Questions of the Week — Readers ask about barbed wire, zoning regulations, city pavement, ballot counting

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers: 


Q: Someone in our neighborhood put up barbed wire around their property, for some reason. Doesn’t that have to be illegal? It could pose a danger to kids, animals, etc.

A: Section 34-6 in the York Municipal Code says it is “unlawful for any person to erect, or cause to be erected or maintained any barbed wire fence with the limits of the city, except as hereinafter permitted and allowed; provide upon application to and permit in writing from the building inspector barbed wire fences may be erected or suffered to remain in the industrial district of the city as defined in this code, and if built at least three feet inside the lot line so as not to endanger the public use of street or sidewalk.”


Q: How long will it be before the York County Commissioners make a final decision regarding solar field zoning regulations?

A: They are currently going through all the proposed regulations, as recommended by the planning and zoning commission. The matter will again be before the commissioners when they meet in regular session where they will discuss in detail changes they want to make. Then they will set a public hearing for sometime in March. Public comment will be heard at that point, regarding the drafted regulations as they stand at that point. The commissioners will consider the public comment, possibly tweak the regulations again, before making a final decision. All of that is expected to take place in March.


Q: Shouldn’t the county start working on wind farm zoning regulations now? As we saw, it took so long to create solar field regulations that it’s almost too late. Should they just start the process?

A: That matter was brought up by the county commissioners this past week, when they met in regular session. Yes, it appears they will be asking the county’s planning and zoning committee to start formulating those as well.


Q: The pavement on the curve, going north toward the Lincoln Avenue underpass, is so rough. Is there going to be something done? I know it was just recently worked on but it’s pretty bad. 

A: York Public Works Director James Paul said, “We have contacted the project engineer about the condition of the road and will be discussing our options to perform repairs this spring.”

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Q: What exactly is buttermilk?

A: Buttermilk is a fermented liquid which is created by culturing and fermenting milk products or by straining off the liquid which results from churning butter.

These days, store-bought buttermilk is typically made from milk with added lactic bacteria, which produces lactic acid.


Q: I’m the same person who asked about keeping my poinsettia alive a few weeks ago. It’s doing great in my house and I was just curious if anyone knows if it can be planted outside once it is warm enough.

A: Extension offices say yes, they can be taken outside in the spring when the danger of a freeze is past. Most sources suggest a shady location. They need to be watered regularly as needed.

Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they will have to be brought back into the house for the winter months.

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Q: I have chickens and was wondering how long they will lay eggs.

A: According to the Universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa, hens begin laying at around six months of age and can continue to five to 10 years, with peak production occurring in the first two years. Most chickens will have at least three years of consistent laying.


Q: Are there any sand volleyball courts in York?

A: There are sand volleyball courts at Harrison Park and East Hill Park.

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Q: Can York County officials make the decision to hand-count only the election ballots in York County?

A: The answer is no.

In fact, not even the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office has that authority.

The Nebraska Secretary of State’s office says “legislative action would be needed to abandon the ballot-counting machines purchased by the state in 2019 and to change to counting ballots by hand.”


Q: How long are the paper ballots, cast in an election, kept in possession by local election officials?

A: The Nebraska Secretary of State says paper ballots are kept for 22 months as required by law.

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