Dawson County Commissioners Accept One & Six Year Road Plans

The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. 
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Butch Hagan reported that he would be attending a landfill meeting this week and they will be looking at rebidding the expansion. He also has received one application for the highway superintendent position.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber appeared with January’s crime reports. Total services for the month were 903, which makes two months in a row that they were below 1,000. The average daily jail population was 69.1, which was about the same as December 2016. 42.6 per cent were Dawson County inmates and 26.5 contract inmates.
Deputy County Sheriff Mike Hudson reported that a canine had been retired by the department and that they are working on putting money into the budget for a new one, approximately $3,500.
DAD Executive Director Jennifer McKeone explained to the commissioners that one condition of the improvement grant for the Dawson County Fairgrounds is to have someone in the county provide administration. $15,000 is covered by the grant plus $15,000 in labor. $20,000 allocation will be granted in the two-year grant if McKeone is in charge. McKeone was given the go-ahead to be the administrator. 
Emergency Manager Brian Woldt appeared with specs for demolition of the old jail.  The commissioners approved to ask that bids for the asbestos removal in the building are to be submitted to the County Clerk by March 14, 2017 so as to be opened at the March 15, 2017 meeting. 
 At 8:30 a.m. a public hearing opened regarding the One & Six year road plans as presented by Highway Superintendent Randy Deans. He has met with the road committee and three foremen for input on priorities. There are currently three projects on the one-year plan and fourteen on the six-year plan. Bids will be sought for the March 1st meeting for the concrete overlay south of Overton overpass and the bridge south of Eddyville. “Contractors are hungry right now,” commented Lexington Mayor John Fagot.                                    
Cozad Attorney Brian Davis, accompanied by two Farnam residents, Betty Hoppe-Stevens and Ralph Widick visited with the board concerning a proposal to fund maintenance for rural cemeteries in the Farnam area. 
        Hoppe-Stevens and Widick had spent months collecting petition signatures from taxpaying residents in the three-county area around Farnam, Dawson, Frontier and Lincoln counties. The proposed cemetery district would include taxpayers from all three counties. Davis reported that about 65 per cent of taxpaying residents had signed the petition that would fund the maintenance of Farnam Cemetery, St. Joseph (Murphy) Catholic Cemetery and Independence Cemetery. 
       Hoppe-Stevens and Widick have already met with the county boards of Lincoln and Frontier counties and Lincoln County has approved the project. Frontier County Commissioners are still waiting on the paperwork to be completed.
      “I think having a district to maintain rural cemeteries is a good idea,” commented Commissioner Butch Hagan. “Some rural cemeteries are not taken care of very well and are neglected. I used to be the county’s highway superintendent and we would go in and mow the cemeteries so that they would look good for Memorial Day,” Hagan continued.
      “We need to ensure funding for the upkeep of these cemeteries into the future,” said Hoppe-Stevens. 
      The commissioners accepted the presentation of the petitions in support of the proposal to create a cemetery district and a future meeting will be set up between the commissioners and all three counties to approve and continue discussion on the project.
         At 9:16 a.m. a public hearing opened regarding the Special Use Permit application made by MSS Enterprises, LLC to construct and operate a 300 K W Solar array to be located northeast of Willow Island. Wayne Williams and Drake Beckstead presented and explained the Special Use Permit and authorization was granted for the application.
The commissioners approved the request from Mac’s Creek Winery in Lexington for a Special Designated Liquor License. Barry McFarland from Mac’s Creek had called Commissioner Bill Stewart to explain that this year’s event would be in Dawson County this year in a private home. Last year it was in Gosper County.
Charles McGraw, RYDE Transit, informed the commissioners that there is a March 1st deadline for the resolution for funding for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Federal funding to Dawson County is $183,000 and state funding $63,000. 
“Governor Ricketts is signing a decree for a public transit week to be observed April 9 -15,” McGraw noted.
McGraw had met with City of Lexington City Council and will be meeting with the councils in Cozad and Gothenburg to request local funding. 
A resolution was passed by the commissioners to approve $33,300 for the year 2017-2018 to Community Action Partnership of Nebraska-RYDE Transit.
Chairman Jacobson was authorized to sign the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts Agreement, Option #2.
Hagan asked if an interview could be set up with the highway superintendent applicant. Hagan had received positive references on the applicant. Dawson County Surveyor Mark Streit, County Highway Superintendent Pat Nichols and Lexington City Administrator Joe Pepplitsch will join Hagan in interviewing the candidate.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met prior to the Dawson County Commissioners meeting. 
Annual requests for vehicle tax exemptions were granted to Calvary Assembly of God, Camp Comeca, Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, Cozad Berean Church, Cozad Christian Church, Dawson County Parent Child Protective Services, Inc., Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska inc. Lexington Christian Church, Ministerio Intl Dios Es Amor, Inc., Nazareth Convent and Academy Nebraska District Council of the Assemblies of God, Overton Christian Church, South Central Developmental Services, Trinity Lutheran Church, United Church of Sumner and Victory Assembly of God. Requests still need to be filed by the American Red Cross, Cozad Housing Authority and the Lexington Regional Health Center.
Tax corrections were approved for parcels belonging to David R. Wolfe, Linda K. Frazier and Johnny Keifer.
The next regular meetings for the Board of Equalization and the Board of Commissioners are scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, NE.

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