,456,976 property tax revenue
  • $187,872 sales tax
  • $252,000  wheel tax
  • $782,000  street and highway funds    

The City will pay off $3.4 million in debt owed by the SIDs, and the approximate cost of city services is $4.9 million.  After expenses, the actual revenue is approximately $2.3 million.

 “Omaha must continue to grow and remain competitive as one of the largest Midwest cities,” said Mayor Stothert. “Continued, managed growth is important to attract new business and jobs. It has a positive impact on our bond ratings, and the additional revenue allows us to continue investing in our top priorities, public safety and street repair and improvements.” 

The Omaha Fire Department already provides fire protection and emergency medical service to all SIDs and adjacent areas and the volume of 911 calls is low. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and Fire Chief Dan Olsen have both approved the annexation package.

There are no unimproved streets in any of the SIDs. One property owner has greenbelt status.

Home and business owners are receiving annexation information in the mail this week.

The proposal now goes to the Omaha Planning Board and City Council for approval.

The Planning Board will consider the package on June 5, it will go to the City Council for first reading on June 18. The public hearing is scheduled June 25. 

If passed, the annexation will be effective July 31.

An Open House for residents and business owners will be held Thursday May 23, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Saddlebrook Community Center, 14850 Laurel Avenue. Mayor Stothert will provide an overview of the annexation package.  City departments will present information and answer questions.

The proposed SIDs to be annexed are all within City Council Districts 6 and 7.  

Stone Creek Plaza                                                   SID 443

The Willows and adjacent areas                              SID 496

Ranch View Estates and adjacent areas                 SID 467                              

Ranch View Estates 3                                              SID 556

(April 29, 2018)

The popular summer concert at Memorial Park has been revived, thanks to the generosity of anonymous private donors.

The City of Omaha Celebrates America concert will take place on Friday, June 28, with performers beginning at 6:00pm, and a larger than ever fireworks display following the show.

Following the recent announcement that the 2019 event would be cancelled, anonymous private donors contacted Mayor Jean Stothert offering to work with the Mayor to ensure that the show will go on.

“We are thrilled that the City of Omaha can step in so this tradition will continue this year. I am very grateful to the donors, and to our Parks Department and Parks Foundation that will make the 2019 concert an evening of family fun and great entertainment,” said Mayor Jean Stothert.

The 2019 concert, produced for the first time by the City of Omaha and sponsored by the Omaha Parks Foundation, will feature local favorite The Firm as an opening act, and national act Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul as the headliner. An additional national act will be added soon.

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul features lead singer Steven Van Zandt, a founding member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Omaha World-Herald called Little Steven’s November 2018 show at the Holland Performing Arts Center “one of the year’s best concerts.” In 2017, he released his first new album in over 15 years entitled “Soulfire,” which was named one of Rolling Stone’s “Best Albums of 2017.” This May, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul will release “Summer of Sorcery,” his first album of all original material in 20 years.

The City of Omaha will also partner with Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation during the concert to raise money for its Disaster Relief Fund, which provides aid to Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities affected by recent storms and flooding. Concertgoers will have opportunities to text-to-give during the event, or to give by check or credit card at a Nebraska Farm Bureau information booth. All donations will be distributed to Nebraskans in need.

“The need is immense,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson. “One-point-four billion dollars of loss has taken place. We’re there to help with emergency needs.”

“The concert provides an opportunity for our great, giving Omaha community to make a positive difference to help those affected by the flooding throughout our state,” said Mayor Stothert.

As in years past, the concert will be free to the public and family-friendly. Music will kick off at 6:00pm, and a special, enhanced fireworks display will follow the show, set to a soundtrack provided by Radio Partner CD 105.9. The event will be professionally managed by local firm Vic Gutman & Associates. For more information, visit http://memorialparkconcert.com.  Donations to flood relief can be made on this website.