The Norfolk city council approved some contracts covering updates to Miracle Skatepark, levee repairs and street scanning in its short meeting Monday night.

The final design for Miracle Skatepark were shown to the council and a contract for building it was approved at the initial cost of $534,000, though city engineer Steve Rames said that about $57,000 will ultimately be cut due to budget concerns.

The park will number of features including a large "pump track," which takes up a significant portion of the final design.

The contract was awarded to Spohn Ranch, a Los Angeles-based company that specializes in skate park design and construction.

Norfolk mayor Josh Moenning said the project has come a long way since a group of citizens petitioned to the city council years ago asking for improvements to the park.

Since then, private fundraising, an initial investment by the city council and a state tourism grant for $425,000 have helped make the new and improved park a reality.

Council member Thad Murren said that the project was unique in the amount of public involvement.

"There was a lot of citizen and public involvement and working towards a common goal," he said. "This was a neat project to be a part of."

The park is scheduled to be finished before this summer with a grand opening date of June 21, which will be celebrated as "Go Skateboarding Day" in Norfolk to commemorate the new park.

The council also approved two contracts with HDR, a construction and engineering firm from Omaha, for levee evaluation and repairs to damage from the flooding last March.

Some of the work has already been done and had to be done immediately after the flooding before a contract could be written. The contracts are expected to eventually be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also currently working on its own levee evaluation.

Finally, the council approved a contract for street scanning services that will help identify streets in need of repair and help estimate the cost of reconstruction and repairs.

Rames said the city has contracted a different company in the past, but the city will now be contracting StreetScan, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, who are offering a more modern approach using artificial intelligence to help the city manage roads.

According to the company's proposal, their state of the art software and data collection can monitor the status of roads and provide recommendations for repairs and maintenance and for future improvement plans.


The Norfolk City Council met Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Norfolk City Council Chambers.

Council members present: Mayor Josh Moenning, Dick Pfeil, Corey Granquist, Shane Clausen, Jim Lange, Gary L. Jackson, Rob Merrill, Fred Wiebelhaus, Thad Murren.

Council members absent: None.

Meeting lasted: 30 minutes.

Others in attendance: City staff, five; media representatives, three; and three from the public.

Action Items:

The council approved an agreement with StreetScan, Inc. for pavement inspection and asset management software for an amount not to exceed $43,955.

The council approved an engineering contract with HDR Engineering for a levee response project for an amount not to exceed $28,525.

The council approved an engineering contract with HDR Engineering for a FEMA public assistance levee repair project for an amount not to exceed $247,170.

The council approved a contract with Spohn Ranch of Los Angeles for Miracle Skatepark improvements for $534,095.

In other news

A day off from school allowed some young children whose parents are employed at Northeast Community College to get in some extra learning time with students enrolled in the institution’s early childhood education program.

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A 1,640-foot brick wall has been hastily erected in India’s Gujarat state ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, with critics saying it was built to block the view of a slum area inhabited by more than 2,000 people.