Central Plains Satelite

Homecoming Activities Begin Sunday, PJ Royalty Crowned At 7:30 P.M.

September 26, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

School pride will be on display throughout next week as Elgin Public and Pope John Central Catholic schools observe Homecoming Week.
For Pope John, activities get underway Sunday evening, Sept. 28. There will be a ‘Post Prom BBQ’ from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the St. Boniface Catholic Church basement. Coronation of Homecoming Royalty will take place at 7:30 p.m. in St. Boniface Gymnasium.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review

Supervisors Schedule Public Hearing on Prairie Breeze II Permit

September 26, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

A decision on a new wind energy farm, more jobs and promised tax revenue for School District #18 and all of Antelope County now rests with the county Supervisors.
The Antelope County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday, October 7, at the Antelope County Courthouse beginning at 9:45 a.m. The purpose of the public hearing will be to review a conditional use permit application submitted by Invenergy Wind Development, LLC on behalf of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review

Council Approves Improvements For Elgin City Park

September 18, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

With options somewhat limited, the Elgin City Council voted last week to replace two areas of neglected and compacted sand at Elgin City Park with recycled rubber crumbs.
In doing so, the council will be taking advantage of a grant which pays for one-half of the crumbs’ cost. Despite the grant monies, the decision was not an easy one for the council. City Tree Board member and Young ‘N Lively member Connie Dvorak passed out photos of the current state of the disrepair (edging and weeds) of the area and spoke briefly with the council concerning plusses and minuses of the options available with the recycled crumbs and sand being the only two they would seriously consider.
With the City of Petersburg recently adding the recycled rubber crumbs and the kid’s play area at Pope John/St. Boniface having it, Dvorak was able to “test” it out.  “It is a real good cushion, I walked around in there (St. Boniface) and it does feel really cushiony,” Dvorak reported. “And there aren’t any weeds in it.” Miller read from a city’s insurance company report stating that the “current surfacing of sand around the playground equipment does not provide a cushion in the event of a fall. The zoning around the playground equipment should be provided with a loose-fill surfacing material such as sand, pea gravel, engineered wood fibers, shredded recycled rubber mulch, wood mulch or wood chips.” The report then referred them to review the options in the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s publication Public Playground Safety Handbook for guidance.
“I not here to say that sand is just absolutely a horrible thing, its not” concluded Dvorak. “It would be okay if it was deep enough and if weeds didn’t grow out of it. I know there are some concerns that people might have about the rubber -  I’ve talked to a couple of people that liked it and then I’ve talked to a couple of people that are worried about it. None of us really know all that much about it (recycled rubber).” Elgin resident Janet Koinzan spoke up, saying that she had talked with the kids and “a lot said they like the sand, it feels good on their toes”.
As the council began to discuss their options, the question of maintenance of the sand seemed to become the deciding factor on which way the council would ultimately vote.
Council members agreed that should sand remain in those play areas, regular maintenance including tilling at least once a year and spraying for weeds would need to be implemented in addition to keeping the proper depth of the sand for safety reasons. They discussed hiring the sand maintenance out. Councilwoman Shirley Nissen said, “we keep overloading Donnie (Poulsen) and Randy (Henn).  They’ve been working on water issues.” Councilman Kenny Jochum expressed his concern that children would put the rubber crumbs in their mouth. Dvorak did point out that the crumbs would be used in the two areas where older children play.
This past June, the city along with the Young ‘N Lively group built a fenced in play area for toddlers. That area (20’ by 20’ with a couple of toddler play structures) will remain filled with sand. Councilman Don Mackel said, “If we can’t get anybody to maintain the sand, then we might as well go with it (crumbs)”.
After one motion to purchase the recycled rubber crumbs, liner and edging failed (Mackel and Kittelson voting yes, Jochum no and Nissen abstaining), they continued discussion since the deficiencies pointed out by their insurance company had to be addressed.
After weighing the maintenance concerns and considering the grant monies available, the council entertained a second motion to purchase the crumbs, liner and edging. On this vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Sterling West from Gothenburg (the initial company who came to Elgin, measured the play areas and made recommendations concerning the crumbs) was awarded the job.

City Approves Annexation

September 18, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Months in the making, the City of Elgin took a huge step forward last week in the annexation of lots located in the southwest corner of Elgin. Council members looked over the final plat drawing provided to them. The plat for the Meis Addition was deemed correct and ready for action.
Ben Meis, representing the family’s LLC,  explained that the four lots being annexed are located along South Mrytle street.  Meis said the proposed sewer lines would route “to the north rather than the east because the drainage is better”. Somewhere north, they (Meis) would like to tap in with the sewer line.
“As soon as I get enough confirmed from interested parties, before I lay that much money out there. We’ll do it right prior to that, but I would like to have confirmation by at least two people before I put that big of an expenditure,” Meis said. He told the council that any open land north of these four lots would have to be annexed in later. Following brief discussion by council members, the first reading of the annexation ordinance (Ordinance 637) was held.  Annexations are the one exception of when the three required readings of an ordinance can be waived. Therefore, two special meetings were held Friday and Monday (Sept. 12 & 15) mornings to complete the three readings and move ahead on the annexation.
Water Well Update
Mayor Mike Schmitt reported City Engineer John Zwingman sent the city an email informing them that Nebraska Health and Human Services (NHHS) and Nebraska Well Drillers approved the request from the city to help work on the west well.

For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review.

School Board Approves Drop In Tax Levy

September 18, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

For Nebraska school districts, putting together a school budget can sometimes resemble the laws of supply and demand.
On Wednesday night, the District #18 Board of Education approved a new budget for the 2014-2015 school year. With a huge county valuation increase, the school district was likely to reduce the tax levy. They did just that, passing a budget with a total tax asking of $2,992,929.27 with a combined tax levy of just 48 cents, down by 13 cents from one year ago.
Superintendent Dan Polk said state aid to the school district declined by $110,000 from one year ago and the school had an allowable growth of $190,000 for 2014/15. “The general fund budget of expenditures operating fund is (just) one percent increase,” he said.
Public hearings on the proposed budget and tax levy were held prior to the start of the regular meeting. No district patrons appeared to speak at the hearings.
The regular meeting lasted just under 30 minutes. Despite the short meeting, several matters were presented to board members.

For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review

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