Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Decisions voters will make on November 6

 

October 25, 2018



Brandon Mossberg - Kimball County Commissioner

“I have lived in Kimball the better part of my life and feel the community here is a great place to grow up and raise a family. I grew up in Kimball with family and friends and had the opportunity to ranch and farm for the family business. I graduated high school in 2000 from Kimball High School, from there I moved to Colorado and went to work for the City of Fort Collins. I later met my wife, Chelsea of 11 years now. We moved back to Kimball in 2008. We have four boys that I would like to grow up in the same lifestyle as what I did.”

1. You just received a $100,000 donation and you get to decide where it is spent. How would you spend the money?

This is a tough question to answer, as far as where and how to spend the money. There are a lot of different areas that need funding in the county and not enough funding to go around to fully take care of all the needs. With a donation I would have to start with the most necessary improvements or projects. With that being said, it is still a tough question. Where one person’s view of necessity is not the same as the next.

2. What is your responsibility as the Board of Equalization?

As being part of a board of equalization there is a lot of responsibility. First and foremost is to hear the public with their concerns and appeals and address them with an open mind. After reviewing all of the facts, the body will then make a decision on the appeal or set forth plans and put them into motion that best serves the individual or the community.

3. What incentives do you have for new businesses coming to Kimball? What do you have for incentives for staying businesses?

Kimball was a lot different when I was in school The amount of businesses today as to 20 years ago has drastically dropped. Working with the already established businesses to make sure they can provide for the community is a must. As far as new businesses, the door needs to be open so they can come into the community and make the community better.

4. What is Pictometry and what good will it bring to our county?

Pictometry is an aerial measurement that take three dimensional photographs. It is used to get building photographs and measurements. There are pros and cons of this method depending on its use. It is a very expensive took, and if it is used in the right circumstance very beneficial financially. As far as Kimball County, I am not sure that is the case. In order for this to be beneficial, it needs to take the place of some of salaried employees or contract labor that would have to go out into the field to do these tax assessments.

Daria Anderson Faden - Kimball County Commissioner

“My parents came to Kimball in 1960 during the oil and missile boom. I graduated from KCHS and after college returned to the Kimball area where I taught high school Social Studies for 37 years at Potter-Dix. I retired from teaching four years ago and ran for county commissioner. I currently am seeking my second term as county commissioner. My husband, John, and I have two sons, John-Robert, who resides in Banner County, and Patrick, who lives in Beijing, China. I have one granddaughter, Mesa, and soon will have a grandson. My mother, Rose Marie, still resides here in Kimball.

1. You just received a $100,000 donation and you get to decide where it is spent. How would you spend the money?

If the county received a $100,000 I would pay on the loans that the county has, such as the Visitor Center, road graders and building funds. That would probably take all of the $100,000.

2. What is your responsibility as the Board of Equalization?

My responsibility as the Board of Equalization is to make sure across the county and across the state are equalized for their taxes, that alike properties have the same value and are taxed the same, and to make sure no one pays more taxes than anyone else. My job is also to hear tax protests.

3. What incentives do you have for new businesses coming to Kimball? What do you have for incentives for staying businesses?

This is the responsibility for the city more than the County Commissioners, but lodging taxes from the motels go to businesses to help them out more.

4. What is Pictometry and what good will it bring to our county?

The vote was 2/1, I was the lone no vote for Pictometry. It is a 6 year contract about $180,000, $31,000 a year. It is supposed to pick up any buildings that aren’t already on the tax rolls. I don’t know that there was a real need for it because it was a lot of money and six year is a long time to be in something. We just had a reassessment and I would have liked to have that paid off and it should have picked up any buildings that were not taxed. It wouldn’t have hurt to wait a few years to see how it worked out for the other counties, neighboring counties such as Banner, Cheyenne, Morrill, have not gone with Pictometry.

Larry Engstrom - Kimball County Commissioner

1. You just received a $100,000 donation and you get to decide where it is spent. How would you spend the money?

If the County received a gift of $100,000, it would go into the general fund. From there, the money could be used for building remodeling, which in return would reduce the tax money required for that project. The money could be put in the general fund also to be used for contingency funds for emergency building and equipment repairs. If the funds were not used in this manner from the general fund, the budget would have to be amended to budget for the use of funds in the next fiscal year.

2. What is your responsibility as the Board of Equalization?

As the Board of Equalization, the commissioner’s duty is to review property assessments and respond to requests for adjustments. Properties with the same amenities should be taxed in a like manner.

3. What incentives do you have for new businesses coming to Kimball? What do you have for incentives for staying businesses?

The County Commissioners do not have the authority to give a new business or an existing business tax breaks. We are required to see that all business owners are treated the same, from a taxation standpoint.

4. What is Pictometry and what good will it bring to our county?

The Pictometry program provides an aerial photo of each county property. It would eliminate the need for county employees to personally observe and measure each property. The road department, sheriff’s department and even the City and Villages will also have access to the program. The intent is to make the Assessor’s Office more efficient as they can remain working in the office and not have to rely on the weather to make the property inspections, etc.

Kimball City Council Candidates

Christy Warner

The city received a 100000 donation, if you were the one to decide on where the money went, what would you do with it?

That sounds like a lot of money but it really isn’t when you look over the budget for the city. The person who donates it she would make sure or take into consideration their wishes. She wouldn’t want to spend it all in one spot, she would want it in a reserve, we can use the interest off of it. It would probably go to community projects or multiple. For example ball fields stuff at the park, update them unless there is a specific request from the donator.

Well lit streets are known to discourage loitering, vandalism and other crimes. What are you planning on doing to address the lack of street lighting in many areas of the south end in order to ensure safety in our neighborhood?

We are already currently talking to people to see if we can get donations to get assistance to put up lighting towards the walking trail. Unfortunately nothing has come back yet. It is important that our street lights are functional, we are upgrading the actual lights that we, as a city use. The reason for that is the types of light bulbs determine the distance that the light can reach. Our electrical crew, is attempting to make updates as they are able to.

How will you encourage the strengthening and enforcement of city regulations to make businesses, tenants and homeowners to keep their property clean?

That is tricky. We can have all the rules in the world but enforcing them is different because it’s civil, not criminal. When we go to court to enforce that the rules are different. It takes a lot of time effort and money of the city to try and get those enforced. We hired an officer to go around for ordinance control. We have taken more action over the last couple of years, then we have in the past. An example is the Longhorns to address those situations, we are taking action.

John Morrison

If the city received $100,000 I would consult with administration to figure out the best way to use the money.

Thoughts that I have would be to make capital improvements, repair city streets, and sewer lines.

Well lit streets are known to discourage loitering, vandalism and other crimes. What are you planning on doing to address the lack of street lighting in many areas of the south end in order to ensure safety in our neighborhood?

To address the issues of lighting in certain neighborhoods I would ask the board of public works for a report and ask for their opinion on what to do from there.

How will you encourage the strengthening and enforcement of city regulations to make businesses, tenants and homeowners to keep their property clean?

The way I would encourage our city to enforce the issue of keeping property clean is to bring the issue to the individual’s attention, encourage people to keep their property clean it willingly, and try to change people’s attitude on how their property looks. I want people to make sure their property is livable and potentially refurbish their property if they are willing too.

Matt Bright

The city received a 100000 donation, if you were the one to decide on where the money went, what would you do with it?

First, I would ask the person who donated the money what they would like us to do with it. If they didn’t have a particular directive, I would try to find a matching grant and work on replacing the event center with a true community center.

Well lit streets are known to discourage loitering, vandalism and other crimes. What are you planning on doing to address the lack of street lighting in many areas of the south end in order to ensure safety in our neighborhood?

This is a Board of Public Works issue. However, if the other utility departments could figure out their budgets and the electrical department wasn’t spending all their money keeping them afloat, then there may be money to do that. I built property on the south side and the city ignored me when I asked about lighting, so I put in my own lights.

How will you encourage the strengthening and enforcement of city regulations to make businesses, tenants and homeowners to keep their property clean?

City council members and staff should set good examples. I would also try to encourage more people to buy instead of rent and to make landlords take better care of their properties. And possibly offer discounts on other utilities, such as sewer, for citizens who spend more on water in order to keep up their lawns.

 

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