AUBURN – The Auburn City Council discussed a letter of support to Region V Services for keeping its wood shop active in Auburn.

City Councilman Tom Clark said he would like to encourage the 16-county agency to keep the wood shops open in Auburn and David City.

He said the work meets Region V Services' mission of supporting individuals with disabilities to obtain valued social roles within their communities.

Clark: “I want to keep those clients busy out there and give them a type of a work trade.”

Region V Services Chief Executive Matt Kasik said the workshop model of integrating people with disabilities into employment did well when introduced in the 1980s, but he believes people are best served today by getting jobs within the community.

Of the 60 people served in Auburn and Falls City locations, five are primarily involved in the wood shop. Kasik said these five are highly skilled and can find work in the community.

Kasik: "By them working in the wood shop we keep them away from the community, which is not our end goal ... We feel we are keeping them in the wood shop, when they could be doing more in the community."

Kasik said a federal contract for tool bag production in Nebraska City involves 20 people and is expected to continue.

Kasik: "It's something that is being continuously evaluated. It has worked well in the past, but that's not to say it won't change down the road."

The Auburn wood shop provides staffs and wooden stakes for several corporations.

The city council also recognized Nemaha County Herald editor Darrell Wellman, who will be retiring in May after 40 years with the newspaper.

Formerly of Burr, the 1977 graduate of Sterling High School earned his degree at Peru State College, where he was recognized for academic achievement and inclusion on Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

In other action, the Revitalization Review Committee recommended a $23,853 loan and $7,951 grant for property at 901 Central.

An owner match of $10,602 is required. County records say Café Metro is at that space.

The council approved an ordinance amendment so the historic district board can meet with three day notice, rather than 10.

The council also discussed automated locks for park doors.

The mayor read the Arbor Day proclamation.