The following questions were asked recently on the Wonderline:

Q: Whatever happened to the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women inmate, (Christine) Bordeaux, who was suing the state after she was beaten by her cell mate (Erica) Jenkins? I don’t remember seeing any follow-up and I couldn’t find anything online.

A: That case is ongoing – it remains open and there has not yet been any resolution in the matter.

The proceedings are still active and a judgment/determination has not yet been reached.

Q: What rules/repercussions are there for a county, city or school government official who provides alcohol and drugs to minors? Do the officials have the same rules as a regular York patron of the city?

A: Well, yes, the law is clear regarding any adult that provides alcohol and/or drugs to minors. It is against the law and there are legal penalties (including opportunities for incarceration) if someone is convicted of doing so. And it doesn’t matter if they are a county, city or school official – it is against the law.

In fact, there would likely be extra penalties/ramifications for someone holding a county, city or school official position as the person would likely be forced out of that position if they were convicted of that type of crime. And that position change would be on top of the legal penalties that would be decided in court.

Q: What projects will receive money this fiscal year from the LB357 fund (the extra ½ percent city sales tax)?

A: According to budget documents from the city, there are six projects listed in the expenditure detail for the LB357 fund. They are the following:

• Quiet zone: Engineering, $50,000; construction, $820,000

• Parks: Harrison Park restroom remodel, $10,000

• Library: Two 15 ton HVAC, $50,000

• Street: Transfer for concrete panel project, $500,000

• School: Project, $60,000

• Community center: Boiler updates, $45,000

Q: I have seen lilac bushes blooming this week! It is October! I didn’t think that was even possible. Why would that be?

A: We went to a number of sources, including extension departments in a number of states, which said “occasionally plants respond to environmental cues in abnormal ways. Stressful weather conditions can cause some of the buds to open in the fall when the weather becomes milder.”

Q: Is there anyone in the York area that cleans out gutters?

A: If someone provides this type of service, they can leave a message with the Wonderline and we will pass along the contact information to this reader.

Q: Where did the name Nebraska come from?

A: Nebraska gets its name from a Native American word meaning “flat water” after the Platte River that flows through the state.

Q: How thick is the concrete on the new I-80 lanes between Omaha and Lincoln?

A: Interstate highway surfaces are 11 inches thick.

Q: We keep reading this stuff about the city’s buy/rehab/sell housing program. Can you explain more about it – I know there’s been more written about it, but I just don’t remember it all and I don’t think I read it all.

A: “We received this funding from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development last June. The purpose of this program is to rehab the existing housing stock in the City of York and help get families into quality, affordable housing,” said Derek Dauel, York County Development Corporation’s development coordinator.

The program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) and is implemented in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law (The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988).

The PRR program begins with an eligible person/family identifying a housing unit they would like to buy or the City of York may purchase a speculative property that is in need of rehabilitation in order to satisfy the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Quality Standards (HQS) and local standards for existing housing quality. The City of York will purchase the unit, perform the necessary rehabilitation, and resell the unit to the applicant while also providing down payment assistance. The money received from the sale of the home goes back into a revolving pool of money to continue rehabilitating homes. Down payment assistance can be as much as 10% of the purchase price and takes the form of a deferred, no-interest loan on the property that is due on sale.

“These houses that we are finding are solid, family homes, they just need a little money spent on updating both the interior and exterior of the homes,” explained Dauel.

The homes will receive anywhere from $5,000-$24,999 injected into rehab efforts. The maximum amount that can be spent on rehab is $24,999.

Here is a short listing of some of the eligible repairs: structural, HVAC systems, gutters, water heater, electrical, plumbing, weatherization, general maintenance, handicapped accessibility, relief of overcrowding, safety and code deficiencies.

The program is being administered through the York County Development Corporation (YCDC) offices with the help of the City of York offices and Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) offices. The rehab work is contracted out by SENDD and performed by area workers.

“We want to use area electricians, plumbers and builders whenever possible; they just need to have the proper certificates to work on these projects since we are dealing with federal dollars. To get that certification, you can contact SENDD and they will get you the proper information,” said Dauel.

Pre-approval for a mortgage loan is necessary for application. Applications can be picked up at the City Hall, York County Development Corporation offices, or from local realtors.

Other requirements include: the annual household income cannot exceed the HUD guidelines established (one individual in the household cannot make more than $40,400; two- $46,200; three - $51,950; four - $57,700; five - $62,350; six - $66,950; seven - $71,550; and eight - $76,200).

Homebuyers must invest at least $1,000 of their own funds towards the home purchase and must reside in home as the primary residence during the life of the down payment assistance loan.

The program started last June and Dauel has been working on the program since he was hired in November of 2018.

To get more information on the Purchase Rehab Resell program, contact your local realtor, city hall, the York County Development Corporation, or Jake with Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD). SENDD phone and email: 402-475-2560 and jvalentine@sendd.org. Specific calls or emails can be directed to Dauel, development coordinator, at YCDC, 402-362-3333 or email: ddauel@yorkdevco.com.

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