Sarpy among fastest for housing growth
Sarpy County was ranked 73rd fastest in housing growth across the nation over the last two years by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Housing stock increased by 1,653 units, or 2.7 percent, between 2010 and 2012. The total in 2012 was 63,591 homes.
“The attractiveness of a great quality of life and a superb sense of community is really what defines Sarpy County,” Sarpy Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Richey said in an email.
“We predict that this growth will continue to move in a positive direction.”
Sarpy was the only Nebraska county ranked in the top 100.
It's unusual for a Nebraska county to rank that high, said David Drozd, a research coordinator for the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Public Affairs Research.
“That's obviously good for the county to be experiencing growth in that way as the construction of those housing units alone will lead to an increase of jobs, employment and construction activity,” Drozd said.
Most of the counties that made the rankings were located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and the southeastern states.
Williams County, N.D., was ranked highest on the list with an increase of 19.4 percent in its housing stock. The county is currently experiencing a boom because it is situated over a rock formation from which oil is being extracted.
Board swearing-in harder than it sounds
Mike Kinney got a few chuckles while he was being sworn in as the newest member of the Bellevue school board.
The oath contains a long-winded pledge never to advocate the forceful or violent overthrow of the government, thereby providing a linguistic pitfall for someone reciting the pledge.
Nina Wolford, who officiated the oath of office, joked about stumbling on a couple of lines of the 173-word, three-sentence oath.
“I practiced this at home,” she said. “I thought of (Supreme Court) Chief Justice Roberts, who muffed the inauguration.”
John Roberts misspoke words of the presidential oath of office in 2009 during President Barack Obama's first inauguration.
The board also welcomed Col. Gregory Guillot and Lt. Col. Charles Kuhl as nonvoting military advisers for the Bellevue Public Schools board. Guillot is the new commander of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, and Kuhl is the new commander of the 55th Mission Support Group.
The board voted 4-0 to appoint Wolford as the new board president, transferring her vice presidency to Frank Kumor in another 4-0 decision.
With those votes, the board finished replacing former board President Alicia Richards, who resigned May 28 to focus on her family and business duties.
The school board considered a preliminary budget with a 4.24 percent increase in revenue and expenditures that would not change the district's property tax levy of $1.05 per $100 of assessed valuation.
A public hearing will be held Aug. 5, followed by adoption of a budget and a tax request at the board's Sept. 9 meeting.
Bits and pieces of land prove a hassle to sell
Back before record-keeping achieved today's sophistication, the City of Bellevue inherited dozens of unwanted parcels of land throughout the city.
The lots accumulated through the years as the city annexed sanitary improvement districts and inherited old easements and rights of way.
Realtor David Dunn faces the task of finding buyers for these parcels, some of which are ravines, others tiny strips of land between, beside or behind residential homes and still others just small plots already used by residents or business owners who probably don't even know the land is technically public.
There are 185 such lots available, and Dunn said finding buyers for them is a challenge.
In the last couple of months, 11 heavily wooded lots with poor access south of Harvell Drive were sold for $4,000, while some smaller lots adjacent to residences were sold for prices less than $500.