Letters Develop The Bluffs with local resources

To the editor:

Dunham Developers shot a low ball at Jeff Pederson, city manager of Vermillion, to buy the whole Bluffs development. No one would discuss the numbers at the public meeting last (Monday) night. Under the terms, the city would have to dig into your pockets to let someone else get rich.

Eating crow makes us a poorer town. Local citizens take another look at Vermillion city's management. If they ran an ad for the meeting last night it would look like this:

Vermillion home owners: Get off your bluffets and build at The Bluffs. Only 2 percent down buys a lot or five. It happened last night at City Hall. Get your offer down here quick. Let's get these tax rolls up and running. There is no reason to delay. Local builders are ready to work with you. Local suppliers are ready to finance you, too. Life at The Bluffs never had less bluffing.

People to the city: Listen to us. We will help you build The Bluffs. Don't sell us out. Talk straight.

Are we still a town with no vision or do we have a stick in our eye? No visionary? Throw a monkey in there with a wrench. An out-of-town developer is ready to re-design it right, or wrong, but ready to re-do The Bluffs and commercialize it.

A deal is on the table. It is a low ball. Come on folks, think about it, get down there and tell the city what you want to see. I laid a plan on the table for an educational building department. Great copies of the best are needed. Smart money buys brains.

Some kinds of expansion enlarges assets and keeps the money too. Local money staying local builds local wealth. To do that you expand roads, frontage, sewers, water, utilities, and you expand governed services with "in house" development. Who will plan and create more quality of life, Dunham taking the money out, or this city's leadership to keep it here?

What was $55,000 worth of aerial photographs being approved for? The pictures will include a half a mile east of The Bluffs. The land east of The Bluffs Golf Course fronts on a free golf course, without the restrictions. More grace about a house is possible there.

Who owns that land? Was it zoned to protect the investment in The Bluffs? Development is about expansion. It can be done with grace or greed.

You take land, push the dirt around, water, seed, weed killer, wire and pipe, and mow it. Call it a golf course, a park, a play land. Build a few houses and get people dreaming. Put 'em on the tax rolls. But don't ignore them.

Stop, look and listen. Every thing west of The Bluffs should be put into good order at the same time with the tax bucks getting used where they were generated. Run down to city hall with your 2 percent. Don't build a future slum. Bankers? Hi Diddle Diddle, the Dow jumped over 10,000.

Matthew Williams


Kelly, we're glad you're back

To the editor:

Sometimes special efforts by individuals seem to be overlooked. Kelly Higgens returned to Vermillion to fill the position of athletic director for The University of South Dakota. The selection committee and President Abbott should receive a pat on the back for making such a good choice. While attending various sporting events at the Dakotadome the efforts Kelly and his staff put forth to make the programs successful and enjoyable can not easily go unnoticed.

Since Kelly has arrived, many creative fundraising activities have been added to the sporting events that increase the enjoyment of those attending these events. The frisbee toss, dash for cash, 50/50 drawing, and half time shoot-out programs are great ways to involve the crowd in the game and hopefully increase student attendance, while at the same time raising funds for Coyote sports.

New seating arrangements for basketball were offered to better involve the home crowd as well as increase ticket sales. We enjoyed a great season of basketball this year and with the new football program, the efforts Kelly and his staff put forth will add to the delight of the crowds.

Coyote fans, please join me in telling Kelly we are glad you came back and keep up the good work.

Randy Wheelock


Become involved in school issue

To the editor:

This year I served on a task force to examine present and future needs of the high school. After touring our high school as well as area schools, talking to staff and having several visits with an architect, we identified the following areas of need:

1. The addition of an auditorium to accommodate music events, plays, concerts, elementary and middle school programs, and community events.

2. Providing a modern and efficient library/media center that is handicap accessible, can handle adequate numbers of students, provides room for books and computer use.

3. Adding two new classrooms.

4. Providing adequate space for gymnastics, wrestling, volleyball and basketball.

5. Developing a commons/

dining area close to the auditorium that can be used for school lunches, and community functions.

The high school, built in 1965, is still in good condition but needs some renovating to meet the needs of our present day. At the time it was built, there were no sports for girls and only boy's basketball and wrestling were performed in the gymnasium. But in those 30 years, federal mandates have required equal opportunities for girls. Now during one season, gymnastics, wrestling, volleyball and basketball all compete for game and practice time in the facility. That's why some students practice at 6 a.m. and one sport (gymnastics) must use rented space that barely accommodates them. Originally, the high school was designed to have an auditorium, which never became a reality. Although there are auditoriums on the university campus, scheduling has become very difficult.

A school bond issue requires 60 percent favorable vote. This means we must all be involved in examining this important issue and arriving at a carefully thought out decision. The school board, after careful consideration and upon the advice of the task force, has decided to bring this issue to a vote of the people.

Please examine all information thoroughly and attend a public meeting on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the high school library. Neighborhood coffees will also be available. And remember to vote on April 13.

All of our children attended the Vermillion K-12 public schools. They do not live here any longer and our grandchildren do not attend school here.

Nevertheless, both Chuck and I want to support our schools and feel the need for these improvement. Some folks somewhere helped fund our education and we think it's important to continue that support. We want to offer the children of our community the best educational opportunities possible.

Fern Kaufman


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