■ Editor’s note: Starting this month, The Imperial Republican and Wauneta Breeze will begin coverage of the twice-monthly Chase County Commissioner meetings. Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
The Chase County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Chase County Courthouse with Commissioners Jodi Thompson, Don Weiss, Jr. and Chuck Vette present.
Among the issues addressed at the meeting were county right-of-way, sale of a hospital-owned house, solid waste agency costs, feedlot zoning and roof replacement on the Wauneta roads shop building.
To avoid accidents involving farm equipment parked in ditches as well as take better care of the roads, the board tackled the issue of crops planted in the county right-of-way. Signs that were previously placed to remind farmers where the county property began have “disappeared.” Sheriff Kevin Mueller suggested that encroaching crops be mowed off.
Right-of-way was also discussed concerning a house for sale in Champion. Saying the house was up against the street, the board agreed to vacate four feet of lots number 7-12 on block six of the original town.
Hospital property to be sold
Chase County Community Hospital Administrator Steve Lewis and Mike Smith, facilities director, attended the meeting to determine if the commissioners needed to give approval for the Chase County Community Hospital Board of Directors to sell a house on West 6th Street.
The hospital has never asked for permission in the past, but Lewis said he wasn’t sure what the protocol was. The commissioners approved the sale by a 2-1 vote. Don Weiss, Jr. voted no, saying he didn’t believe the hospital needed the commissioner’s permission to sell its property.
County Attorney Arlan Wine was asked to research the issue for the next time the hospital wants to sell property.
Lewis also updated the group on the status of Dr. David Younger. Jones said Younger’s paperwork for his Nebraska license had hit a “snag” when the form to confirm his residency in Virginia was filled out incorrectly. Jones didn’t give a time as to when Younger would be in Imperial.
Solid Waste Agency
Imperial City Councilman John Arterburn and Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland attended the meeting to discuss the Solid Waste Agency which operates on a city/county interlocal agreement. Arterburn feels that the city is bankrolling the facility. Leyland said the accounts payable by the city for the Solid Waste Agency is $1,650,071 and for the county $326,348. As far as reimbursement, the city received $100,000 each of the last two years, while the county has received $30,000 in each.
Commissioner Thompson pointed out that there are many services, such as housing the jail, that the county provides for the city.
No action was taken on the issue.
Zoning for feedlot
With no one attending the public hearing to express comments, permission was granted to Shawn and Grant Jones to put in a Class I feedlot in southern Chase County.
General concerns about who is eligible to be “grandfathered in” concerning feedlots were brought up, as well as how the county monitors feedlots to make sure the number of cattle in them is equal to their permit.
Bids for Wauneta shop
A bid of $19,900 by Hondo Fanning Construction was approved to replace the roof at the Wauneta County Roads’ shop.
The bid for updating the electrical system and making changes in preparation for the new Wauneta County Roads building was given to Brophy Electric. Brophy’s bid was $18,980.
Both were the only bids received.
Commissioners suggested Andy Long of McCook Community College visit with the city concerning a business plan competition the college would like to hold.
County Emergency Manager Duane Dreiling presented the commissioners with pictures of decals for the emergency manager’s pickup, but the group will wait for an estimate before acting. Dreiling also asked for a long distance phone line to be installed for the county’s generators.
Strahinja Stepanovic and Deb Kuenning from the Perkins County Extension Office stopped by to introduce themselves and update the commissioners about the building being erected in Grant. The regional center will be similar to the North Platte research center and will host seminars and workshops, plus do crop studies.
The Perkins County Extension office is moving from a coop with Keith and Arthur Counties to one including Chase and Dundy Counties. Both Stepanovic and Kuenning will be working with programs in Chase County.
With a 2-1 vote, payment for one day’s worth of clerical help at the Immunization Clinic was approved. Weiss voted no, believing that the clinic needs to ask for permission to hire extra help.
USDA Farm Service Agency Office Manager Linda Fegler asked that the $200 fee to access the county’s assessor’s office system be waived for the FSA. Fegler said the records were shared for free until May when a new system started. With both offices being government agencies, Fegler would like to see the past agreement continue.
Thompson said the policy would be reviewed and that the new policy was probably put in place with real estate agencies, banks and oil companies in mind.
A broken TV was declared surplus equipment and Sheriff Kevin Mueller was given approval to dispose of it.
Commissioner Chuck Vette asked that next meeting’s agenda include informal bids for purchase of a work truck for Wauneta.
Billie Muehlenkamp, County Roads Department secretary, was given the authority to purchase 2,200 gallons of propane at $1.79, with 10 cents down, from Crossroads of Wauneta for the Wauneta County Roads’ shop .
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held at the Chase County Courthouse Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 8 a.m.
Budget hearing Tuesday
Thompson, Vette and Weiss met again Tuesday this week to approve the 2014-15 Chase County budget.
The budget was approved on a 3-0 vote. Also approved 3-0 was an increase in 2014-2015 restricted funds revenues by 1 percent.
The approved budget increases this year’s tax request to $2,781,270. This is an increase of $273,020 more than last year’s request of $2,508,250, representing an increase of 10.9 percent.
With the increased valuation in the county, the levy went from .279241 to .219512.