July 7, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Paige Nichols and Jaime Hoefer will be returning from their San Diego, CA trip with some extra luggage. The duo competed today (Thursday, July 7) at the FCCLA National Convention and both earned gold medals.
July 6, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
In 2013 the Elgin City Council was approached by a group of community members interested in the future of our local swimming pool.
They asked the council to consider setting aside money for a future pool. That action set in motion a 3-year process that is resulting in building a new swimming pool, to open summer of 2017.
A pool committee was formed in August of 2014 as a sounding board for the pool project and has been meeting regularly for the past two years. After meeting with several engineering firms, the committee recommended to the City Council that Burbach Aquatics be hired to conduct a pool study. The selection of Burbach Acquatics was based in part on positive recommendations by other communities.
The pool study was completed in September of 2014. Following the study the City Council agreed something needed to be done with the existing pool due to the loss of water daily, not meeting ADA requirements and some code requirements. With the renovations, the pool will allow for the elderly, disabled and small children to enter the pool safely with the zero entry.
Many different options were considered along the way. Construction costs, current and future population, annual operational costs and sustainability were all factors. The committee researched different options from numerous sources and the overwhelming consensus was that indoor pools aren’t feasible to operate in towns under 10,000. Current income is $13,000 over three months (from pool passes and swimming lessons). Operating loss for our pool is approximately $17,000 over 3 months, which is paid by the taxpayer.
According to the pool committee, expenses for a new outdoor pool are estimated to be about the same. Our qualified pool engineer has data and statistics indicating a new indoor pool would have an operating loss around $170,000 over 12 months. Most of this will need to be paid for by the taxpayer. The City Council decided that an outdoor pool was considered the best option to keep the pool affordable for young families and was in the best interest of our taxpayers.
In the fall of 2015 a very generous $500,000 gift from Jerry & Lita Tunink opened up the options available for consideration and numerous refinements have been made.
On July 5 the City Council approved the final architectural plan. This plan includes a new pool with larger surface area, zero entry depth, new kiddie water feature, new bathhouse and will be ADA compliant.
Submitted By The Pool Committee
TIMELINE ON THE PROCESS:
April 2013 — Group approaches City Council about future of the pool
August 2014 — City Council considers/approves plan to renovate swimming pool
August 2014 — Committee was formed to research and review pool options
August 2014 — Burbach Aquatics selected from group of 3 candidates
September 2014 — Pool Study completed
September 2015 — Town Hall meeting held at Senior Center for community input
October 2015 — $500,000 Gift from Jerry & Lita Tunink received
November 2015 — City Bond Issue passes with 95% of voters in favor of the $500,000 bond
April 2016 — General Fund raising campaign begins
May 2016 — Recommendation to build new pool instead of refurbishing old pool
June 2016 — Final architectural plans completed
July 2016 — City Council approves final architectural plan
July 2016 — Fund Raising continues, additional 25 tax credits become available
August 2016 — Bids to be awarded
September 2016 — Ground Breaking for new swimming pool
May 2017 — Pool Opens
July 6, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Following 30 minutes of questions from the audience and a presentation from a representative of Burbach Aquatics, LLC, the Elgin City Council approved plans for a new outdoor swimming pool.
On a three-to-zero vote (Councilman Don Mackel was absent), the council approved the proposed plans Monday night. Andy Pennekamp, representing Burbach Aquatics, said the new pool will be approximately 3,000 square feet, slightly larger than the existing pool. A new bathhouse will be built.
Pool capacity will be close to 200 persons. A public meeting will be held soon to show off the new design.
Mayor Mike Schmitt said the plans were approved so that bids could be awarded in August, with groundbreaking to follow and work towards being ready for the start of the 2017 season.
To delay another month, or more, would mean the new pool likely wouldn’t be finished until July or August 2017, costing users an entire season, he said.
Pastor Michael Davis of the Elgin United Methodist Church was at the meeting. A supporter of the new pool, he said his grandson began swimming lessons Monday.
“One of the reasons I want to get it done is because he (the grandson) wants to be in the new pool next summer. This old man wants to be in the pool next summer too.” With that, Pastor Davis reached into his pocket and pulled out his check book and made a donation to the pool fund. “I just really really like the idea. If everybody does something, we can get this done.”
Mayor Schmitt said the committee has researched the matter thoroughly. As for the cost, he said, “You don’t know for sure the costs until you get the bids back.” Pennekamp said two, possibly three companies, have expressed an interest in bidding on the pool project. Estimated cost of the new pool is between $1.6 and $1.8 million.
Later in the meeting, the council approved Ordinance 643 for the issuance of $500,000 in general obligaton bonds for the swimming pool. The 15-year bonds will cost the owner of a $100,000 house an additional $130 annually in property ($10.83 per month).
June 30, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
By Marie Meis
Summer Intern, Elgin Review
Before graduating from Pope John in 1982, Dale Mackel left a legacy. He set the boy’s track two-mile record with a time of 9:24.48, a time that many haven’t even come close to.
“I expect all records are set to be broken, and mine will be broken at some point,” Mackel said Monday.
Although no one has broken it quite yet, Ryan Pelster, a 2016 graduate of Pope John, had taken quite an interest in that record. As a freshman, his dad promised him a Corvette if he could beat Mackel’s record. It may have seem far-fetched at the time, but it became Pelster’s dream to beat the long-standing mark.
“I started following Ryan, from a running perspective, right away in his high school career. Some of the times he posted when he was a freshman, were just as good, if not better, than mine,” said Mackel.
Ryan qualified for state track sophomore, junior, and senior year, and Dale had wanted to come down to watch Ryan compete, but was unable those first two years. Instead he followed Ryan’s track career through the Elgin Review.
Mackel’s high school track career ended when he graduated from Pope John. He then ran collegiately at University of Nebraska at Kearney, battling different injuries along the way.
After college, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona and worked for Motorola in accounting and finance. He lived in Phoenix for 10 years, and then moved to Chicago, Illinois for 10 years.
After college, he ran casually, not competitively for a long time. In 2002, he started to become involved in a very competitive road racing circuit. That lasted about six years, running many five and 10K races and some half marathons and getting very involved in running again.
In January of 2008, Mackel moved back to Nebraska and joined Coventry Health Care as their chief financial officer and currently lives in Omaha.
When Dale had heard that Ryan had qualified for state track in the 3200 meter run his senior year, he knew this was his last chance to see Ryan run high school track. They hadn’t met each other yet and Mackel decided to surprise Ryan after he had finished his last race.
They both described the experience as incredible, one getting to meet his idol, and the other getting to see someone carry on his legacy.
Pelster explained the experience saying, “I’ve always looked up to this guy, and I’ve heard about him, and then all of a sudden he shows up my senior year at state track, I was kind of blown away.”
Mackel has always enjoyed following all of Elgin’s youth through paper articles and school newsletters.
“Elgin, as well as the school of Pope John, will always have a deep place in my heart, and I want to stay connected to the community and the school,” stated Mackel. “I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else.”
He explained that Elgin offers youth a different experience that kids in metropolitan areas can’t relate to, and he really appreciates that experience now, and hopes to come back to the area for retirement in later years.
It was quite an experience for Ryan and Dale, getting to finally meet each other after both hearing about the other throughout the years.
Dale described why he wanted to meet Ryan, saying, “If you follow somebody from a distance, you certainly can get a perspective from pictures and words on a paper, but you can’t get the true perspective until you meet somebody.”
Dale describes Ryan as a very genuine and hardworking young man and truly feels inspired by how much Ryan looks up to him.
June 30, 2016 by lmorgan · Comments Off
The Elgin Review has selected as recipient of the 2016 Good Neighbor Award not an individual, but a business whose generosity has been felt far and wide since opening its doors.
The Elgin Bargain Box opened its doors back in 2014. Since then, the non-profit business has been a strong supporter of organizations doing good for the area, for individuals seeking higher education to make a positive impact. And what an impact! Consider the following:
• Donations made to fire departments, EMT equipment, library, community center, the Homestead, schools, several medical benefits, US92 Christmas wishes, scholarships as well as to local churches for special needs
• More than 70 boxes of clothing, medical equipment and shoes donated to the Orphan Grain Train (OGT).
OGT is a Christian volunteer network that ships donated food, clothing, medical and other items to people in 64 countries including the U.S.
• Other excess clothing not suitable for OGT (stained, torn, etc.), is donated to the Salvation Army which is then shipped to a plant that makes insulation
• Old t-shirts are made into pre-folded diapers and shipped to an orphanage in Tanzania, Africa.
As they are proud to say, rarely do they fill their dumpster as they find a place to go with many of the items.
Then there’s the shopping. The store, which features clean, reusable items at remarkably low prices, provides an outlet for items to be sold at very reasonable prices. It provides a place for people to donate items they no longer want or need.
Co-founder Linda Kerkman described the store in these words just a few months ago. “It really is OURS, all of ours, store. Without any one part none of it works. And we all gain the satisfaction of giving and receiving,” she said. “By the inspiration of God it was started and so it will continue until He decides otherwise. So maybe it isn’t our store but HIS.”
Founded by Linda Kerkman, Carol Eischeid and Phyllis Camp, the business has become a destination for not just people in and around Elgin, but for people from northeast Nebraska. It’s a place where people can go to volunteer time. Indeed, one’s person’s discards have become another’s treasure.
“Here at the newspaper office, seldom does a week go by that we don’t receive a phone call from someone wondering about the location of the store, or questioning if the store will be open when they come through town. That’s the way it is when a store gains a positive reputation in the area, serving a need,” said Publisher Dennis Morgan.
“We’re happy to recognize the many good things being done by the Bargain Box. They truly are a “good neighbor” who enhances not just our community but others as well.