February 10, 2014
Present were Chairman Dan Kling, Commissioners Jack Andersen and James Krotz and County Clerk Sindy Coburn.
Acting as the Board of Equalization the Commissioners reviewed and approved a correction sheet reassigning ownership of two lots in Hay Springs; one owned by Cynthia Peters and the other by Steven Peters.
The Commissioners reviewed and approved monthly claims for payment including one in the amount of $4526 for the ongoing care of neglected horses seized by the Sheriff on Oct. 17, 2013. The County hopes to recover some of these costs if the case against the owner is successfully prosecuted.
Road Superintendent Tom Kuester asked that he and Board Chairman Dan Kling be authorized to negotiate purchases from the Federal Surplus Program. The county has not purchased from the program in recent years but if suitable equipment should be listed Kuester wants to be able to act promptly. The Board approved the authorization.
At 10:00 the annual One and Six Year Road Plan Hearing was convened in the County Shop. Kuester presented a plan that includes 5 projects for 2014 and retains only 3 projects on the six-year plan. Kuester told those present that the availability of water for road projects is becoming an ever more pressing problem. Gordon, Rushville and Hay Springs are very cooperative about providing water but the cost of hauling water over long distances can add significantly to the cost of road projects. Irrigators are often helpful but limitations on groundwater use are making it ever more difficult for farmers find enough water for their crops. Surface water from streams and ponds is simply not an option since the state is very reluctant to approve permits.
Citizens attending the hearing expressed no concerns about the proposed plan. The Board was pleased to hear positive comments about the performance of the red-rock/native gravel material now in use on heavily traveled roads.
The Hearing was closed and the Board approved the One and Six Year Road Plan as presented. Copies of the plan are available for public inspection at the office of the County Clerk or the County Road office.
Sheriff Terry Robbins and Assistant County Attorney Aaron Conn presented to the Commissioners the new 3-year law enforcement services contract they negotiated with the Rushville City Council. The agreement is little changed from the previous version though the Sheriff has agreed to enforce certain city ordinances. The Commissioners agreed that the relationship is mutually beneficial and that the terms of the contract were fair. The contract was approved and signed.
The Board received a request from Jennifer Ponce of the DOVES Program asking that the Commissioners give their consent to the Emergency Shelter services the program offers in Sheridan County. The consent form is a new requirement for grant applications for funding from the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program. DOVES does not have a residential shelter in Sheridan County but provides shelter for abuse victims by means of vouchers for local motels/hotels. The Commissioners agreed that we need to support the program and voted to authorize the Chairman to sign the certificate.
Commissioner Andersen reported on the increasing number of IRS audits of Nebraska Counties. Those audits have revealed that the IRS does not accept two common compensation/reimbursement practices. The Board will consider necessary revisions to policy at their next meeting.
The next scheduled meeting of the Commissioners is set for Monday, February 24.
Submitted by James Krotz
The minutes of this and all meetings of the Board of Commissioners are available to the public at the office of the Sheridan County Clerk. All meetings of the Board of Commissioners are held in compliance with Nebraska Open Meetings Law.