City's number of building permits
stays at usual level
Last said the city issued 428
building permits in 2002, almost exactly the number issued in 2001.
The city's average is between 400 and 450 annually.
The city received $15,477.24 in
fees for building permits last year, although fees are not collected
for every permit that is issued. The city does not charge fees for
ramps, driveways and fences, and also does not collect fees for
construction in an enterprise zone.
Value of the construction that
took place in the city in 2002 is estimated at $5,329,518.17,
according to Last. Of that, $2,306,000 was for new construction,
including the Casey's General Store on Fifth Street, the gymnasium
for Lincoln Christian College and the new west-side home of
New construction accounted for
14 of the 438 building permits, and additions and alterations for
another 63. Remodeling accounted for 60 more, roofing for 116 and
siding for 51 permits. Fifty permits were issued for fences, 17 for
utility sheds, 13 for garages, six for decks and eight for
driveways. Foundations, pools, ramps, signs and demolition accounted
for the rest.
Last said he believes the
number of permits stayed at the usual level because of the present
low interest rates. Property owners could go ahead with building or
remodeling plans because they could get loans or refinance at very
While enterprise zones do not
bring the city immediate revenue, they benefit the city in the long
run because they encourage businesses to locate here, he said. A
property in an enterprise zone gets an abatement of at least some
real estate taxes, usually 75-80 percent, for the first five years,
and then an abatement of about 50 percent for the second five-year
period. Companies also get sales tax deductions on materials bought
in Logan County.
Last said the only big-dollar
construction project scheduled for 2003 at this time is the Pedcor
development, a 56-unit apartment building at 1101 N. State St.
called Brainard's Landing. He said his office has received
applications for permits for six new buildings but has not yet
received payment for the permits. Zoning for the apartment complex
was approved in 2000, but no construction has taken place as yet.
said he did not know of any other major construction project
scheduled for 2003.
[to top of second column in
County completes first
year of building permit fees
County Zoning Enforcement Officer Bud
Miller reported issuing 101 building permits in 2002. Fees collected
added $4,982 to the county general fund.
Building permit fees were new to the
county starting Jan. 1, 2002. "We probably were the only county in
the state that didn't collect them" prior to that, Miller admitted.
In December 2001 the Logan County Board instituted building permit
fees of $50 for a new home or business and $25 for an accessory
building or an addition. Before 2002 the county issued building
permits but did not charge for them.
Estimated cost of construction in the
county during 2002 was $5,587,611, excluding the value of the land.
The largest commercial project was a grain bin at Burtonview Co-op
west of Lincoln on Route 10; its estimated cost was $235,000.
Building permits were purchased for
construction of 27 new homes. Ten were valued over $165,000 with the
highest at $260,000. In addition, three permits were issued for
manufactured homes. Permits were also obtained for 16 additions to
homes, nine garages, two swimming pools and two fences.
Fourteen permits were issued for pole
barns and sheds, four for metal buildings, 16 for other barns and
sheds, and four for other construction.
The zoning office issued six permits
for telecommunications towers and antennas. In a zoning ordinance
amendment passed last May, the county board instituted fees of
$1,000 for communication towers, equipment, building and fencing and
$500 for attaching a new device to an existing tower. Most of the
six permits in 2002 were issued before the fees were enacted,
according to Phil Mahler, director of the Logan County Regional
building permit fees are higher in the city than in the county
because the city has the expense of performing inspections. The city
inspects buildings under construction to be sure they meet building
code standards. Although the county zoning office does not conduct
any inspections, the Logan County Health Department does check
septic and water, and the state inspects plumbing, Mahler added.
But what happens when the children of
Logan County associate King only with a day off from school and some
extra history lessons?
The Logan County chapter of the
Tri-County AmeriCorps stepped in yesterday to prevent such a sad
state of affairs. With the help of many AmeriCorps volunteers, they
put together a special event to give the children of Logan County
the feel of all that King stood for. Ten booths, manned by about a
dozen AmeriCorps members, were set up in the Pegram Room of the
Lincoln Public Library. Although children were encouraged to follow
the booths in order, many of them ran back and forth between their
favorite booths over and over again.
Booth 1: At Booth 1, children traced
their hand onto a piece of colored craft foam. After Ellen Ferguson
or one of the other volunteers cut out the hand, each child wrote
out "S-E-R-V-E" on the hand, one letter on each finger. Then the
child was instructed to think of something he or she could do to
serve others. Then a magnet was fastened to the back so that the
hand could hang on the refrigerator and remind the children to help
and serve others.
Booth 2: When children came up to Booth
2, Kaye Koberlein greeted them and gave them a choice of four badges
to color. The badges stood for four types of heroes: police, fire,
AmeriCorps and teachers. After coloring the badge, children were
given construction paper and string to hang the badge around their
Booth 3: With the help of Kim Stauffer,
children at Booth 3 wrote letters to their heroes chosen at booth 2.
Some children wrote personalized letters, some to their own teacher.
Others wrote more general letters of thanks. Some even drew pictures
for the heroes.
Booth 4: After writing to present
heroes, and learning how to be serving heroes themselves, children
could relax at Booth 4 and learn about a very special past hero,
Martin Luther King Jr. Curled up on a blanket, Jaymi Braghini read
"Martin's Big Words," by Doreen Rappaport, to any children who
curled up with her. (Some children came many times.)
[Photos by Gina Sennett]
[Jaymi Braghini talks with a student.]
Booth 5: At Booth 5, the winners and
participants of the MLK Day writing contest were displayed. There
were two categories, third grade and sixth grade. The third-grade
winner was Evan Newton from Northwest School with his acrostic of
Martin L. King. The sixth-grade winner was Leah Shirly from West
Lincoln-Broadwell with her essay, "I Have a Dream."
[to top of second column in
Booth 6: At Booth 6, children met John
Mark Boonaerts, who grew up in Belgium. Some of the day's activities
were to introduce children to different cultures, hoping to produce
cultural tolerance. Boonaerts taught the children about the country
and culture of Belgium. He showed them a map, played music and even
showed them some Belgian comic books. Some children learned to say
"I love you" in Dutch. Finally, he offered them pieces of real
[John Mark Boonaerts teaches students about Belgium.]
Booth 7: Booth 7, manned by Boonaerts'
wife, Michelle, consisted of a four-paneled display of
African-Americans, past and present, who have fought for equality.
The display included a lot of information gained from the
website on many different people, including
Washington Carver and
Booth 8: At Booth 8, Sean Littell
helped children make people out of popsicle sticks and paper. These
people had big hands (shaped from the children's hands), which also
had the letters "S-E-R-V-E" on them -- another reminder that being a
hero, like King or the firemen or police men, means service.
Booth 9: Above Booth 9, a sign
proclaimed, "Building relationships to destroy prejudice." This was
the purpose of both Booth 9 and Booth 6. At Booth 9, children
learned about another foreign culture: Haiti. Jayson Ferguson, who
visited Haiti, brought pictures and coins to show the children. He
also told them about the poverty, religion and way of life of the
people of Haiti. Children could take a small green maraca to remind
them of the Haitians.
[Jayson Ferguson teaches two students about the
culture of Haiti.]
Booth 10: Finally, once children were
done learning all about service, diversity and heroism, they could
help with a diversity project of their own. At Booth 10, Allison
Lindemann helped children create different colored handprints on a
black piece of paper. The many colors provided a stunning example of
the beauty of diversity.
work of the AmeriCorps paid off. Not only did children leave knowing
more, they obviously loved doing it. Children would return again and
again to their favorite booth to hear about King, or Belgium, or
Haiti. And, perhaps, Martin Luther King Jr. Day will mean more to
them now than just a day off from school.