The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:
Q: What is the roughly 3x4-square-foot “box” made out of chain link fence material at the 19th Street and Delaware railroad crossing? I can’t figure out a purpose for it.
A: Aaron Dressel, public works director, explained that the “fence and pedestrian gate are to provide a pedestrian escape route if the crossing gate arms come down when someone is crossing the tracks. The pedestrian gate swings away from the tracks only, allowing the pedestrian to turn around and exit the area. The fence restricts pedestrians from exiting onto the adjacent street. This was a requirement of the railroad from the quiet zone diagnostic review.”
Q: When an electric car recharges at a public recharging station, such as at a gas station or rest stop, who pays for the electricity? Also, as electric cars do not fill up with fuel, how do electric car owners contribute to the gas taxes that are collected for roads, etc., which other auto drivers pay for when purchasing gas?
A: We asked Mark Becker, supervisor of corporate media and media services for the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). He explained that “the public charger owner pays for the electricity used. To be compensated, before an electric vehicle can be charged at a public charging station available to the public, the individual would need to pay by credit card or through a system where the EV (electric vehicle) owner is billed for their charges over the course of a month.
“Electric vehicle owners pay a $75 fee upon license registration annually in lieu of gasoline taxes. When an EV is charged the cost includes the appropriate sales tax and in retail communities served by NPPD, the cost of the electricity purchased would come back to the city, such as York, in the form of a lease payment that has been in place for a number of years,” Becker said.
Q: When will the city be considering the one and six year street program for the year? If someone wants to suggest a project for the year, how would they go about it? And if residents have any opinions about any projects, can they voice those opinions? How would that be done?
A: “The city will be considering the one- and six-year street program in February. If someone would like to suggest a project or problem area, they could go to the city’s website and use the ‘Find It Fast’ tab located at the top of the page, click on ‘Contact City’ and simply fill out the form. If someone would like to speak directly to me about a project they are also welcome to come to the city office and share their opinion,” says Aaron Dressel, public works director.
Q: Does the York School District have a policy about teenagers sharing inappropriate digital photos (on their phones, on social media) of other teenagers who are underage?
A: Superintendent Mitch Bartholomew explained: “York Public Schools has spent a lot of time and resources focused on digital citizenship. We have brought in several speakers and have implemented a monthly lesson for our students. Students have learned the importance of self image and identity, cyberbullying, digital footprint and reputation, relationships and communication, internet safety, and privacy and security. As always, you can access our student handbooks at www.yorkpublic.org to view our student code of conduct.”
Q: Will any of the brick streets in York be fixed this coming summer? There are some areas that are just so rough you can barely drive over them.
A: “If you are aware of any brick streets that need repair please go to the city’s website and under the ‘Find It Fast’ tab click on ‘Contact the City’ and fill out the form to notify us of these bad areas that are in need of repair,” said Aaron Dressel, the city’s public works director. “Brick streets are difficult to maintain and will remain a point of discussion into the future on whether to repair or replace them.”
Q: Why can’t we shoot down all the drones that have been flying over York?
A: As stated by York Police Chief Ed Tjaden and many other members of law enforcement and government agencies: “We certainly do not advocate intentionally downing or damaging them (the drones); there are ordinances regarding the discharge of firearms inside city limits, and also statutes regarding damaging property. So far we have no reports that indicate any laws have been broken, and at this time we recommend calm and patience.”
Q: Will there be a lot of trees in the York parks that will have to be cut down this year because of the emerald ash borer?
A: “The city has approximately 600 ash trees on public property,” said Aaron Dressel, the city’s public works director. “These trees will be removed as needed. The city always tries to replace any trees that are removed when money is available to do so.”
Q: When will we know who the other people are, who were involved in the break-ins and attempted break-ins in downtown York between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
A: The investigation remains ongoing and if/when arrests are made, those will be announced by the police department and published in the York News-Times.
Q: Every time it snows I wonder how many miles of street do the York public works guys have to clean off?
A: The city has 44 miles of concrete streets and 20 miles of asphalt. There are also some short stretches of gravel streets within city limits.
Q: Who was playing the beautiful Christmas music downtown during the holiday season in York? I could hear it while I was parking my car and shopping and so forth and it was so wonderful to hear the Christmas music. Who was pla78ying it?
A: The Christmas music downtown was coming from Cornerstone Bank.