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City Council approves parking for 'Trunk & Treat event,' unanimously passes contract for UDC update

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Fremont City Council approved a resolution to temporarily close a parking lot and street for a trick-or-treat event to be held in lieu of the recently canceled Halloween Hysteria.

Fremont City Council approved a resolution to temporarily close a parking lot and street for a trick-or-treat event to be held in lieu of the recently canceled Halloween Hysteria. The resolution, which passed on a 5-1 vote with one abstention, allowed for the closure of the parking lot on the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Park Avenue on Oct. 24 from 6 a. m. to 8 p. m. and for the closure of Fifth Street from Park Avenue to Main Street from 3-8 p. m. for the “Trunk & Treat” event. Councilmember Glen Ellis, who abstained from voting, said Halloween Hysteria, which annually draws in thousands of people into the downtown Fremont area, would not be possible this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think we all realized that Halloween Hysteria is truly hysteria downtown,” he said.

Ellis said the Fremont Downtown Development Group came up with a way to still give children an opportunity to dress up in their costumes and visit the downtown area to celebrate Halloween. The event will take place in the closed parking lot with vehicles spaced out in every other parking spot.

When children are lined up, they will line up six feet apart with their families. ”Ellis said he believed the group has taken an abundance of precautions heading into an event that has found a way to creatively celebrate Halloween under the umbrella of COVID-19. “There are endless ways that we are trying to figure out mechanical reasons or whatever just to try to make it fun, not only for the trunker, but also for the treater,” Ellis said. Councilmember Mark Legband, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 recently, raised concerns about the timing of the event given the increased positivity rate in the state. “I just have concerns about parents’ and kids’ safety right now because of COVID,” he said. Legband said he would have had fewer issues with the idea of having an event like this two or three weeks ago, but the rising positivity rate in Nebraska has forced him to reevaluate events like this. “I hope it does work out, but I’m still very concerned about the safety of parents and kids,” he said.

The total cost of the contract is $450,000. “Everybody just said tremendous things about Houseal-Lavigne and I think we should be very happy with them,” Planning Director Jennifer Dam said. Nik Davis, principal at Houseal-Lavigne, thanked the council for the chance to take part in updating the three projects. “We appreciate the opportunity,” he said. Councilmember Susan Jacobus noted the incoming new faces that would fill two soon-to-be empty council seats currently occupied by Councilmembers Linda McClain and Matt Bechtel, as well as a new mayor who will fill the seat currently occupied by Scott Getzschman. She said it was important that those new members have an opportunity to be involved in the project on the ground level. Dam said a kickoff meeting is scheduled for Nov. 10, which falls a week after the Nov. 3 general election. “We will know who the next elected officials are at that time and it certainly provides us with an opportunity to include everybody in that particular process,” she said. Dam said the roundtable is meant to identify key issues found inside the city’s current UDC.

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