The Dawes County Commissioners met in regular session at 9:14 a.m. July The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jake Stewart. Board Members present were Vic Rivera and Levi Grant.
Correspondences acknowledged by the Board included Area Aging and NCAP Newsletters and NE. Dept. of Transportation regarding the STIP comment period. Wade Yada, Highway Superintendent, presented road updates including: District 1 - working on Ormesher Road and starting to gravel; District 2 - Squaw Mound Road is being worked on with gravel coming this week and District 3 - Gravel going down on Haynes Road. Discussion ensued regarding gravel supply and locations, among other topics. Commissioner Rivera discussed road projects be district-to-district with all crews involved, instead of each individual district working on a road project. Discussion ensued, with the result being all districts need to start working together on all road projects.
Jerry Feist with USDA, met with the Board regarding the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) contract for Dawes and Sioux Counties. The current contract requests an additional $12,000 from each county. According to Feist, the government has lost the cost share portion of the Wildlife Program. Feral hogs are requiring a huge amount of funding through USDA thus reducing funding to other entities. Feist presented an 11-month contract for predator control services in Dawes County at a cost of $31,886.25 with no benefits offered. Aerial services will continue to be a part of the contract. The contract is set to run August 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Discussion ensued, and the contract was later approved.
Kerri Rempp, Tourism Director, met with the Board. She presented grants for approval by the Board including: White River Wacipi in the amount of $1,300; Dawes County Fair in the amount of $1,500 and Grey Eagle Warrior Challenge in the amount of $500. The Old West Trails Rodeo grant request in the amount of $3,500 was turned in late according to Rempp. The Commissioners approved grants for White River Wacipi, Dawes County and Grey Eagle Warrior Challenge, as well as ratified denial of grant to Old West Trails Rodeo in the amount of $3,500 due to timeliness of receiving application.
The Travel Board is also requesting a listing of those individuals that pay lodging taxes in the area, and the Chairman was directed to sign the letter to the Nebraska Department of Revenue.
An Executive Board recommendation to remove a Board Member from the Travel Board was discussed at length, with the Board adopting a recommendation to remove Bev Dyer from the Tourism Board due to extensive absences from board meetings.
Sam Wellnitz, Treasurer, met with the Board and informed them of First National Bank of Chadron’s name change to Homestead Bank. Further, he requested permission to utilize Homestead Bank services. The name change was acknowledged and county offices were authorized to utilize all services offered by Homestead Bank.
A surplus request from the Clerk’s/Extension offices was reviewed and approved, to surplus a 2011 Kyocera 255 printer and a Kyocera 3500i printer.
Erin Kampbell presented names of interested individuals wishing to serve on the Extension Board. The names presented were Tony Denke, Steph Turman and Julie Downing, though Downing is already serving on the Board. All three appointments were approved. Kampbell also visited briefly with the Board regarding the salary of the summer intern. She reported UNL Extension will pay 57% of the $5985 salary and asked Dawes County to provide the remaining balance. Following discussion, it was agreed Dawes County would be willing to pay 25% of the total salary with UNL Extension paying 75% of the salary. Kampbell will approach UNL Extension with Dawes County’s offer and report back.
The next meeting of the Dawes County Commissioners will be at 9 a.m. July 27. The agenda will close at noon on July 22.
Prior to the regular Commissioners meeting, the Dawes County Board of Equalization met at 9:05 a.m.
County Assessor Lindy Coleman presented tax corrections 5164 and 5165 for the Boards review and approval, both of which were received. The Board also discussed valuation protest hearings scheduled to begin this past Monday, July 19. The next meeting of the Board of Equalization will be August 10 at 9 a.m. A current agenda to the Board of Equalization proceedings is kept on file in the County Clerk’s office during normal business hours for inspection, but the agenda will close by noon on Thursday, August 5.