City Council changes street names, moves to ban park hunting


September 2nd, 2015


Omaha, NE – With the business of annexation and passing the Mayor’s 2015 budget now behind them, yesterday’s Council meeting was the last for members before the scheduled Labor Day Hiatus.

Among the handful of agenda items that garnered any public response, were two proposals to rename two Omaha streets.

Council members voted unanimously to rename the length of 52nd Street between Maple and Bedford Avenue. It will now be called Scotty Orcutt Way in honor of the former Benson High School teacher and coach who was credited with growing North Omaha’s sports programs during his nearly 30 years with the district.

Orcutt’s son, Ed, thanked the council for honoring his father.

“He just did a real good job. He worked with kids, with boys town, and the Omaha home for boys, developing baseball and basketball players and different sports,” Orcutt said.

Council members also approved changing the name of 10th Street between Marth and Castelar Streets to Fred Astaire Way.

Astaire is of course the famous Hollywood film actor, director, and choreographer credited with sparking the golden age of American musical cinema. Astaire was born in 1899, and his childhood home still stands on the street that now bears his name.

After giving a nod to the city’s past, council members turned their attention to its future.

The Council approved a redevelopment plan for an area around U.S. 75 North and Lake Street in North Omaha, where the Pleasant View Public Housing Development once stood.

Jim Anderson with the City Planning Department told Council members half of the 93 acres included in the project have already been developed; and most of the remaining work will be carried out by SeventyFive North Revitalization Corporation, to the tune of around $100 million.

“It will include 300 mixed-use residential units, more than 60 attached and detached single family homes for home ownership,’ Anderson said. Two-hundred twenty-five mixed income elderly/family/live/work/ and lease to own apartments will be included, as well as amenities for those units including a swimming pool and public space on the inside and outdoors for the gathering of the community.”

Before adjourning, Council members moved an ordinance forward to officially ban hunting in city parks.

City Council President Ben Gray says the measure originated after two women reported seeing a man at a city park, dressed in camouflage gear and holding a bow and arrows.

“I was kind of surprised at first, because I thought it was pretty much a no-brainer that you wouldn’t hunt in parks, but I understand the necessity for it and I understand the fact that a hole exists there that probably needs to be filled,” Councilman Gray said. “So I was surprised but recognized we have an obligation to do something about it as well.

Council Member Gary Gernandt proposed the ordinance to officially ban hunting at city parks. The council will vote on the ordinance when they return to the legislative chambers on September 15th.


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