Local News

Community center back on table

A community center for Hebron is definitely a go say city officials, but they want to make it a community involvement project overseen by the council – one of the reasons for disbanding the existing community center committee earlier this year. And while there exists two separate drawings created in the last decade for such a center, the city leaders would like to do away with them and start from scratch. Maybe.

In March, three tracts of farm ground in Thayer County (412 acres) bequeathed to the City of Hebron under the terms of the Jane Stastny Brinegar Revocable Trust, sold for approximately $2.6 million. (Tract 1 sold for $5,600 an acre; tract 2 went for $5,539 an acre; tract 3 sold for $7,200 an acre.) “We passed a resolution last month to accept the net trust distribution proceeds,” said Hebron councilwoman Beth Goldhammer, “and in so doing agreed to comply with the terms of the will. The proceeds must be used solely for the purpose of building and maintaining a community center in Hebron.”

On Monday night in special session, the council turned to the public for ideas and information sharing on how best to proceed. It would seem, according to those present who have been involved with the community center planning from the get-go, that Jane Stastny Brinegar read an article in this newspaper several years ago about the City’s interest in constructing a community center. She liked the idea and decided to include Hebron in her will. She passed away April 8, 2012.

During the special session, University of Nebraska-Lincoln education extension agent Phyllis Schoenholz and Thayer County Healthy Communities Coalition supervisor Megan Heinrichs collected information from the 30 or so citizens at the meeting stressing the need to remain positive. Debate over whether the city needs a community center or not is moot – the City must use the inherited funds for a center and nothing else.

While the council would like to oversee the project, Schoenholz recommended a steering committee made up of a handful of people to lead the way; an example might be two members of the city council and three members of the public. From there, subcommittees could be developed for special interests within the overall project such as kitchen design, landscaping, parking, a possible visitor’s center, etc.

“Right now, this project is at the very beginning stages,” Schoenholz told those in attendance Monday night and explained that right now would be the prime opportunity to let the city board know if there’s an interest in helping. “Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up at the City Office,” she said. “Simply list your name and fill in the part of the project that interests you.”

In the meantime, if anyone has questions they are encouraged to call city officials. A Facebook page is also available for updates at http://www.facebook.com/StastnyCommunityCenter?fref=ts. The next council meeting will be at the city office this Monday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m.

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