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Council buys building, approves keno license
July 01, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
Members of the Gering City Council addressed the fire department’s need for more storage at its June 27 meeting by making a $65,000 offer to purchase a building west of the fire department at 1225 11th Street.

When council members approved the offer, they also asked for first right of refusal on an adjacent property at 1255 11th Street. Re-Nu Upholstery is currently in that building. Both buildings are owned by Carl and Lee Schwartzkopf.

While the building isn’t big enough to house the Gering Fire Department’s larger engines, it could be used for storing smaller equipment and trucks, including the department’s antique fire engine.

Council also approved a local keno outlet license for the Rompus Room, which is now under the new ownership of Jimmie Rhodes, John Schlothauer and Austin Ferguson.

“We’ve been talking with owner Morris Duyck and this offer just fell together,” Rhodes said. “We’re not planning a whole lot of changes other than updating things. We plan on keeping the same crowd happy and keno approval was a big step for us. We want to continue that big smile, friendly place where people can have fun.”

Rhodes said the plan to organize a corn hole league, some activities during Husker football games, as well as live music and deejays. But that will wait until after Oregon Trail Days.

At the conclusion of Monday’s council meeting, Electrical Superintendent Ron Doggett, who has been in the position for the past 12 years, announced his resignation.

Doggett will move on to become Operations Manager for Southwest Public Power District in Palisade, Nebraska, near McCook.

“I figured I’d retire here in Gering,” Doggett told the media after the meeting. “They (Southwest) asked me if I’d like to make a career move. I interviewed for the position and I’m on my way there.”

Doggett added one of his biggest accomplishments while in Gering was the project to move most of the city’s power lines underground along U Street. “With underground lines, we don’t have to worry as much about problems due to storms. The area looks a lot better now.”

His move to Southwest will be a big change, because it’s a public power cooperative, he said. The cooperative has about 2,500 miles of line and he will supervise a staff of 12.

Doggett’s last day in Gering is July 1. His starts at Southwest on July 6.
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