Public Works Project Addresses Papillion Growing Pains

Papillion is about to get a little breathing room to ease the city’s growing pains.

The current public works garage is an example of a city that has outgrown part of its past.

Papillion’s Community Relations Coordinator Darren Carlson said, “This building has a lot of character. You don't want to give up an asset like this. It has a lot of character, the 1930s construction. At the same time, it doesn't fit the needs of our organization right now.”

The building is simply too small for the new equipment. A fire truck only clears the door opening by inches and if repairs require jacking it up, that’s something that has to happen outside.

Carlson said, “You can see behind me that we've got three bays that our guys work in. They do a great job maintaining all of our vehicles and equipment but we've got over a 170 pieces of equipment and vehicles and they do that out of a facility that was built in the 1930s."

The old building poses several problems for the city. It is too small. Inadequate storage leaves many vehicles outside and the administration offices are across the street.

But the city has a plan. It intends to build a new facility near 96th and Portal Road and they hope to have it up and running by June 2015.

Mary Beth Harrold has had a flower shop downtown for 38 years and she knows all about the public works garage.

“I think it's time,” she said. “They've been here forever. We've got to keep going, move on with society and everything and the city has grown tremendously. There's no room for them anymore and they need to be updated.”

Carlson says the next step is to nail down the specifics of the project including the cost and present it to the city council for approval. The land has already been purchased and re-zoned.

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