New police officer: The Bennington Police Department has hired Greg Kelly to fill the position held by Officer Travis Herbolsheimer. Travis is returning to his hometown of Norfolk to take a position with the Stanton County Sheriff's Office. Greg has served as a sergeant with the Douglas County Sheriff. He starts May 10. The Police Department had a busy month, especially in the enforcement of speed limits: They issued 59 speeding citations in March and the first week of April.
Farmers market: The Council approved the closure of South 2nd Street between Stark and Molley for a new farmers market. Organized by the Bennington Chamber of Commerce and the Bennington Community Foundation, the farmers market is scheduled for Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings on these dates: June 16, July 3 and 21, August 7 and 18, September 4 and 22, and October 2.
Commercial land use: The Council approved a change to the city's future land use map to show commercial development north of Highway 36 between 159th and 168th streets. This action does not change zoning; it's a preliminary step that communicates to developers how we would like to shape the city's continued development. More commercial development promises more convenient services for our residents and more sales tax revenue, and the highway corridor is attractive for businesses. Separately, the Council gave final approval to rezone for commercial use the vacant lot at 156th and Warehouse streets.
Update on street projects: Regarding 156th Street and CW Hadan Drive:
Improvements to CW Hadan Drive will take place sooner than planned, with completion before Bennington Daze weekend. This widening of the street will allow for truck parking on the north side, making the street safer and the nearby businesses more accessible.