Bellevue fireworks stands see finite profit
When it comes to Fourth of July fireworks sales, it costs a lot of money to make money.
The 20 nonprofits with licenses to sell fireworks in Bellevue last summer spent between 76 cents and 95 cents of every dollar earned on operating expenses, according to figures on file at City Hall.
The most successful nonprofit was the Bellevue Rod and Gun Club, which spent 76 cents of every dollar on expenses. That left 24 percent of its gross revenues available for community service purposes.
On sales of $95,569 the gun club kept $25,815.
The least successful was the Bellevue Junior Sports Association, which netted $1,501 on sales of $26,603. That's a 5 percent return on nine days of effort.
Bellevue's fireworks ordinance requires that volunteer labor be used at fireworks stands, to ensure that as much revenue as possible goes toward charitable activities. But there are such expenses as lot leases, setting up temporary structures and license fees, along with the cost of fireworks, which is the major expense.
Dale Richter, who organized fireworks sales for the Bellevue-Offutt Kiwanis Club, said it was a tough year. He said vendors continue to feel competition from Omaha fireworks stands, which were legalized last year.
City of Bellevue at odds with fire union
Three years after Bellevue moved from a volunteer to a paid fire department, the city and its fire union are in a labor dispute.
The Bellevue Professional Firefighters Association filed for a hearing with the Nebraska Commission on Industrial Relations after city and union negotiators failed to agree on pay for approximately 135 part-time firefighters, emergency medical technicians and medical officers.
Union negotiators argue that pay and benefits are not comparable to those in comparable fire departments.
Larry Chandler, the union's president, said the relationship between the city and its part-time firefighters, many of whom were part of the old volunteer department, is evolving.
Springfield ready for next step of urban park
Springfield is about to take the next step in creating an urban park along Main Street.
Last year, the City of Springfield improved the street and sidewalks downtown. Mayor Mike Dill said the city probably will break ground on the park this fall.
The city wants to bring together community leaders to help design the park.
Currently, the city plans to perform concrete work within the property, including pouring handicap parking and bleacher seating. The city also will bring electricity and water to the area.
Papillion City Hall opens doors to artists
Papillion artists can get in on the ground floor — or in this case, the second floor — of a new art gallery in Papillion City Hall.
The Papillion Arts Council is calling for submissions for a new public gallery located within City Hall. Art will go on display around Thanksgiving, and new exhibitions are expected every few weeks.
The space can accommodate about 15 to 20 works of art, said Ken Molzer, the arts council's chairman. Initially, the council is asking for artists who live in Papillion's jurisdiction.
Information and an artist's agreement will be available on the arts council section of the city website, papillion.org.
Cruisers wear purple ribbons to fight violence
Police and sheriff cruisers throughout Sarpy County are displaying purple ribbons in October as a statement against domestic abuse.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sarpy County's Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse says the county had more than 1,200 domestic violence calls in 2011.
Bellevue requires sidewalk to nowhere
Jeremy Kellner found out what others before him realized, and he seemed just as mystified as his predecessors.
Kellner asked the Bellevue City Council for an exemption from a requirement that he install a 234-foot sidewalk in front of his newly constructed home at 1303 Camp Gifford Road.
If installed, the sidewalk would be, as others have argued before him, “a sidewalk to nowhere.”
The lot directly to his east is a gravel road with no homes and no sidewalks. To the west sits seven undeveloped acres except for the presence of a single home with no sidewalk.
Kellner said there isn't a single sidewalk on his side of Camp Gifford Road, although sidewalks have been installed on the north side.
But council members indicated they weren't willing to continue granting waivers to people whose sidewalks would be isolated.
“Where are you going to start?” Councilwoman Kathy Saniuk asked. “How will you ever finally get a sidewalk?”
Kellner would not be facing the mandate had he not razed the existing home and built a new one. City ordinance requires that sidewalks be installed for newly built homes.
Kellner said the sidewalk could cost him about $5,000. “Nobody's going to use it,” he said.
— World-Herald News Service