Friday, September 23, 2022

Exeter Village Board Passes Budget


The Exeter Village Board opened their budget hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13.  After a brief discussion on the budget with no public comment, the board looked at the three options presented.

The first budget option asks the residents for the same dollar request as last year, the second asks for the same levy rate as last year but the third splits the difference between the two options.

“In the scheme of things we have a $360,000 budget for a city?  We are trying to make ends meet on nothing,” explained Chairman Alan Michl. “We had a valuation increase but by state law we are only allowed to take two percent.”

The board opened the one and six year road plan hearing and discussed options for financing additional paving.  Board member Justin Harre suggested that when the pool bond is paid off more road paving could be bonded.

After closing the hearings the board opened their regular meeting with member Jim Anderson absent.  They approved the last meeting minutes and there were a few questions on invoices for the fire department that Clerk Becky Erdkamp explained will be reimbursed by the fire department.

After the invoices were approved the Resolution 22-01 to set tax requests was presented with option two which leaves the levy at the same level but with the higher property valuation there will be an increase of $28,862.00 in the budget.  The board (including Anderson) also voted to increase the levy by the allowable one percent.

The board approved the budget and also Resolution 22-02, the one and six year road plan as proposed.

Next up on the agenda was Fillmore County Senior Services Director Brenda Motis, who gave an update on the Senior Center.  She informed the board that the current Senior Center Advisory Board members are Dave Polak, Barb Jansen, Gary McBride, Sharon Dyer, Elaine Krejci and Diane Hanson.

The senior center recently changed getting their Tuesday meals from the Fairmont Senior Center to now Sweetwater Bar in Exeter. Motis noted they have seen a large increase in participants, “The meals are hot, great portions and delicious food.  People feel good about patronizing a local business.”

Motis briefly touched on the recent health inspector visit which the board had discussed at a prior meeting.  The quote Motis received from a local plumber was $10,000 to put the sink air gap in to meet the code.  “You can use a lot of plastic silverware for that amount,” Motis commented.

Currently the senior center is self-sustaining with a buedget around $11,000.  With the increase in attendance, Motis hopes to more with programming.

The board discussed a property in town that is going up for tax auction on September 19.  Board member Bob Mueller has done some research and found that the paving assessment on the property will not be paid from auction funds.

The board passed a motion to bid on the property to recover taxes and paving owed.

There was no marshals report.

Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller reported that the pool is drained and is looking for a leak in the main drain of the pool.  He also noted that it will need to be painted. 

Mueller completed the build up of north Main street and is working on a new permit for the lagoons, “They cut our ammonia limits in half again so there is no way we can meet those,” Mueller explained.

He added that the village will need to add an additional lagoon or look for a way to use the water in watering a crop.

Mueller added that the village mower is not working right now.  The company cannot get the parts that are needed. The board discussed the progress of the batting cages project but the 12’ fencing is not being produced right now so they are looking at alternatives. 

Clerk Becky Erdkamp reported sales tax for June was $13,699.61 and Keno funds for July were $361.20.

The board moved to go into Executive session at 8:20 to discuss personnel wages and returned at 8:35 p.m. The board approved five percent raises for the maintenance supervisor, clerk and librarians while chairperson and members will stay the same.

The board set the next meeting for October 4.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Throwback Thursday 9/16/2012




The Homeownership Opportunity Program (HOP) to provide down payment subsidies to Home-buyers for the purchase of existing homes within Fillmore County has been extended to March 22, 2013.

Eligible applicants include persons/families looking to purchase a home in Fillmore County and whose incomes are 80% or lower than the median household incomes of Fillmore County, NE, adjusted for family size.  For example, a family of four with a combined household income of $45,600 or less may qualify.  Other applicant eligibility criteria include:

·         Home being purchased must be the principal residence of the buyer

·         Completion of a Homeownership Training Program

·         Creditworthiness



Mr. Jordan Marr’s senior psychology class is currently studying about human behavior.  For this lesson, each student created a poster, depicting his or her personality through the use of images  The students will continue their study of behavior by creating a survey and participating in a naturalistic observation experiment.


Exeter-Milligan showed off its football field’s new look on Friday night.  The new crow’s nest is three stories high with storage on the bottom floor, a seating area on the middle floor which will be raffled off each game and a top floor for coaches and announcers. The new scoreboard was also used for the first time during Friday’s Homecoming game with Exeter-Milligan posting the first numbers of the night.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Exeter-Milligan School Board Passes Coop Measure with Friend


The Exeter-Milligan school board opened their budget hearing in the Exeter site gym with a large crowd.

Superintendent Paul Sheffield presented information on the budget and levy.  He explained that there is a two percent increase in the budget.  He noted that the levy has decreased from $1.26(including the building fund) 15 years ago to the current level of .62. 

The board closed the budget hearing and opened the levy request hearing with Sheffield explaining that the total levy is .61785 down from .6250 last year.

After closing the levy request hearing the board opened their regular meeting and approved the consensus agenda before opening the public comment period.

Chairman Adam Erdkamp explained that anyone could speak once for five minutes but the board would not respond to questions or comments during the public comment period.

Nearly every speaker thanked the board for all the time and energy they have invested in the district and in the students.

First to take the microphone was Sara Pella, an Exeter resident, former EM teacher and current long term sub at Friend.  She pled with the board to approve the coop stating, “ The opportunities that these students not only could have but should have with this coop would help them become better athletes, drama students, quiz bowl teammates, and more. This co-op would challenge each student to make them a better teammate, challenge them to become a better leader, challenge them to work harder, create mental and physical toughness, challenge them to study more, all of which are great attributes that will make life a little easier once they are out of high school.”

Next was EMF FFA Advisor and shop teacher at EM Miranda Hornung, who recalled her request to the board to separate the Exeter-Milligan FFA club from the Friend prior to the school year.  She explained that she no longer wanted that after she had experienced the entire group attending Husker Harvest Days earlier in the day. 

She was encouraged by the unity she saw in the students while they were sporting their EMF FFA shirts and saw the opportunities the coop will provide.

Exeter resident and EM history teacher and junior high football coach Brian Murphy expressed his thoughts that the “positives far outweigh the negatives in cooping.”

He spoke about the advantages of “competition and collaboration for students. “

As a patron Murphy encouraged the board to act before the legislature forces small schools to coop, “This is a great opportunity for students.  I believe working with Friend is in the best interest of students and patrons.”

Exeter resident Becky Erdkamp encouraged the board to put aside emotion and look at the facts.  “It’s about being a part of something that is bigger than one person. . .Competition pushes us to achieve more.”

Matt Nicholas, Exeter-Milligan science teacher and golf coach explained that he was in favor of the coop and encouraged the board to vote yes.  He asked the board to explain what the next steps might be in their discussion period since the Friend board had a tied, and thus, a negative vote.

Exeter-Milligan junior Troy Kallhoff was next at the podium and he explained he had polled some of the students at EM and found 22 were not in favor of the coop. He noted he did not poll all of the students.

He added that he wanted to make sure the board was aware of the students’ thoughts, but added, “We understand that whatever decision you make it will be in our best interests. I just want the academics to be as important as the athletics are.”

Exeter area resident Kevin Songster expressed his concern about so many of the activities taking place in Friend and was concerned that all of the football might be moved to Friend eventually.  He asked the board to consider finding more ways to seat more people in the Exeter gym so that volleyball could be played in Exeter.

Songster concluded, “If this is going to be a coop and fair to everyone there needs to be something in every town. It’s really not a coop if everything is in one town. I’m not for or against.  Let’s just make it fair for all of the communities.”

Friend alumni David Segner expressed that he came to show his support for the students of both district.  He heard students were upset after the Friend meeting.  He noted that the current activities the districts share have been “very successful and provide a great opportunity for our kids. . .why not add to it?”

Milligan resident and EM alumni Tina Yound  spoke about the disappointment in the Friend vote. “I truly do not believe that this is over.  Trust in your administration and coaches . . .vote for a yes for the coop with Friend.”

Danielle Pendleton a Friend alumni and resident didn’t want to let an opportunity to speak pass her by.  She explained that “Community members (in Friend) didn’t feel that they needed to speak as they felt the majority was in favor.”

She added that “Emotions can cloud judgement. I trust our administration to set us up for success.”

With no one else coming forward to comment the board closed the public comment period at 8:31 p.m.

The board moved on to a playground construction update which Sheffield explained should be completed in the next several weeks.

Under action items the board approved the budget, the property tax resolution and Sheffield as the representative for all local, state and federal programs.

With a motion brought up about the coop Sheffield shared a sample motion with an option for Friend to pass the coop by Dec 1.

Several board members objected to giving Friend that much time and asked to limit the proposal to November 1.

Board member Dan Kallhoff questioned if the board should vote as Friend had already voted against the coop.

Board member Eric Milton responded that he thought the Friend board questioned the EM commitment and felt if the EM board voted it would “throw it back in their laps.”

The board discussed the legality of Friend re-voting on the issue.  Sheffield and Erdkamp explained that it would require a majority vote to put the item back on the agenda.

Board member Allen Vavra commented, “I get that it didn’t pass Monday night, but my question is on the timeline.  You either want to do it or you don’t… I don’t want to work with a coop when one board doesn’t want to do it.”

He then questioned if Friend would introduce another proposal.  Milton responded, “I don’t want to vote on a different proposal.”

“I don’t want to approve this and leave it open ended,” added Kallhoff, “Like we are giving a blank check.”

Vavra asked about the latest that a coop could be decided and Sheffield responded that due to scheduling and conference alignment, December would be the latest.

Kallhoff confirmed that speech and one act would be part of the coop but Sheffield explained that Quiz Bowl would not be included as it takes place during the school day and is not a NSAA activity.

Several board members took the opportunity to make their position known starting with Kendra Jansky.  “I want what’s best for both communities.  Tough choices have to be made. . .but this is not a tough decision.  We can work together toward the goal. . .we have to trust both administrations will do their job.”

Erdkamp expressed his disappoint with those on the Friend board who voted no, “the reasons they didn’t vote for the coop were selfish. They didn’t listen to the people. . .look at the data and what patrons want to do.  We are willing to give them a chance to correct it.”

Board member Paul Jurgensen expressed his concern and noted that the districts need to “look at the enrollment. We have to do something.. . today or tomorrow it may not matter but it two or three years it sure will.”

With no other board discussion Erdkamp called for a vote on the coop and the board voted unanimously to coop all NSAA activities with Friend.  The audience exploded in loud applause after the decision was confirmed.

The board closed the meeting by setting the next meeting for Oct 12 in Milligan.


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

EM Band Takes First Place at Applejack Festival Parade

The Exeter-Milligan Band Placed First in Class D bands at the Applejack Festival Parade in Nebraska City on Saturday.


Sunday, September 18, 2022

EMF Scores Big at Freeman

EMF came out hot putting up two touchdowns on their first two possessions but Freeman decided to wake up and get on the board themselves  in the first quarter.  EMF led at the half 40-24 with a touchdown scored with just 4 seconds to spare in the half.  Both teams scored making it 46 -30 then EMF took a turn 52-30,  Freeman was back at it 52-38.  EMF tacked on two more making it 66-38 and Freeman decided to do an onsite kick which they recovered and converted along with another score making it 66-54.  Freeman scored again and kicked a field goal making it 66-61 but EMF found the end zone again with a final of 74-61.