Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
1 minute
Read so far

Skylon proposal is voted down

Posted in:



HARTINGTON — The Skylon Ballroom will hold its last dance this summer, and will most likely be torn down after that.

Hartington city voters decided the fate of the historic ballroom Tuesday, with 357 people voting against a proposal to move and refurbish the Skylon, while only 231 people favored the proposal.

Local residents voted in favor, however, of building a new city shop to replace the antiquated shop now being used. That vote came in at 345 in favor and 239 against.

Mayor Mark Becker said the city's residents have spoken, and now the city needs to "sit down and figure out what comes next."

Becker said the city desperately needs a community center. Local residents decided they did not want to pay for a $1.6 million bond to move, expand and update the facility, however.

Building a new community center would most likely cost twice that amount, Becker said.

If the issue would have been approved, construction crews would have been able to begin work late this summer and the building would most likely have been moved in the fall, Becker said. It's feasible that the refurbished facility would have been open some time in the summer of 2025, he said.

Now the fate of a community center here is in limbo.

The city held two Town Hall meetings this spring to inform people about their proposal, which would have moved the Skylon west to a lot in the new economic development business park.

Current Skylon owner Roger Wortmann said if the city does not move the building, it will have to be torn down to make room for a business expansion at his plumbing and electric business, which is located just north of the Skylon.

Becker said voters had a tough choice to make, but now the City Council will now have to go back to the drawing board and make some tough choices of their own.

"Hartington has always been a pretty progressive community. A community like ours needs an event center," Becker said.

While local voters turned down the Skylon proposal, they favored a proposal for a $1.1 million bond to build a new city shop for the city's fleet of vehicles, equipment and supplies.

Current Supt. of Utilities Corey Kramer said the city has 14 large pieces of equipment, so the machinery will have to be "double stacked" in the building since a seven-door facility is being planned.

"We have equipment stored all over right now," he said. "It would be nice to have it all in one place."

The city currently stores equipment and supplies at the city shop, in the old fire hall, in a horse barn and at the city auditorium, he said.