County approves exemption for family agency

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Red Willow County commissioners approved a tax exemption application from Family Resources Inc., during their weekly meeting Monday morning.

Family Resources Director Mary Bargen said the non-profit organization offers services to low-income families. The facility at 329 N. Cherokee, which the organization purchased in August, houses these programs: the Exceptional Family Resources Center, the Assistance Technology Program, SWNE Early Childhood Coalition, Fair Exchange, Kid Zone Preschool and Child Care, Early Childhood Hearing Screening, Nebraska Respite Network and Partners in Parenting.

County Assessor Sandra Kotschwar said the organization meets the qualifications for educational and charitable exemptions.

In a public forum discussion, commissioners discussed the lack of speed limit signs or "Reduced Speed Ahead" warning signs from Nebraska Street in Bartley (the street on which the schools are located) to the next city street/county road about one-half of a mile north.

William Carruthers of rural Bartley told commissioners he was ticketed Oct. 19 in that area -- for speeding 50 mph in what a sheriff's deputy called a 25-mph residential zone. Carruthers said he was unaware that that half-mile stretch of what appears to be rural is actually residential. He said it is not marked as such, nor is there any sign warning of a reduced-speed area ahead.

Commissioners told him they could not help him reinstate the points he lost on his driver's license because of the speeding conviction Dec. 2, but they will check into the possibility of putting up more signs.

Commissioner Steve Downer, who also lives north of Bartley and travels the same road, said he, too, was unaware that area was residential. "There's only one driveway in that half-mile," Downer said. "That doesn't seem residential to me."

Fellow Commissioner Leigh Hoyt said, "Just because they're thinking about building a school in that cornfield, doesn't make it residential now."

Downer and Carruthers plan to speak to Bartley Mayor Jim Morris or Nebraska Department of Roads engineer Kurt Vosburg about the residential-area designation and more signs.

In other action:

* Commissioners reviewed the status of their revolving loan fund: All accounts are current.

In a new arrangement with commissioners, Jonzeez Java will start again the middle of the month to repay its loan.

The coffee shop has not made a payment since December 2003.

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