Convention center to get new stage, EV chargers

YORK – The Holthus Convention Center will be getting two new things in upcoming days – a brand new stage floor in the ballroom and charging stations for electrical vehicles.

Terri Carlson, convention center director, met with the York City Council this past week to discuss the two new developments.

Regarding the stage floor, Carlson said, “The time has come to replace it. We already budgeted $37,500 for this project. The bid came in a little higher, at $39,111.45, but we have plenty to cover it.”

The bid came in from Patina Studios.

“This will replace the surface with hardwood and several layers of coating to protect it. Hopefully, this will give us a lot more years,” she said.

She also said the job will require a block of time (to not interfere with rentals) and she was hoping it could be done sometime in August.

“They (the local contractor) brought in a wood specialist, correct?” asked Mayor Barry Redfern.

“That’s correct,” Carlson said, noting the local contractor was involved in the original installation of this floor and recommended a specific floor sanding company. Carlson said the same floor sanding company had also been recommended by another local business that has done business with them.

“This will be a completely different material than what’s there now, correct?” asked Councilman Jerry Wilkinson.

Carlson said, “Yes, absolutely. And the future maintenance will be light sanding and adding another coat every few years rather than having to completely tear it all out like we have to do now.”

It was noted the company doing the work is local.

“They have always been able to the work, they have always responded when I needed them to do work, they could get it taken care of. They are familiar with this project, they know what it is and it would be nice to keep it local with a loyal contractor,” Carlson said.

York City Administrator Sue Crawford said it was in the city’s best interest to accept this bid.

“He’s been involved with this for nine years, he’s always been really good about checking in and researching the best ways to maintain this,” Carlson said.

“If we have a local guy, who knows what he’s doing and will be there to maintain it, I make a motion to go with it,” Wilkinson said, which was followed by a unanimous vote by the council.

In other business, the council was asked to consider the allowance of the installation of a four electrical car charges on the convention center property.

Carlson said the proposal was for the charger to be located on the south side of the convention center property (parking lot). She noted that the Nebraska Public Power District would be reimbursing the city for 90% of the $26,997 installation cost, “and we will get 90% of the revenue.”

“It would be a service for people who go there, or are at the interchange who need to charge,” Mayor Barry Redfern said.

“These would be slower chargers, with the assumption the drivers would be inside the building while their vehicles are being charged. But people could also come off the interstate and get charged,” Carlson said.

“So let me get this straight,” said Councilman Tony North. “NPPD will pay us 90% of the cost and we also get 90% of the revenue?”

“Yes, the electrical part would be paid by the city and they will pay us 90% of the revenue,” Carlson said.

“Would there be any responsibility for the city for the maintenance of the charging station?” asked Councilman Scott VanEsch.

“They will handle all of the technology, maintenance, everything,” Carlson said.

“Basically, NPPD was looking for a place to put it,” Mayor Redfern said.

The council approved the installation and the arrangement.

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