Monday, May 30, 2016
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Gov Signs Niobrara River Bill



On April 18th, Governor Pete Ricketts signed Legislative Bill (LB) 1038 into law furthering the process of protecting the flow of water in the Niobrara River.

LB1038, introduced by District 43 Senator Al Davis, allows for the transfer of the water rights associated with the Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Spencer Dam to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (Commission) and the Niobrara River Basin Alliance (NRBA), which is made up of five Natural Resource Districts: Lower Niobrara, Middle Niobrara, Upper Elkhorn, Upper Loup and Upper Niobrara White.

In 2015, NRBA, the Commission and NPPD entered a memorandum of understanding in which the NRBA and the Commission agreed to purchase Spencer Dam from NPPD. By purchasing the dam and acquiring the associated surface water rights, the NRBA and Commission will be able to preserve flows necessary for wildlife conservation, recreation, agriculture and other uses in the Niobrara River. Legislation necessary for the transfer of water rights came in the form of Davis’ bill.


Valentine ESU District 17 Quiz Bowl Champs


The Valentine High School Badgers are ESU District 17 Quiz Bowl Champions with wins over Keya Paha County, Rock County and Ainsworth on Wednesday, April 20th. Congratulations to Quiz Bowl team members: Nate Luchsinger, Riley Beel, Will Major, Raelyn Adams, Aaron Yoder, Jacob Flannery, Wyatt Hitchcock, Chad McPeak, and Turner Tinant.


Property Taxes On Agland Set To Drop

Nebraska will steer an extra $20 million to farm and ranch landowners next year to offset their property taxes under a bill signed by Gov. Pete Ricketts.  The measure approved Tuesday is one of the governor's top priorities, but was watered down from his original proposal to impose spending controls on local governments. On Monday, the governor signed another property tax bill that could make it easier for some local school districts to lower their levy rates.  Ricketts says the bills aren't everything he had sought, but says compromise is part of the legislative process.  The bills were introduced by Sens. Mike Gloor of Grand Island and Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids, both of whom are leaving because of term limits.

The bills are LB958 and LB959


Students to Tour Area Businesses

On May 9th and 10th, the first Career and Industry Tour will be held for Valentine High School freshmen, sophomores and juniors, approximately 134 students. The event is sponsored by Valentine Economic Development, Mid Plains Community College and The Valentine Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Valentine High School.

The goal of the event is to expose students to the variety of businesses that support Valentine, and possibly get students interested in a job at one of these businesses. The intention is to help with a shortage of workers in the area and encourage students to think about returning to the area to acquire or start a local business. The students will have the opportunity to tour several local businesses on May 9th and 10th to see firsthand what those businesses do.

Area businesses will be receiving a letter in the mail this week to explain the details of the this new venture. Business owners are asked to fill out the enclosed short form describing their business and return by April 25th. Knowing before graduation what opportunities are available in the Valentine area could make the difference whether or not a student’s returns or stays to begin a career. If you have questions contact Mike Burge at 402 376-6842 or Jennifer Nollette at 402 376 8033.


Valentine City Council News

The Valentine City Council met for their regular monthly meeting Thursday, April 14th.  Mostly routine matters were handled by the Council.  A lease agreement with Three River Communications for space at the ball fields for a fiber optic head end was approved.  The bid by Top Coat Construction for the summer's armor coat projects was accepted for a little over $43.000.  Deanne Holmes was appointed to the Economic Development Board.  No action was taken at this time on a possible splash pad.  Free dump days was set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 29th through May 1st.  A new City Form for membership to the City Gym was also discussed.  The Council also passes a resolution that will prohibit parking on South Hall Street (also known as Airport Road) for 550 feet from Highway 20.


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