Questions of the Week — Readers ask about football bleachers, soccer parking, Blackburn construction, interchange crime

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers

 

Q: Why do the bleachers have to be replaced as part of the turf project at East Hill Park?

A: “During football season, the visiting fans’ bleachers will no longer be on the field,” explains York Parks and Recreation Director Cheree Folts. “A new visiting bleacher grandstand area will be located to the east of the existing football grandstands. This is because the weight of bleachers will cause damage to the newly installed turf. Also, there will be no food or drinks allowed on the turf so the visiting fans needed to be relocated. After multiple discussions, it was determined that the northeast area was the best location for the visiting football fans.”

 

Q: Will something be done to fix the parking problem at the soccer fields in York?

A: York Parks and Recreation Director Cheree Folts said, “The soccer field parking has been the same since the creation of the soccer complex in the early 1990s. Thursday night, there was YHS boys/girls Varsity and JV soccer, YU soccer and the first night of Sting soccer, so the place was packed — which of course means a lot of vehicles. I can look into a different layout or flow of traffic signage. I wasn’t preparing for as much attention the parking lot was receiving since nothing has changed from day one to city ownership. Obviously, it has always been a problem, was never addressed, and the message was never relied to me prior to the ownership transition.”

 

Q: How long is the stretch of Blackburn Avenue from Sixth to Ninth Street going to be closed for construction?

A: According to York Public Works Director James Paul, that stretch of street will be closed until about May 27, depending on what Mother Nature decides to do between now and then.

 

Q: During a recent meeting of the York City Council, York Administrator Dr. Sue Crawford provided some statistics about crime at York’s interchange and other towns in Nebraska. I didn’t catch all the details, but I thought they would be good to repeat as it helps dispel misunderstandings about the “dangers” of our interchange. It also helps clear up controversy about “inviting the criminals at the interchange” into our town by giving them a bike trail to move about. Can you repeat her statistics?

A: Dr. Sue Crawford, during her city administrator report, said she had done some research about crime on pedestrian trails and crime at the York interchange.

She cited actual York Police responses as part of her statistical report, referring to the past three years. She said the YPD responded to an average of 8,000 calls a year. During that 3-year period, there were no calls pertaining to homicides, kidnappings or abductions taking place between the interchange area and 21st Street. She noted there were some instances in which crimes took place elsewhere and the suspects were taken into custody in York’s interchange area or along Interstate 80, but those actual crimes didn’t take place at the York interchange area.

Dr. Crawford said the YPD “works in all parts of the community to keep all parts of the community safe and is not busy responding to high levels of violent crime in the interchange area.”

She also cited some statistics from the Lincoln Police Department, as Lincoln has numerous trails and pathways throughout the city. She said the LPD responded to over 100,000 calls in 2023, with only 56 of those calls/situations being on bike paths or trails, which she said represented .05% of the total calls. She added that of those calls, only three were related to violence against individuals.

 

Q: How long is this year’s legislative session?

A: This session is 60 days. Each even-numbered year, the session is 60 days long. Each odd-numbered year, the session is 90 days long.

 

Q: Here is an interesting question my son asked me the other day as we were driving by a fenced-in feedyard. He wanted to know if cattle just ran wild and did what they wanted to do, how long would a baby calf stay with its mother? We all know calves and their mothers are eventually separated in cattle production operations, but I thought it was a cute question pertaining to if cattle just ran wild and did whatever they wanted to do.

A: That is an interesting question, one we hadn’t really thought of before. So tell your son his inquiring mind is amazing! We looked up what we could find and everything said cattle, if allowed to run wild and follow their natural bond, a calf would likely stay with its mother for up to a year or longer.

 

Q: I stuck some broccoli seed straight into my garden last week and now I’m curious as to whether it was too early. It’s going to take a while for it to sprout but just didn’t know if I jumped the gun.

A: Horticulture sources say, “The most critical date to keep in mind is April 15. It is possible to start planting broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and carrots in the first week of April but beware. If the weather is too cool, it will result in a bitter-tasting product.”

 

Q: How can York County residents find which commissioner district they live in?

A: York County residents can contact the York County Clerk’s office to inquire. They can also go to the clerk/election offices in the courthouse to see maps.

They can also go to the county’s website at https://www.yorkcounty.ne.gov/county-board.html to see maps of the commissioner district boundaries.

 

Q: Some people at coffee this morning were talking about how we will have to present identification when we go to vote this year. So I have two questions. The first question has to do with the fact we live in small towns and most of us know each other, we’ve known each other for years. So if that is the case, do we really have to present identification to our poll workers because they already know us? Also, can you remind us of where we can vote on Primary Election Day in May.

A: Yes, the new voter identification law requires all voters to present identification when voting. So even if you have lived in a little York County town your whole life and the voting workers know you, you still have to do it.

As far as voting locations, they are the following in York County:

  • Stewart, Thayer: Gresham Fire Station
  • New York, Waco, Beaver, West Blue: Waco Community Building
  • Hays, McFadden: McCool Junction Community Hall
  • Leroy, Baker: York County Courthouse basement
  • Morton, Arborville, Bradshaw, Lockridge: 4-H Building at the York County Fairgrounds
  • Brown, Henderson: Henderson City Hall
  • Wards 1, 2A, 2B, 3, 4A and 4B in City of York: York City Auditorium

 

Q: Can you tell us again when the assessor’s office is going to be out in the county helping people with their homestead exemption applications?

A: As explained by York County Assessor Kurt Bulgrin, his office is out and about conducting mobile office times throughout the county to help individuals wanting assistance with filing their homestead exemption applications.

They have already been to the Benedict Community Center.

The other dates and locations are:

  • McCool Junction Community Hall – Thursday, April 18 from 9 a.m. until noon
  • Henderson City Hall – Thursday, April 25 from 9 a.m. until noon
  • Waco Fire Department – Thursday, May 2 from 9 a.m. until noon
  • Bradshaw Village Board Room – Thursday, May 16 from 9 a.m. until noon
  • Gresham Village Office – Wednesday, May 22 from 9 a.m. until noon

“If you cannot make it to a mobile office, you can always come to the York County Assessor’s Office on the first floor of the courthouse, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.,” Bulgrin says. “Please remember to bring any income information you may need, including your recent federal and state tax returns, medical expenses and social security information. Due to changes in state law last year, veterans who received a 100% exemption last year do not need to apply this year; however, their spouses will need to apply this year to receive the homestead exemption. Homestead exemption applications are due to the assessor’s office on or before June 30, 2024.”
“For any other questions about homestead exemptions or any other function of the York County Assessor’s office, please call us at 402-362-4926 and follow the prompts. You may also reach us by email at kbulgrin@yorkcountyne.gov.”

 

Q: I’m astonished about the number of people cited in Nebraska for going 90 and 100 miles an hour, as in the story you ran from the Nebraska State Patrol. My question is what would that fine be, if you were caught driving that fast?

A: Nebraska State Statute 60-682.01 says:

(1) Any person who operates a vehicle in violation of any maximum speed limit established for any highway or freeway is guilty of a traffic infraction and upon conviction shall be fined:

(a) Ten dollars for traveling one to five miles per hour over the authorized speed limit;

(b) Twenty-five dollars for traveling over five miles per hour but not over ten miles per hour over the authorized speed limit;

(c) Seventy-five dollars for traveling over ten miles per hour but not over fifteen miles per hour over the authorized speed limit;

(d) One hundred twenty-five dollars for traveling over fifteen miles per hour but not over twenty miles per hour over the authorized speed limit;

(e) Two hundred dollars for traveling over twenty miles per hour but not over thirty-five miles per hour over the authorized speed limit; and

(f) Three hundred dollars for traveling over thirty-five miles per hour over the authorized speed limit.

(2) The fines prescribed in subsection (1) of this section shall be doubled if the violation occurs within a maintenance, repair, or construction zone established pursuant to section 60-6,188. For purposes of this subsection, maintenance, repair, or construction zone means (a)(i) the portion of a highway identified by posted or moving signs as being under maintenance, repair, or construction or (ii) the portion of a highway identified by maintenance, repair, or construction zone speed limit signs displayed pursuant to section 60-6,188 and (b) within such portion of a highway where road construction workers are present. The maintenance, repair, or construction zone starts at the location of the first sign identifying the maintenance, repair, or construction zone and continues until a posted or moving sign indicates that the maintenance, repair, or construction zone has ended.

(3) The fines prescribed in subsection (1) of this section shall be doubled if the violation occurs within a school crossing zone as defined in section 60-658.01.

 

 

 

 

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