News Flash

Posted on: February 18, 2024

Pawnee Park vandalized, covered in graffiti

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Authorities are hoping to find out who is responsible for vandalizing much of Pawnee Park.

City Parks and Recreation officials early on Sunday morning, Feb. 18, 2024, discovered much of East Pawnee Park had been heavily vandalized overnight. The picnic shelters, playground and bathrooms on the east side were covered in spray-paint, and the park...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: February 9, 2024

Columbus Area Sports & Activities Sign-Up set for March 16 in downtown Columbus

SIGNUP

The annual Columbus Area Sports & Activities Sign-Up Day is quickly approaching, but residents looking to get their kids ready for spring and summer should note the event location has changed.

The 2024 Columbus Area Sports & Activities Sign-Up Day is set to run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16, in the Community Room on the third floor of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. in downtown Columbus. 

“Collaboration is...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: February 5, 2024

Morning Brew Community Chats session set for FRIDAY, FEB. 9, 2024

MBFEB

Coffee first, everything else later. The City of Columbus is inviting residents to come enjoy a cup of java with staff and elected officials this Friday morning.

The next Morning Brew Community Chats session is set to run from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in the first floor lobby of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. in downtown Columbus.

City hosts for this week's event are Mayor Jim...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: February 1, 2024

Review the City’s projects using discretionary spending in fiscal year 2023-2024

PROJECTS

A portion of sales tax funds are used to fund discretionary projects in the City’s annual budget, but Mayor Jim Bulkley and the Columbus City Council determined what projects should be prioritized.

Check out this breakdown of this fiscal year’s planned discretionary spending:

1. City Workforce Housing Subdivision ($1 million) - The Columbus City Council during its regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, tentatively approved an agreement b...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 29, 2024

2nd Morning Brew Community Chats session slated for FRIDAY, FEB. 9

MBFEB

Before indulging on wings, chips and other snacks while watching 'The Big Game' between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 11, enjoy some free coffee and conversation with City of Columbus leaders on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024.

The City of Columbus will host its second-ever "Morning Brew Community Chats" session from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in the first floor lobby of the Columbus Community Building, 2500 14th St. in downtown Columbus.

All residents ar...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 23, 2024

Crews continue work on city roads following winter storms

ROADSUPDATE

City crews continue to grapple with the cleanup of hazardous roads throughout Columbus in the aftermath of recent winter storms, and are reminding residents to be safe when traveling through town.

“With the freeze and thaw cycles and temperatures forecasted, there will be early morning slick spots in areas (on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024),” City Public Works Director Chuck Sliva said on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. “So please ...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 16, 2024

WATCH & READ: Mayor Bulkley delivers his '2024 State of the City' Address

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During the Monday night, Jan. 15, 2024, Columbus City Council meeting, Mayor Jim Bulkley delivered his '2024 State of the City' Address. You can read it in full or watch the video of his speech.

First, you can watch the video of Mayor Bulkley giving his speech on the City's YouTube channel by clicking here. You can also watch the full stream of the entire City Council meeting by clicking here.

HERE'S THE COPY OF HIS FULL...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 15, 2024

JAN. 15, 2024 ROAD UPDATE: Residents urged to avoid portions of 38th Street

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The City Public Works Department is warning residents to avoid specific parts of 38th Street when on the roads as of Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.

"Please be advised that parts of 38th Street from 18th Avenue to 48th Avenue are restricted to one lane in some areas. 33rd Avenue west to 48th Avenue is the worst! Please avoid this area as possible," Public Works Director Chuck Sliva said. &am...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 15, 2024

Public Works urges residents to take note of Emergency Snow Routes (WITH INTERACTIVE MAPS!)

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Columbus residents are being asked to take note of snow routes and to remove parked vehicles off the roads as City crews continue to work on clearing the streets.

"The Columbus Police Department will be making contact with people with cars on the snow routes," City Public Works Director Chuck Sliva said. "They will need to move those vehicles off the snow routes or risk a citation or towing. Vehicles...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 14, 2024

Public Works reminds residents of Snow Emergency procedures

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City of Columbus residents are being reminded to keep their parked cars off the road as a Snow Emergency is still in effect and crews continue to work.

"We are still in a Snow Emergency, so parking is not allowed on snow emergency routes. The pending forecast will only make road conditions dangerous," City Public Works Director Chuck Sliva said on Sunday night. "Please pay close attention ...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 13, 2024

Public Works making progress on city streets, but caution still necessary

Roads (1)

The ongoing work of the City crews has helped curb winter road conditions, but residents are still urged to be cautious as of 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

"As of  3 p.m. today, we believe all streets in the city limits of Columbus are passable. There may be some lane restrictions  due to curb line drifting," City Public Works Director Chuck Sliva said. "Street crews, with th...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 12, 2024

Public Works issues winter weather roads' update

Roads

City Public Works Director Chuck Sliva is once again reminding residents to be safe when traveling as crews continue working to clear the streets.

"Crews are just now starting there residential routes. Crews will work through out the night and into tomorrow morning, completing residential areas and the downtown areas. Please be advise most all streets will be snow packed and icy," Sliva sa...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 12, 2024

URGENT (ENGLISH & SPANISH):Another snow emergency declared for Columbus today, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024

SnowER

The City of Columbus has declared another Snow Emergency for the community beginning at 10 a.m. today, Friday. Jan. 12, 2024, in the interest of public safety and more efficient snow removal.

What is meant by a "snow emergency"?

When the mayor or public works director declares a snow emergency, it simply means no vehicles may be parked on streets where you see emergency route signs. If necessary, the snow emergency may be extended to ...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 12, 2024

City closures announced for TODAY, Jan. 12, 2024

Closed (3)

The following City locations will be closed TODAY, FRIDAY, JAN. 12, 2024:

Columbus Public Library

Columbus Area Transit

Columbus Senior Center

Columbus Aquatic Center

The Columbus Transfer Station is closed today, Friday, Jan. 12, and Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, open to licensed haulers only. It will reopen for regular business on Mon...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 9, 2024

City Closures for Jan. 9, 2024 due to winter storm

Closed (2)

The following locations/operations are closed today, Jan. 9, 2024, due to the recent winter weather.

Columbus Public Library

Columbus Area Transit

Columbus Senior Center

Columbus Aquatic Center


Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 9, 2024

EMERGNECY NOTICE: Portion of 38th Street 'unpassable'

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City of Columbus Public Works Director Chuck Sliva is urging residents to stay clear of a portion of 38th Street if on the road this morning.

As of 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, 38th Street from 18th Avenue to 33rd Avenue is closed because it's unpassable, Sliva noted.

"Do not attempt to drive on it until we have it cleared,"  he said.

Read on...

Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: January 9, 2024

Aquatic Center closed today

AQUATIC

The Columbus Aquatic Center will remain closed today, Jan. 9, 2024, due to the recent winter storm.

Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: December 28, 2023

YEAR IN REVIEW: #2 Parks and Rec creates master plans for 3 parks using public input

TopStory2 (1)

Throughout 2023, the City Parks and Recreation Department gathered public input and incorporated it all into master plans for some of its most-used parks.

NOTE TO READERS: A lot happened in Columbus throughout 2023, including at the City of Columbus. In the spirit of the holiday season, we want to take a moment to highlight the stories that City staff and leaders identified among their favorites of the year....

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: December 14, 2023

New downtown City parking lot to boast all-inclusive musical playground

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A new downtown parking lot sandwiched between 14th and 15th streets in close proximity to 25th Avenue has been open for only a couple of weeks but is already having a significantly positive impact on the community.

The lot, just east of the Columbus Community Building, boasts 65 stalls, three of which are designated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant. It provides parking for those who work in the building and members of the public who visit it or the gr...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: November 29, 2023

All of the lights – Parks and Rec gears up for massive downtown holiday parade

HolidayParade

Move over, Rudolph. Plenty of bright lights will be on display this weekend as the City of Columbus’ Parks and Recreation Department hosts its second annual Holiday Parade.

Set to take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, the Holiday Parade is free to the community and will see far more than a dozen participants show off their rides throughout downtown Columbus. It all leads up to the grand finale of Santa Claus greeting ...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: November 20, 2023

Winter/Spring 2024 Activity Guide

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It's that time of year again! The new year is just around the corner, which means new fun activities with Parks and Recreation. This is your complete digital guide to swim lessons, fitness classes and fun youth and family events. We can't wait to see what...

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Additional Info... Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 27, 2023

MONSTER MASH – City + Friends Trunk-or-Treat sparks massive community Halloween party

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Columbus came, it saw and it conquered the quest for Halloween fun on Thursday night, as more than 1,500 people showed up for the first-ever City of Columbus + Friends Trunk-or-Treat extravaganza.

Pirates, Pokémon, the “Mario Kart” collective, Ghostbusters, Sesame Street’s “Oscar the Grouch,” “Gru” and his “Minions,” “Cruella de Vil&rd...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 26, 2023

Free City + Friends Trunk-or-Treat extravaganza happens today!

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It's the final countdown!

The first-ever City of Columbus + Friends Trunk-or-Treat takes place from 5-7 p.m. today, Oct. 26, outside the Columbus Community Building.

“We are excited to have people come out on Oct. 26. This will be a great way for people to come together in a fun environment that also engages the community all around,” City Parks and Recreation Director Betsy Eckhardt said, noting t...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 24, 2023

Illegal dumping results in Sock Pond’s closure

SockPond

Sock Pond has been known as a popular fishing spot for the community for years, but lately, it has become a hub for garbage, yard waste and trashy furniture.

“Repetitively throughout the summer, we’ve encountered all kinds of illegal dumping. Up to this point it was yard clippings and branches, but now we’ve found couches, furniture and all kinds of stuff,” City Parks an...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 16, 2023

City honors staff with recognition awards

City

The City of Columbus recently celebrated the 2022-2023 fiscal year by honoring its staff members.

Staff members were saluted during an awards recognition banquet on Oct. 13 at American Legion.

"This is just another example of the great employees we have," Mayor Jim Bulkley said. "They are here when we need them and are not afraid to go a...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 13, 2023

COUNCIL PREVIEW: City Council to consider several reappointments and more

City counciMEETINGoCTOBER16

The Columbus City Council has several items to address when it next meets at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16.

The agenda includes several reappointments:

-Larry O’Neill to the Library Board for a four-year term

-Chuck Whitney to the Nebraska Cooperative Government Commission as a delegate for a one-year term

-Adam Urkoski, Ron Schilling and Charlie Bahr to...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 12, 2023

Your Tax Dollars At Work: Van Berg’s growing popularity fuels need for purchase of 10 new golf carts

VanBerg

One good thing that came out of 2019’s historic flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020 was the resurgence of interest in Van Berg Golf Course.

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NOTE TO READERS: “Your Tax Dollars At Work” is a new ongoing series exploring how sales tax revenue helps the City of Columbus fund a variety of services, programs and projects to benefit the com...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 10, 2023

‘Pumpkin’ for everyone: City gears up for free community Trunk-or-Treat and more this Halloween

TOTNEW

It’s almost scary how much fun is on tap for downtown Columbus this month.

The first-ever City of Columbus + Friends Trunk-or-Treat extravaganza is set to take place from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, outside the Columbus Community Building, and there promises to be plenty of treats and excitement for all attendees.

“We a...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 9, 2023

CITY GOVERNMENT 101: DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW - PARKS & RECREATION

CITY GOVERNMENT 101_PARKS

“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 and highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates.

Every City of Columbus department head was recently asked some questions in regard to their department, the current fiscal year budget and plans for their department in the upcoming fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2024).

DEPARTMENT: Parks and Recreatio...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: October 4, 2023

Severe thunderstorm leads to building, parks and road damage

Damage2

The cleanup is underway after Tuesday night’s thunderstorm caused some damage to Columbus parks, buildings and roadways.

Two trees went down in Frankfort Square; a tree fell down on a light pole and took down some powerlines by the west shelter in Pawnee Park and roadways throughout town were closed as a result of tree branches falling down, among other things.

According to ...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: September 12, 2023

Frankfort Square band shell spray painted

Bandshell

City crews spent time Tuesday cleaning up the Frankfort Square band shell in downtown Columbus after the stage backdrop facing east was found spray painted.

Unsolicited spray paint was applied to the wall behind the stage showing a heart with an arrow through it, a name and some numbers, according to City Parks and Recreation Director Betsy Eckhardt. The Parks and Recreation director said City staff on Tuesda...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: August 29, 2023

Columbus teen group aiming to build and open drive-in movie theater

LEGACY group

A group of Columbus teens is hoping to help make the community’s future bright by potentially launching a drive-in movie theater in town and more.

Legacy is a collective made of students from Columbus High, Lakeview and Scotus Central Catholic high schools.

“Our main push is to look at what we can do to make Columbus a place people want to come back and raise their families; live and work h...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: August 21, 2023

Columbus Senior Center garage sale on tap this week

GARAGESALE

The Columbus Senior Center will hold a garage sale later this week.

The sale will take place from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, in the air-conditioned Community Room at the Center, 3111 19th St. Items for sale will include home décor, glassware and books, as well as many ot...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: August 14, 2023

WATCH AND READ: City mapping out upgraded pedestrian crosswalks near schools

Crosswalk1

A City of Columbus initiative is aiming to help keep kids heading to and from school, as well as all pedestrians, a little safer in town.

The City recently installed the first Rapid Flash High Visibility Crosswalk at the intersection of 27th Street and 18th Avenue, just in time for the start of the new school year. The flashers at that crosswalk, fairly close to Columbus Middle School, Nort...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: July 6, 2023

Changing of the guard: City Parks and Rec becomes its own department under Eckhardt's leadership

Parks (1)

Public Property Director Doug Moore can still remember his humble beginnings with the City of Columbus when he was just a teenager.

“I was picking up garbage in Gerrard Park when it was brand new,” Moore recalled. “I picked up garbage all over for a summer job as a kid.”

In 1979, Moore took on a full-time City staff role as a park maintenance wor...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: June 23, 2023

Making waves - Krepel relishes working with youth at pools in aquatics coordinator role

Krepel

The Pawnee Plunge and Aquatic Center are essentially homes away from home for Joe Krepel. His life has been tied to Columbus pools in many ways for decades.

“It’s hard not to love pools. They’re full of life; they’re exciting,” said Krepel, the City’s aquatics coordinator.

On a June 2023 afternoon, Krepel made his way around the Plunge greeting his li...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News
Posted on: April 17, 2023

Aquatic Center’s open hours temporarily changing April 22nd for prom

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So that its staff members can prepare for and enjoy the Columbus High School prom, the City Parks and Recreation Department has decided to close the Aquatic Center during regular hours (noon-4 p.m.) on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023.

“We wish all our staff and Columbus youth a safe and happy prom,” Parks and Recreation Manager Betsy Eckhardt said.

The Aquatic Center, 1783 10th Ave. in Columbus, will still be open from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. April 22nd for the “D...

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Columbus Parks and Rec News