WAHOO – The search for members to populate the Wahoo Rural Township board continues.
At their Nov. 5 meeting, the Saunders County Board of Supervisors voted to send a letter to all registered voters in the township seeking two individuals to serve on the board.
A public hearing was opened at the Oct. 22 meeting to discuss termination of the township’s governing body because there aren’t enough board members. Nebraska statute says a township board can be declared inactive if there are less than two members. The public hearing was left open until the Nov. 5 meeting.
The township board has not had enough members for a quorum since April 17, 2018, when the supervisors accepted the resignations of Karla Zima and Jeff Hanson. Board Chairman Randy Zima remained on the board.
Wahoo Rural Township is located in the county’s second district, which is represented by Doris Karloff. The boundaries are County Road 9 to the east, County Road 14 to the west, County Road F to the north and County Road L to the south. The Village of Ithaca is located in the township.
Road care, culverts and the disbursement of tax dollars are the primary functions of a township board of directors. Without a township board, the county is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the roads in the Wahoo Rural Township, as the county has no authority to spend the township’s money. If the township board is terminated, the county can use tax dollars from citizens in that area to pay for road care.
In the past 18 months, no one has stepped forward to be appointed to the township board. There were no names on the 2018 General Election ballot. Voters wrote-in several names on the ballot during the General Election. Terrell Brabec received the most tallies with four votes, Justin DeGroff had three votes and Tyler Munter and Jeff Hanson received two votes each.
After the election, the county held a recount on Nov. 28 for Wahoo Rural Township and several other races. No one who received votes for the Wahoo Rural Township board attended the recount. The county declared Brabec and DeGroff the top vote-getters, but both chose not to take seats on the board.
The county supervisors issued a public notice last May seeking people to fill the vacancies. The appointees were asked to serve a four-year term from 2019 to 2023. No one came forward.
In other action, the board voted 4-2 to approve a zoning change from transitional agriculture to residential estates for Whispering Ridge Estates, a proposed rural subdivision near Leshara. The developers plan 50 lots on the 160-acre piece of ground. The lots would be in three to five acres or larger.
Several local landowners who are not in favor of the zoning change have been present at numerous Saunders County Planning Commission and county supervisor meetings to voice their opposition. Their reasons include increased traffic, a burden on the local township budget and water concerns.
The planning commission did not recommend approval of the zoning change, citing water issues during the Sept. 9 public hearing. The developers provided information from a flyover study to show there was adequate water, but the county supervisors asked for more information during their Oct. 8 meeting.
At the Nov. 5 meeting, the developers provided information on test wells that show there was adequate water at the site. For that reason, the supervisors approved the zoning change, Supervisor Ed Rastovski said the next day during the Greater Wahoo Development Foundation meeting in Wahoo.
Rastovski said the development also fits in with proposed plans the county has for the area.
“It’s a place where we’d like to see development because it’s next to a highway,” he said.