Central Plains Satelite

Preliminary Hearing For Brandt Set For July 16

July 10, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

July 16 has been set as the date for a preliminary hearing in Antelope County Court for a member of the County Board of Supervisors.
Harlan Brandt, having been accused of the the theft of between $500 and $1,500 of items from Antelope County, was in court Wednesday morning, July 2.
At the request of his attorney, Ron Temple of Norfolk, the court granted a preliminary hearing to be held July 16 at the Antelope County Courthouse in Neligh. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
At a preliminary hearing, the prosecution presents evidence to determine if the case merits going to trial.
Last month the county supervisors asked for Brandt’s resignation. However, as of press time, he has yet to do so.

Paperwork Slows City’s Search For New Water Well

July 10, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Meeting Monday night, the Elgin City Council again focused their attention on finding a new water well.
Back in May one test well site, located in the northeast section of town was determined not to be a suitable site for a new well due to high arsenic levels. Since that time, a search has been underway to find a new location for a test well to be drilled.
City Engineer John Zwingman informed city officials prior to the meeting that the necessary paperwork had been submitted to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for a study which would aid the community in its search for a new water well. Mayor Mike Schmitt said once all the paperwork is completed, work will begin on mapping all wells within a two-mile radius of Elgin so tests can be done to, hopefully, find a source of good water to tap into.
So, until the paperwork arrives, the project is on hold.
The council meeting lasted just short of an hour. However, before the meeting adjourned, several other items were addressed. They were:
• Annexation — Ben Meis, representing Meis & Sons LLC, updated the council on efforts to have the Sterling Heights area on the southwest edge of Elgin annexed into the city. He said his lawyer has been in contact with City Attorney Fritz Bartell to finalize the steps necessary to have ordinances submitted for the Council’s consideration. He said he hoped the paperwork would be to City Hall by the end of this week.
Schmitt said he would be willing to hold a special council meeting, presumably later this month, to act upon the proposed annexation ordinances.

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

Ribbon-Cutting Held At Prairie Breeze Last Week

July 3, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

Invenergy Wind LLC (“Invenergy”) last week welcomed local, state, and federal government representatives, and business and community leaders, to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the commencement of commercial operations at its Prairie Breeze Wind Energy Center (Prairie Breeze).
Prairie Breeze is a 118-turbine, 200.6 MW project located in Antelope, Boone, and Madison Counties.
The project interconnects into a 230 kV transmission line of the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and output is purchased by the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) under long-term agreement.
“This wind farm is indicative of Nebraska’s commitment to energy independence and rural economic development,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “Wind energy helps our local economy and our state economy. This is another important step toward controlling our own energy future.”
“As we look to the future, OPPD remains strongly committed to providing affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive services to our customers,” said OPPD Vice President of Corporate Service Sherrye Hutcherson.
“With Prairie Breeze, OPPD has surpassed its voluntary goal of producing ten percent renewable energy for retail sales by 2020. We’re delighted, in fact, that by 2017-2018, OPPD’s renewable energy portfolio will surpass thirty percent.”
“This is an exciting day for Invenergy as we celebrate our first energy generation project in Nebraska,” said Jim Shield, Chief Development Officer at Invenergy. “We appreciate the great alliance of local support that made this wind farm possible, including working with OPPD and NPPD. We’re proud that Prairie Breeze makes good business and environmental sense for all involved.”
Located on approximately 25,000 acres of private land, Prairie Breeze:
• Commenced commercial operation on May 1, 2014

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

UENRD Cancels Expansion of Groundwater Irrigated Acres

July 3, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

The Upper Elkhorn NRD met for their regular board meeting June 23 at the NRD office in O’Neill.
One of the topics on the agenda was the 2014 Groundwater Irrigated Acres (GIA) sign up. A motion was made to cancel the October 2014 Groundwater Irrigated Acre Expansion signup.
By a vote of eight to five, the 2014 sign up for groundwater irrigated acres will be cancelled and as a result there will be no new groundwater irrigated acre expansion for the 2015 growing season.
One reason for the cancellation was the slow groundwater recovery due to the past drought conditions.
The Upper Elkhorn NRD noted that between 2013 and 2014, the district wide average static water level remained virtually unchanged. Applications for the transfer of groundwater irrigated acres are still scheduled and the sign up period will be November 1, 2014 through March 1, 2015.
For further information regarding the transfer of groundwater irrigated acres please visit the Upper Elkhorn NRD website at www.uenrd.org.

CVA and UFC Member-Owners Approve Merger

July 1, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off 

The Board of Directors of Central Valley Ag Cooperative (CVA) and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) met July 1 to ratify the votes cast by their respective member-owners approving the merger of the two companies effective September 1, 2014. Each cooperative’s membership voted on the merger proposal, with Nebraska law requiring 2/3 of the votes cast to favor the proposal in order to be ratified. Accounting firm Gardiner Thomsen certified that the owners of both cooperatives overwhelmingly approved the merger proposal. The unified cooperative will retain the Central Valley Ag name and be headquartered in York, NE with Carl B. Dickinson serving as CEO.
“I am very pleased that the patrons of both cooperatives entrusted the vision and due diligence of their board members and leadership teams to approve their recommendation to merge two strong cooperatives focused on creating value for our customers” says Dickinson. “The new CVA will provide the opportunity for expanded services and facilities, increased savings, and accelerated equity redemptions for the benefit of our member-owners. We also expect to be able to attract and retain the best employees to provide world-class service for every customer.”
Initial merger discussions between the companies began in early 2013, with the respective boards meeting in March 2014 to unanimously approve an Agreement and Plan of Merger. Ballots were distributed to the owners of the cooperatives in May with the final tally of votes completed June 30th.
Doug Derscheid, current CEO of CVA, stated “It’s very gratifying to receive such an overwhelming approval from our membership. They have truly set the stage and positioned their Cooperative to serve their needs and the needs of generations to come. In my 44 years of cooperative employment and 38 in CEO positions, with many mergers and acquisitions during that time, this one is undoubtedly the very best in every measurement. Very exciting times are in our future.”
About Central Valley Ag Cooperative
Central Valley Ag Cooperative was formed in 2003 by the combination of Agland Coop of Oakland, Central Farmers Cooperative of O’Neill, and Tri Valley Cooperative of St. Edward. CVA merged with Northeast Cooperative in 2005, adding nine locations, and later that year purchased the assets of Precision Agronomy LLC and continued business through their seven locations. In 2011, CVA completed the purchase of an existing feed mill in Duncan, NE and later that year purchased Ortmeier’s Seed & Feed in West Point to enhance their ability to service livestock customer’s needs. CVA had sales of $687 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $13.5 Million.
About United Farmers Cooperative
United Farmers Cooperative was created in 2001 from the merger of United Co-op Inc. of Hampton, Farmers Cooperative Association of York, and Farmers Co-op Business Association of Shelby. In 2005, UFC acquired the Greenleaf, Haddam, Linn, and Washington locations in Kansas; followed in 2006 by merging with additional Kansas locations in Agenda, Barnes, Clifton, Clyde and Narka. Cuba, Kansas was added as a basic agronomy location in 2007 and UFC purchased H&H Grain Company in Norway, KS in 2008. Midwest Ag Partners, LLC in Marquette, NE was acquired in 2012 and, most recently, Jensen Fertilizer in Aurora, NE was purchased in 2013. UFC had sales of $709 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $9.8 Million.
The new Central Valley Ag Cooperative will consist of 66 locations across eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas with over 800 employees dedicated to “Growing Agriculture Together” with their patrons. The cooperative offers a wide range of products, services, information, and innovation through its Agronomy, Energy, Feed and Grain divisions to meet the needs of agricultural producers across the region. Central Valley Ag Cooperative has a proud history on which the foundation has been laid for building a promising future in agriculture.

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