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City will check into press box expansion at Russ Hochstein Field

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HARTINGTON — The press box at Russ Hochstein Field could be expanded this year to help meet the demands brought on by the success of local football teams.

In the past few years, more newspaper, radio and television stations have begun to cover Cedar Catholic and Hartington-Newcastle football, making for a very crowded press box. "We need more space for media and coaches than

"We need more space for media and coaches than we have right now," Cedar Catholic football coach Chad Cattau said. "It's embarrassing having radio and TV stations sitting outside when its cold in the fall. Radio stations have backed out of games late in the year because they would have to be outside." Cattau addressed the City Council Monday with a proposal to expand the press box by building a second level on top of the current press box. Cattau said he has had discussions with Trent Becker

Cattau said he has had discussions with Trent Becker of RaDec Construction about the possibility of adding onto the current facility. "The most ideal thing would be to go up on top of the existing press box," Cattau said. He said after talking to Becker, it appears the current

He said after talking to Becker, it appears the current building is stable enough to do this.

The addition would allow for four more rooms which could be used for coaches and media.

Councilman Roman Sudbeck said initial plans when the Complex was built called for a larger press box, but it was scaled back to cut down on costs.

Council members said they needed more information before they could make any decisions about a possible expansion. Sudbeck said he would speak with RaDec to get some ideas and estimates.

A few other areas have also been worked on recently at the recreation complex, Sudbeck said. The baseball fields are being prepared for the season. Some rock was also installed near the shot put area south of the track in order to keep the shot from sinking into mud.

Kathy Kathol of NPPD was on hand Monday with an NPPD franchise agreement. This is a 25-year extension on the current Franchise Agreement. In 2017, the city approved a similar agreement granting NPPD the right to lease the city’s electric power system. The two agreements go hand-in-hand, Kathol said.

Also Monday, City Clerk Natalie Schaecher told the Council that Peg Anderson delivered an EMC insurance dividend check of $29,728.

The Council also heard form Dan Kathol, who is spear-heading the Veterans' Memorial project in downtown Hartington.

Kathol told Council members the soil compaction at the memorial site is looking good after sand was removed and black dirt installed last summer.

Kathol presented the Council with a drawing of the site showing work done to date, the sidewalks surrounding the site and the work still needed on the sidewalks. He said the Memorial Project Committee will pay for sidewalk replacement on the west side of the project. Some sidewalk on the north side is in bad repair, but not because of any work done at the site. He asked Council members to pay the $1,138 required to replace that sidewalk. Councilman Sudbeck said he was aware of the damaged sidewalk, saying that drainage issues caused the damage, not any work being done at the memorial site. The Council agreed to pay for the update.

The Council also approved a building permit for Rich Peterson for a 16x14 foot deck addition to the east side of his house. Council members also gave their approval to a sign permit for Reinvented Mercantile at 210 N Broadway.

Mayor Mark Becker read a proclamation officially observing April 24 as Arbor Day in Hartington.

Becker also told Council members that Shelly Story has been hired to take care of the flowers, small maintenance and the restroom facilities at the parks.

Becker said he is still looking through resumes for a replacement for Utilities Superintendent Pat Guy, who plans to retire in the fall.

The Council also discussed renewing the fireworks sales permit of Fly-by-Night Fireworks. They need more paper work to do this, but don't expect any issues.

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