December 19, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
A buyer for wind energy to be produced by Prairie Breeeze II has been found.
Lincoln Electric System announced Friday morning it has finalized power purchase agreements to add 173 megawatts of wind energy and 5 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy to its power supply resource portfolio by 2016. These projects will increase the utility’s equivalent renewable generation portfolio to 48 percent of LES’ retail energy.
Mayor Chris Beutler and Kevin Wailes, administrator & CEO of Lincoln Electric System, made the announcements.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, the projects will also save customers money. “When viewed as a package, our wind and solar contracts are expected to save LES customer-owners approximately $429 million over the next 25 years,” said Wailes.
The wind additions are spread across two wind contracts secured with the same developer, Invenergy, and involve the 73 megawatt Prairie Breeze II Wind Energy Center, located in northeastern Nebraska, and 100 megawatt Buckeye Wind Energy Center, located in north-central Kansas. In August, LES issued a Request for Proposal for up to 200 megawatts of wind energy. LES received 15 responses encompassing a total of 105 distinct proposals. The selected projects will bring LES’ total wind portfolio to 304 MW.
Earlier this year, on October 7, the Antelope County Board of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit necessary for the construction of the wind farm to be located east of Elgin.
Construction of the wind farm could begin sometime in summer 2015, once an application to construct the wind farm is approved by the Nebraska Power Review Board.
Sara Birkett, a NPRB para-legal, told The Elgin Review earlier this year that Invenergy will need to file for a Special Generation Application for the authority to construct Prairie Breeze II.
The new wind farm, when constructed, will be located in sections 1, 12-13, 24-25, 36 in Logan Township; sections 1-36 in Cedar Township; sections 1-36 in Grant Township; sections 24-25 & 36 in Elgin Township; sections 19-36 in Oakdale Township; & sections 19-23, 25-26 in Burnett Township, Antelope County, Nebraska.
When the application is approved and construction is completed, the wind farm will consist of up to 70 wind turbines which will generate 125 MW. During the construction phase, there will be an estimated 150 jobs created.
Prairie Breeze II is expected to add seven new full-time jobs at the operations/maintenance building located on the west edge of Elgin.
“This is a very opportune time for LES to invest in more wind energy due to future uncertainties of federal Production Tax Credits for wind developers, potential additional regulations on power plant emissions, and the volatility of fossil fuel prices.” said Wailes.
Meeting Thursday night, the District #18 Board of Education gave Superintendent Dan Polk the ‘go-ahead’ to seek bids for the replacement of the gym floor in the school’s gymnasium.
Come January or possibly February 2015, the school board will decide whether or not to pursue replacement of the gym floor.
During the superintendent’s report, Polk told board members a representative from Midwest Flooring has been to the school and examined the gym floor. He said the representative told him there is enough floor remaining that it can be sanded down one more time and treated. So, the decision before the board is whether or not to expend the funds to sand the floor, etc., or to use those funds towards the purchase of a new gym floor.
Board member Stan Heithoff said there are numerous “dead spots” in the gym floor which need to be fixed on the 40-year-old floor which was installed when the gymnasium was constructed in the 1970s. Polk said to sand and fix the dead spots could be thought of as a “bandaid”. He estimated that if the repairs are completed, the school district still has a 40-year old gym floor which will someday need to be replaced.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review
Antelope County Treasurer Sandy Knapp has been charged with official misconduct.
Charges of one count of official misconduct and one count of public official-misuse of property/funds, both misdemeanors, were filed in Antelope County by the Nebraska Attorney General’s office last week. Serving as special prosecutor is Nebraska Assistant Attorney General Laura Nigro.
Knapp was arraigned before Judge Donna Taylor Friday. Knapp is being represented by Norfolk attorney Ted Lohrberg.
Judge Taylor ordered a $4,000 personal recognizance bond for Knapp. The next hearing will be Wednesday, Jan. 7 when arguments will be heard on a motion filed by Lohrberg to quash.
The charges against Knapp stem from information uncovered by an audit performed by the county’s auditor, Morrow, Davies and Toelle, P.C. which was presented to the Antelope County Board of Supervisors in January 2014. Since then, based on the information and other information gathered by the office of Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, a complete audit of the county was conducted.
According to the report from the State Auditor’s office, real property owned by the county treasurer “in the name of Sandra and Alan Knapp, that was subject to sale due to delinquent property taxes” was not published in a newspaper for tax years 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was not included in the tax sale for any of those years. Knapp was re-elected to the office of county treasurer in November, running unopposed. She has held the position since 1995.
St. Boniface School has been notified that they are recipients of a grant from the Nebraska Arts Council for the artist in residency program.
Principal Betty Getzfred made the announcement last week. With the grant, the school will host LaTryce Anderson from Jan. 26 through Jan. 30.
Anderson, from Omaha, is a contemporary dance, hip-hop, creative movement artist. During her residencies, she explores hip-hop and contemporary dance with participants. When working with preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten groups, she focuses on movement exploration. By asking young students,” What can our bodies do?” she helps them learn to make shapes, numbers and letters with their movements.
LaTryce teaches the elements of dance by leading students physically through time, space, energy and motion. She introduces them to a brief history of hip hop dance, and they learn a short, brief history of hip hop, and they learn a dance piece to kid-friendly, upbeat songs. Grade school students get a more in-depth explanation of the elements of dance while physically going through them.
Anderson also enjoys working with adults and seniors through fun funk dance classes. Her activities are designed to help them to feel beautiful and alive again.
The NAC’s grant programs are made possible by appropriations from the State of Nebraska and the National Endowment for the Arts and earnings from the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.
December 12, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The free photo courtesy of the Elgin Community Club are available for pickup at the Elgin Review office. Also, by noon today (Friday, Dec. 12), these same photos will be available to view on our website — access through the zenfolio button.