Questions of the Week — Readers ask about pool closure, splash pad, comment period, noxious weed, zoning regulations and more

The following questions were asked recently by inquiring readers:


Q: Why was the family aquatic center temporarily closed this week, I think on Tuesday?

A: There was a water clarity issue, according to York Parks and Recreation. The water became too cloudy but the filtration system quickly cleared it up. By late Tuesday, all four deep-end drains could be seen, which meant the water clarity issue was fixed and the pool was open for business as usual on Wednesday.


Q: If I want to take my kids to Harrison Park to use the new splash pad, can we go anytime or do city crews turn it off at certain times of day?

A: The splash pad is able to be used anytime during the hours between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.


Q: When will the York County Commissioners have their photo updated on the county website? It’s still an old one and now that all five seats are filled, shouldn’t that happen?

A: Yes, it definitely should be changed and it has been. That took place earlier this week, now that all the seats are filled. The official photo of the county board can be found on the county’s website.


Q: Do you have information about the Middle School pool party? I saw it on Facebook and now can’t find the notification any longer.

A: A Middle School pool party is scheduled for the York Family Aquatic Center on Friday, May 31, from 8-10 p.m. Kids can get in with a daily fee or an aquatic center membership. This will be a chance for middle school kids to kick off the summer as they celebrate graduating eighth grade, getting ready to go to sixth grade and everyone in between. Concessions will be available. No pre-registration is required, kids just have to pay at the door.


Q: When the York County Jail is too full, where are some of the inmates transferred to?
A: York County transports inmates to Butler County Corrections in David City, Hamilton County Corrections in Aurora, Seward County Corrections in Seward, Platte County Corrections in Columbus, DCS Reception and Treatment Center in Lincoln and the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York.


Q: My grandma and grandpa talk about how there was snow in Nebraska – a lot of snow – on May 28 in what I think they said was 1947. We always thought they were joking but then as I was talking about this with someone else, they said they thought that actually might be true. Can you take the time to look that up?

A: According to the U.S. National Weather Service out of Hastings, on May 28, 1947, most of Nebraska saw its latest snow on record, including as much as 4 ½ inches of snow in Grand Island. These are the other amounts the national weather service reports from that very late snow storm: Arcadia, three inches; Cairo, three inches; Ord, three inches; Fullerton, three inches; Holdrege, two inches; Central City, two inches; Rosemont, 1 ½ inches.


Q: I have a question about our tornado warning sirens. Is there an all clear siren as well, to tell us when all the danger has passed?

A: No, there is no all-clear siren sounded, according to the York County Emergency Management Department. The tornado warning siren is a long, steady siren in one tone for three minutes. There is never an all-clear signal. If sirens sound again, that means there is another warning.


Q: I have another storm-related question. I hear more and more people talk about having “safe rooms” they used for tornado shelters, instead of basements or cellars. Can you tell me what exactly that is?

A: A safe room, according to Gary Petersen, York and Seward County emergency manager, “is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide near-absolutely protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.”

For more information about safe rooms, contact Petersen at 402-362-7744 or at


Q: So many changes have been made to the county’s proposed zoning regulations regarding solar projects, I was wondering where I can get a clean, finished copy of the regulations which I can read from back to front before the public hearing in June.

A: You can go to the county’s website at this link to see the proposed regulations put forth for public review:


Q: I think I have Purple Loosestrife growing in my yard. I thought it was just a wild flower but my neighbor said it’s a noxious weed and I should kill it. Is it a noxious weed?

A: Purple Loosestrife is a noxious weed, according to the noxious weed list from the Nebraska Weed Control Association and the York County Weed Department.

It used to be an allowable plant which many people used in their yards. But about 20 years ago, it was declared to be a noxious weed.

So, if it is Purple Loosestrife, you should kill it.


Q: Can I still submit comments about the Project Access York trail extension?

A: Yes. The comment period is open through June 12.

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