The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

County Approves Potter Funds


November 23, 2018

Forrest Hershberger

Cheyenne County Commissioner Philip Sanders explains the job of county commissioner to area high school students during Government Day Monday. High School students met at the District Courtroom to hear from county and elected officials on their duties and expectations.

The Village of Potter will be receiving $10,000 in assistance toward improvement of the Potter Community Hall. The Cheyenne County Commissioners approved a request by the Cheyenne County Tourism Committee to provide funding for the Potter project.

The project involves restoration of the former American Legion Hall. The work includes updating the building with handicap accessibility.

"It won't by any means cover all of it (cost of the project)," said Judy Harris of the Tourism Board. "From our viewpoint, it (the project) is strictly a heads and beds."

Cheyenne County Tourism Director Kevin Howard said the facility could host weddings and parties, and dinner theatre-type events. He said committee will be reaching out to bus tours, adding that evening and night events usually result in hotel rooms.

The tourism committee also met with the commissioners about the Sidney Public Transit Bus sponsorship. Hal Enevoldsen, chairman of the tourism committee, questioned continuing sponsorship of the Sidney Public Transit Bus.

"It's not that we don't think its a worthy cause. We just can't justify it for tourism," Enevoldsen said.

The people-mover bus travels on a fixed-schedule, regardless how many people use it, according to commissioner Darrell Johnson.

Commissioner Philip Sanders said he would be quicker to support it if the bus traveled to other communities instead of just Sidney.

"If the bus traveled the whole county, I would see it a different way," Sanders said. "I just don't see it for tourism."

According to discussion in the commissioners meeting, the tourism board supports the bus at about $20,000 to $25,000 annually.

County Attorney Paul Schaub suggested sending a letter to the City if the board and commissioners decide to discontinue supporting the bus service.

Commissioner Randal Miller added the bus service supports people in the service industry, including businesses and restaurants at the intersection of Old Post Road and Highway 385. However, it is still "not in the spirit of tourism," he said.

Howard said the Visitors Committee is also paying for the skin, the decals on the bus.

Miller said he wants to table the decision on the proposal until the committee and the City can meet.

"I want it to work for the county. The city is part of the county," Miller said.

When a train is stalled across a public road crossing, it is an inconvenience, unless the alternative road is not safe or there isn't an alternative passage.

Kim Phillips and Jim Pelster came before the commissioners Monday regarding the railroad crossing at Cheyenne County Road 109. She said the crossing is frequently blocked by trains.

"It really picked up after the derailment," she said.

She said when she calls to complain, the length of time the train blocks the crossing gets worse.

"You're landlocked," said commissioner Darrell Johnson.

Philips said two years ago her mother was injured at their property, and First Responders were delayed by the train blocking the crossing. She added if her brother hadn't been there with the proper training the result might have been much worse.

The commissioners encouraged her to continue documenting the crossing and how it affects her. The commissioners also directed Schaub to send a letter and call the railroad regarding the crossing and the inconvenience caused by trains blocking the crossing.


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