THE SUPERIOR EXPRESS

Sept. 11, 2014

 

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NEWS!

Superior levy expected to fall below .45

Oak School reunion planned for next Saturday

Commissioners approve purchases for treasurer's office, road dept.

Superior school budget allows for spending increase

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The Superior Express 11 September 2014

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Superior levy expected to fall below .45

Members of the city council learned Monday evening an increase in valuation will reduce the mill levy for Superior residents even though the number of dollars local property owners will be asked to contribute to the city coffers in the next fiscal year is going up.
Sam Clark, the city's numbers man, had computed the budget and estimated levy it will require for the coming fiscal year. Valuation has climbed to $64,621,286 which does not include a number of new building projects such as the Superior East Development and the new Casey's store now under construction.
Local property owners will be asked to contribute $292,126.85 which is up from last year.
The levy is expected to decline from the current year's 45 cents to just under 43 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
Pam Frank and Dwayne Bostelman met with the council Monday evening to update the council on planning for the construction of a storage building to house the Candy Cane Lane decorations.
Bostelman said a donor had agreed to donate the cement, sand and associated materials needed for the building and would make arrangements with the local ready-mix company for the delivery of the concrete to the building site. The committee continues to discuss the possible donation of the building materials but a site has not yet been determined.
Candy Cane Lane committee members are to meet with the Superior Park Board on Oct. 8 to discuss a possible location in Lincoln Park. Members of the council asked Bostelman and Frank to update the council on developments at the council's Oct. 14 meeting.
The council was updated on developments at Kingswood Court. The developer of the senior citizens housing project on the two blocks occupied for many years by multiple Superior school buildings, anticipates having the converted North Ward building ready for occupancy in October. Construction workers are waiting on the laminated materials needed to close the north and south ends of the building near where the entrances to the grade school were. All rooms in that building have been spoken for and there is a waiting list.
Seven of the nine planned condominium units have been spoken for. Eleven potential renters are currently on a waiting list for the second building. Construction has not yet started on either the second building or the condominiums.
Members of the council passed on first reading an ordinance to close the remaining portion of Louden Street south of Second Street. The railroad crossing and southern portion of the street was closed in 1981 as part of the Agrex Elevator construction plan and the relocation of what was then the J. Lynch Company grain loading leg. Before the closing is finalized, the council must approve the plan at two more meetings.
Council members Steve Fox, Chris Peterson and Sandra Foote agreed to serve on a committee with Larry Brittenham, utility department manager, to review electrical power supply options. With the continuing developments in wind and solar power, Brittenham advised it was time for the city to again evaluate options.
Brittenham is the scheduled speaker today (Thursday) at a gas agency meeting in Lincoln. He will be reporting on changes made to the Superior natural gas distribution system in the past 10 years. After he returns from Lincoln, Brittenham said he would share his report with interested council members. The city has a multi-year plan to rebuild the system purchased from a private company. Much of that system dated to the 1920s when natural gas first became available in Superior.
After an update on what has been done to deal with a problem that surfaced in late August with city employees violating the city's smoking code, the council voted unanimously to act on a tabled 2015 salary policy.
Brittenham reported city employees had been informed there would be no smoking in vehicles or when the employees were meeting the public.
Carrie Lemke, a member of the council commented that she would like for the city to work toward a no-smoking while at work policy. Bob Tipton, a member of the council, asked that city employees clean and deodorize the vehicles they had been smoking in and that random checks be made to make sure the employees were complying with the city's smoking regulations.
The new salary schedule approved Monday night will become effective in October.

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Oak School reunion planned for next Saturday

A reunion is planned for all former students and teachers of the Oak School at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20. The reunion will be held in the basement of the school. Spouses of former teachers and students are also welcome to attend.
Nuckolls County School District No. 1 was organized in December of 1871. School was first conducted in a 12-foot by 14-foot frame building south of the Montgomery property on the river bank. That building was sold to Jim Comstock in 1874 and converted into a home. A new school was then built west of where the railroad would later be built, on the south side of the road. That building also became inadequate and was moved from the site and sold for use as a home for some time before being razed.
In the 1890s, a two-story frame school building was constructed just east of the current school. School consisted of only 10 grades, but for one academic year ­­ 1921-1922 ­­ it was extended to the 11th grade. In 1932 the Oak School became a K-8 facility, with the high school students transported to Nelson by a bus driven by the janitor.
When the frame building began to show signs of wear, it was decided a new building would be better than remodeling the old one. The current brick Oak School building was constructed as a WPA project in 1935-1936. Contractors were the Sommers Brothers of Hardy.
Beginning in 1963, Oak seventh and eighth graders were also transported to Nelson for school. On July 10, 1978, the Oak School was closed. The building was purchased by the Village of Oak for $35 and the contents were sold at auction. The building currently houses a "heritage room" upstairs and a community center in the basement, which is available for rent for a variety of events.
Among the many teachers to grace the hallways through the years were Eugenia Moore, Arlene Lines, Ruth Lowery, Sharon Paulsen, Verla Snyder, Beth Springer, Ruby Bargen, Betty Jensen, Alda Ray, Shirley Ferguson, Ruby Johnston, Mrs. Art Sykes, Euvalene Andersen, Fern Roe, Roger Thelander, Miss Fate, Eula Pedersen, ErmaLee Scroggin, Fern Crandell, Tillie Stevens, Betty Samsula, June (Troutt) Smith and Veva Ferebee. Verla Snyder still resides in Oak part-time.
Snyder graduated from Ohiowa High School and earned a two-year teaching degree (all that was required at the time) from Wesleyan College. She began teaching at Oak in 1937, when there were typically 20 students in each of the three classrooms, and remained until the school closed. After that, she worked until the end of her career as a substitute for area schools.
She recalls that a favorite recess activity was roller-skating in the basement, and sometimes boys would "escape" from school through the bathroom ceiling and the attic. Most Oak School students' memories will include at least one "Mrs. Snyder" story.
Former students and family members are asked to help spread the word about the reunion by contacting their classmates. For more information, contact Tom Jensen.

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Commissioners approve purchases for treasurer's office, road dept.

The Nuckolls County Board at Monday's regular meeting approved purchases for the road and bridge department and the county treasurer's office.
Gary Warren, county highway superintendent, provided quotes for the purchase of a new bat-wing shredder, which would replace the one currently in use by the road department. Quotes were received from three different dealerships ­­ Superior Implement, Oregon Trail and Titan Machinery of Grand Island. Oregon Trail provided quotes for several different machines. The board approved the purchase of a Rhino brand shredder from Superior Implement for a total of $15,000.
Warren said the trade-in offers from all three dealerships were not satisfactory and recommended the commissioners declare the old shredder to be surplus property and sell it themselves. Board members said they were pleased to have received quotes from three retailers, which gave them a variety of machines from which to make a selection.
Vicki Ensign, county treasurer, asked for board approval to purchase three new office chairs from Eakes Office Plus in Hastings at a cost of $885 for all three. The board approved the purchase.
In other business:
· Jeff Wagner, the county's contracted engineering consultant, attended the meeting. He said he was in the county working on state-mandated bridge inspections.
· The board approved an easement request from Perry Elting for a natural gas line in Sherman Precinct. The request presented Monday was a slight route change compared to the easement approved last week.
· A utility agreement was approved between the county and Glenwood Telephone for a buried fiber optic cable in Victor Precinct.
· The commissioners reviewed the inventories for the courthouse custodian and the noxious weed department. The board approved the custodial inventory, but tabled the supply and equipment list for noxious weeds for further review.
· An application was approved for a special designation liquor license by Richard Kohmetscher for an event at the Nuckolls County Fairgrounds on Oct. 4.
· An application was tabled for a special designation liquor license by Dave's Place for an event on Nov. 15, pending further review.
· The commissioners reviewed and approved the monthly report for the county treasurer's office.

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Superior school budget allows for spending increase
Tax payers, primarily land owners, will be asked to pay an additional $833,094 more this year to educate 30 less students in the Superior Public Schools. Monday evening, members of the Superior Board of Education unanimously adopted the budget as presented in last week's newspaper which represented tax asking of $5,576,393.
Valuation increased 30 percent in the district. (See Table 1.) This year, one penny on the levy represents $46,100.27 of revenue for the district. Just three years ago, one penny on the levy generated only $28,397 in revenue for the district.
In prior years, the district has struggled to stay under the levy lid. However, with the dramatic valuation increase, the tax levy dropped 12 cents, from $1.27 to $1.15. This represent .9618 for the general fund, .0273 for the building fund, .0153 for the qualified purpose fund and .1534 for bond fund which pays the debt for the elementary building. The levy lid is $1.10. However, certain budget items like the bond fund are outside the levy lid.
Enrollment now stands at 439. Last year at this time it was 470. However, it is still above the two previous years which were around 420. Doug Hoins, elementary principal, said, "Preschool enrollment looks good, so I expect our kindergarten numbers to be near the 30 mark again next year."
State aid is up $244,491 over last year for a total of $1,246,776. However, it is still lower than three years ago when its was $1,397,339. Supt. Isom expects state aid to continue to shrink as local resources increase.
During principal reports, Hoins reviewed bus evacuation drills and Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) testing. Bob Cook, secondary principal, reported 30 are participating in high school football, 21 in high school volleyball, 11 (five high school boys, five high school girls and one junior high boy) are participating in cross country, one in girl's golf, 13 in junior high football and 25 in junior high volleyball. He also said "ACT test preparation workshops will start Sunday and meet for the next four consecutive Sundays."
The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m. with two public hearings followed by the regular September business meeting which adjourned at 8:15. Darrell Kile, board member, asked if the board could discuss long range goals yet this fall before he and Steve Renz leave the board. One goal Kile suggested related to building for preschool. Renz, president, suggested delaying policy review and discussing goals in October. He suggested the decision be delayed for two weeks until timing of the fall harvest could be assessed. Supt. Isom will then either plan a workshop or goals will be discussed during the October regular meeting.

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