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July 12, 2018
Harvey County IndependentJuly 12, 2018 Harvey County Independent

Halstead Man Relocates Old House To Rebuild On Site

Posted 7/12/2018

DENNIS Travis of Halstead moved his house from the 400 block of Sweezy Street three blocks northwest to the 800 block of West Second Street earlier this week. He and his fiancé, Jo Breneman, plan to build a new home at the Sweezy location. DENNIS Travis of Halstead moved his house from the 400 block of Sweezy Street three blocks northwest to the 800 block of West Second Street earlier this week. He and his fiancé, Jo Breneman, plan to build a new home at the Sweezy location. DENNIS Travis’s house waited several feet in the air at its old Sweezy location before making the move Monday.DENNIS Travis’s house waited several feet in the air at its old Sweezy location before making the move Monday.By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Moving from one house to another is always a hassle, but moving the house itself—well, that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

But that’s the project that Halstead resident Dennis Travis has been working on. In the past week his home at 404 Sweezy was relocated to 817 W. 2nd St.

Travis explained that moving the house was a compromise of sorts between him and his fiancé, Jo Breneman. She didn’t want to live in Travis’s current house after they get married, but he didn’t want to move away from his workshop. They decided to move the house and build a new one on Sweezy Street.

Travis said he had considered other options like remodeling and had drawn up more than a dozen possible floor plans, but in the end they decided this was the best option.

When asked prior to the move whether he thought moving the house would be worth the trouble, Travis’s answer was pragmatic.

“It had better be,” he said. “There’s no turning back now.”

A crew from Unruh House Moving out of the McPherson/Galva area began prepping for the move last Thursday by digging out from underneath the house. Monroe Becker explained they would put two 50-foot main beams across the width of the house with two crossbeams for support.

The big move took place Monday. Although the new location is just two blocks north and one block of the house’s original location, the movers opted to take the longer route to avoid some overhanging trees. They headed south two blocks on Sweezy to Sixth Street, then two blocks west to Halstead Road, four blocks north Second Street, and then a block east to its new resting place.

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Sedgwick Resident Proposes City Sales Tax

Posted 7/12/2018

By Pilar Martin

SEDGWICK—Sedgwick resident Tammy Croxton spoke about her letter requesting council look into a city sales tax during the July 2 council meeting.

“I spoke around 35 people and most of them thought there already was a city sales tax, but there isn’t,” Croxton told the council. “Twenty of the families I spoke to were younger families and they would have no problem with a city sales tax. With Dollar General coming in, it would boost our revenues so we can get some things done in town we might not be able to do now. Cy’s brings in a lot of money and either a half or one-cent city sales tax would help. It would be a way to raise revenue without raising taxes. “We could get it on the ballot and the citizens decide.”

Council member Randi Tolin asked Croxton what she would like to see the money used for. Croxton replied parks and recreation for starters.

Mayor Bryan Chapman said a sales tax usually has a sunset.

City Attorney Brad Jantz said, “Most cities do have one, and there is a deadline, such as 3-5 years. Also there is a specific purpose for the tax such as street repairs or general enhancements.” Jantz said it was too late to get something on the August primary ballot, but something could be done to add it to the November ballot.

Chapman thanked Croxton for what she had done and her ideas. “This is something for the board to consider,” Chapman said. Chapman said they could do more research to help determine what a city tax would generate.

Council Member Richard Ludowese said, “I agree with you. I would rather see a sales tax than see property taxes go up.”

Tolin asked when the paperwork would have to be in to the county to get on the general election ballot. City Administrator Ed Patton said paperwork would have to be in to the county by Sept. 1. No action was taken by the council.

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USD 440 Eliminates Athletic, Activity Fees

Posted 7/12/2018

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—The USD 440 school board agreed to eliminate athletic and activity fees for seventh- through twelfth-grade students after a back-and-forth discussion Monday night. This will be a one-year experiment to see if it increases participation numbers.

In recent years, students have been charged $25 per sport and $15 per activity (band, choir, debate, etc.), with a maximum of $50 per student or $100 per family.

At the start of the discussion, Superintendent Tom Alstrom proposed changing this to a flat $20 fee with a max of $40 per student. He admitted that some families with a lot of kids might have to pay more under this fee structure, but it would simplify the district’s billing process.

Board members discussed several other options before coming to agreement.

According to Alstrom, Activities Director James O’Brien, who was not at the meeting, had advocated for eliminating the participation fees to encourage higher student involvement, provided that the roughly $9,000 these fees added to the activities budget could be compensated from elsewhere.

Alstrom added that the district could afford to absorb this $9,000 this year, but in future years it might not.

Board member Joy Hoofer asked how much of a deterrent cost was to participation, and board member Tom Wise replied that in his experience coaching kids’ football and wrestling, it was a factor.

“Cost is always on parents’ minds,” he said.

Wise proposed eliminating the activity fee and instead charging all students a $25 pass fee to get them into sporting events throughout the year.

Other board members pointed out this would cause a loss in admissions revenue that, like participation fees, supports the activities fund. Korey Carmichael estimated the district could lose $6,000 or more in gate money in a year.

This activities fund has a base of $36,000 and is supplemented through participation fees and gate admissions, Alstrom said. It pays for uniforms, supplies, entry fees, referees and more. He added these fees were implemented about eight or nine years ago in a year the budget was struggling.

Board members Gary Warner and Randy O’Neal said they’d be willing to experiment with eliminating the fees for a year or two to see if it would encourage involvement.

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