Bellevue residents fight proposed development
A proposal to build 147 homes on 36 acres in Bellevue drew dozens of protesters to the Bellevue Planning Commission.
The proposed Spring Ridge development is near 25th Street and the Kennedy Freeway.
Developer Melvin Sudbeck wants to rezone the land from agricultural to residential and to permit homes to be built on lots of 6,000 square feet.
Residents of the Spring Creek subdivision, which sits in the same area, protested the small lot size. Spring Creek homes were built on lots of 7,200 square feet.
Nancy Schmailz, a Spring Creek resident, urged the commission to maintain the value of existing homes by permitting only larger homes to be built.
Joe Bolin, a Papillion resident who is selling the land to Sudbeck, said the area is hard to sell because it sits directly along the west edge of the Kennedy Freeway. He said other developers have looked at the site, but only Sudbeck has devised a workable plan.
“I hope everyone wants to make something finally happen down there,” he said.
The commission could make its recommendation at its Feb. 28 meeting. The City Council then would hold a public hearing March 25.
Two annexations might bring tax increases
Two annexation proposals have passed the Bellevue Planning Commission.
One would annex Twin Creek Cinema, two nearby office buildings, a Culver's restaurant and a 240-unit Pavilion at Twin Creek apartment complex.
A second proposal would annex 13 small areas in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of scattered pockets throughout Bellevue.
Several residents protested property tax increases they said would result from annexation. Some anticipated that a city tax levy would increase their property taxes by as much as $1,000 a year.
Currently, they pay taxes to Sarpy County and other taxing agencies but not to the city or to a sanitary and improvement district.
Commissioners said that the residents had long enjoyed the use of city streets without contributing to their upkeep and that their incorporation into the city would put them on the same footing as other area residents.
The City Council will hold a public hearing at its Feb. 11 meeting.
Ralston extends voluntary separation
The Ralston school board has extended the district's voluntary separation program to a wider range of employees.
The board extended a $20,000 incentive to certified and contracted employees.
The decision comes after the voluntary resignation of 10 employees in an effort to stem a $2.7 million financial shortfall for 2013-14.
St. Gerald discusses renovation plan
St. Gerald Catholic School officials presented residents with a $1.75 million renovation plan for the Ralston school.
Renovations would include new doors, windows, plumbing, roofing, heating and air-conditioning units.
“There's been good feedback from everybody I've talked to,” Principal Dave Garland said. “Everyone I've talked to thinks it's a great idea. We will take care of (the school) for the next 50 years.”
The school hasn't secured funding for the project and doesn't have an expected completion date. School officials discussed potential changes to the preschool, handicapped accessibility and office expansion.
25 iPads purchased for Papillion city officials
The City of Papillion has provided iPads to a couple of dozen city officials, including Mayor David Black, City Council members, department heads and other management staff.
The city spent about $13,000 to purchase 25 third-generation iPads from Apple.
Personal use will not be permitted with the devices, city spokesman Darren Carlson said. Apps will be purchased by the city, as with any other software for city-owned computers.
La Vista Volunteer Fire marks 50 years
The La Vista Volunteer Fire Department has celebrated 50 years of volunteer service since the department's founding in 1962. It held a banquet at the La Vista Conference Center.
“We are a critical part of the city,” said Melanie Smith, a department spokeswoman. “We have the city's support in being volunteers.”
— World-Herald News Service