St. Edward

Special election ballots in mail next week

Interior plan for the proposed new St. Edward Community Center.

St. Edward residents will be receiving ballots through the mail next week for the special election on adding a one-half percent city sales tax within the city limits.
If approved, revenue produced by this sales tax will be used to pay a portion of construction costs for a new community building in the city.
An official sample ballot for the election is published this week in the St. Edward Advance public notices, and will appear each week for four weeks.
The ballots must be mailed back or returned to the courthouse by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in order to be counted.
The building plans were presented twice at public meetings last week. The plan calls for a 90 x 96 foot steel building to be built on a lot located across the street east of the football field. Cost estimate for the current plan is $1.3 million.
The additional half cent sales tax would be expected to raise an average of $32,000 per year over 20 years, funding a city-issued bond of $460,000, plus interest.
A state grant would also be available to the city. Based on population, the amount of this building grant would be $562,000.
It would also be necessary to raise about $300,000 through a fund-raising campaign for the project.
Deadlines are tight for the project. Special election results will be known on Feb. 12, and the grant application is due Feb. 15 to the Nebraska Civic and Community Financing Fund.
Deteriorating condition of the present community center has created the need for a new building, project supporters say. The present building has structural deficiencies and does not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.
The new building would have a capacity of up to 520 people, with tables and chairs, whereas the current community center has a capacity of 220 people.
If the new structure is built, it would be used by St. Edward Public School as a site for activities and practices during the week, The school would pay a rental fee for use of the facility, and an annual rental fee of $10,000 has been discussed.
The city’s grant application for the building will score higher if the building is used by more than one governmental entity.