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April 21, 2014 Minutes

April 21, 2014

North Platte, Nebraska

 

Meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Present were Commissioners Duane Deterding, Willis Roethemeyer, Joe Hewgley and County Clerk, Rebecca Rossell. Hewgley offered prayer. Chairman Deterding called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.

 

Chairman Deterding announced the Open Meeting Act with amendments is posted for public review and the county board will comply with the open meeting requirements.

 

Motion by Roethemeyer, seconded by Hewgley to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting held on April 14, 2014. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Roethemeyer, seconded by Hewgley to receive and order filed the treasurer’s receipts. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Roethemeyer, seconded by Hewgley to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the right of way application submitted by Horizon Ag Inc. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Roethemeyer to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign an engineering review proposal for the Front Road Grade Separation Project with Thiele Geotech Inc. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Roethemeyer to approve the addition of securities by First National Bank as pledged to the Lincoln County Treasurer. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Roethemeyer to receive and order filed the fee reports submitted by the County Sheriff. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed at 9:15 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization convened.

 

Chairman Deterding announced the Open Meeting Act with amendments is posted for public review and the county board will comply with the open meeting requirements.

 

County Assessor, Julie Stenger appeared.

 

Motion by Roethemeyer, seconded by Hewgley to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting held on April 14, 2014. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Motion by Roethemeyer, seconded by Hewgley to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the certificates of correction or refund submitted by the County Assessor. Upon roll call vote Roethemeyer, Hewgley and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Equalization recessed at 9:22 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners reconvened. The Lincoln County Board of Equalization will reconvene at 10:30 A.M.

 

Alan Beermann, representing Nebraska Public Power District, gave a brief update on the R-Project 345,000 Volt Transmission Line Project that will run through Lincoln and various other counties.

 

A public hearing was opened at 10:00 A.M. to allow comment concerning an application to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development for a Nebraska Affordable Housing Grant application being submitted by Lincoln County Community Development Corporation.

 

Nancy Striebel, Executive Director, gave a brief overview of the application.

 

No other comments were received.

 

The public hearing was closed at 10:06 A.M.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners recessed at 10:30 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization reconvened.

 

County Assessor, Julie Stenger, stated by law that she has to send taxable status notices to all subdivisions. N-CORPE (Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project) has filed valuation change protests on the parcels they own. Originally there were parcels that she left valued as irrigated since they still have pivots on them to establish cover crops but in negotiation she changed them all to grassland. She stated that her position is the public use is the water only and she is leaving the parcels on the tax rolls as grassland.

 

Commissioner Hewgley questioned if cover crops benefit the public interest. By law it is supposed to be valued at the highest and best use.

 

Stenger replied that she is trying to separate taxable and exempt use of the property.

 

Commissioner Roethemeyer commented that the water is being separated for a different use and there is going to be a benefit from the grassland.

 

Vanessa Silke, legal counsel for N-CORPE, and three NRD managers were present.

 

Silke argued there was no way to separate the land, water and project. The main purpose of this project is to control the use of the groundwater. The land is used for public purpose.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked if Silke considered the land, water and project the same.

 

Silke replied yes.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked Kent Miller of Twin Platte NRD if he remembered a prior meeting when the NRD stated they did not plan on tax exemption for this property.

 

Miller replied that if N-CORPE could legally find a way to pay property taxes they would.

 

Commissioner Hewgley then asked why they chose to protest the taxes.

 

Miller responded that legal counsel has advised them they cannot legally pay the taxes.

 

Silke stated that N-CORPE is a public entity and until they know the legal answer to the question they cannot have them spending public money to pay the taxes.

 

Deputy County Attorney, Joe Wright, commented that Groundwater Rights in Nebraska already separates the land and the water.

 

Silke said it is incidental to the dominant use of the property which is the project.

 

Commissioner Roethemeyer suggested that the management of the land and the water is something to be determined.

 

Silke agreed and stated the determination will start with the County Board of Equalization.

 

Stenger reported she also sent notices to other public entities that are tax exempt on some parcels where there is no public use.

 

Commissioner Hewgley addressed Dr. Fanning concerning the letter dated April 21, 2014 that was addressed to the Lincoln County Board of Equalization.

 

Fanning replied that the tax issue will be big. They had discussed paying taxes, in-lieu of taxes or possibly using interlocal agreements. Legal counsel advised them that since these parcels are for public use they are prohibited by law to pay taxes.

 

Commissioner Hewgley commented that the remedy might be to rent the land to private individuals.

 

Fanning responded that several years from now when the grass is established that this might be a possibility. They looked at legislation to change the statutes but it would have to go through the constitutional amendment process. When a property is leased if it is for a public use it still prohibits payment of taxes.

 

Ken Main stated he felt it should be fully taxed and they should have planned ahead for this issue.

 

Commissioner Hewgley questioned how many pivots are still on the properties.

 

Fanning told them that 8 pivots are leased out, 8 are being used to establish cover crops and the other pivots are being disconnected and will be sold.

 

Kenneth Ogier and Lila Koop, representing Wallace School District, appeared and stated they will see an 8% valuation loss to this district if these parcels are made tax exempt. This would cause a 5 cent increase in levy to tax payers that cannot be made up with state aid. N-CORPE had told the school district they would take care of the Wallace School District shortfall.

 

Kurt Pieper said he felt it should be left on the tax rolls as irrigated ground. The loss of revenue is all Lincoln County’s burden and the benefits go to other counties and districts.

 

Dick Hasenauer basically felt the same as Pieper. Lincoln County is going to pay the bill instead of sharing the expense.

 

Marvin Knoll commented that he was 100% in favor of the project but felt the ground should be sold and put on the tax rolls at dry land assessment.

 

Bruce Fulk stated that N-CORPE should rent or sell the land and treat the parcels the same for valuation purposes, which would alleviate the question.

 

Dan Estermann told board members that he personally has lost land and grazing due to the project. N-CORPE will not pay taxes but will expect the same benefits from the county such as fire and police protection.

 

Gordon Duvall reported that the “project” is going through his land and he has also lost some land and grazing. If they don’t have to pay taxes then he shouldn’t have to pay taxes on what he is using either.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked Duvall if he will lose grazing along the creek in some years.

 

Duvall replied in the affirmative.

 

David Anderson questioned what is going to do to the ground water table. On a personal well he reported that the water level used to be at 55 feet it is now at 76 feet.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked Silke if the “Project” planned to use more water than what was previously being used.

 

Silke responded they plan to stay within the bounds of what was being used.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked if they could draw more water legally.

 

Silke stated that was not the goal of the project. It will vary. They may use more in some years if needed.

 

Commissioner Hewgley read for the record the protests that were withdrawn.

 

Silke confirmed that the correct parcels were withdrawn.

 

PROPERTY VALUATION CHANGE PROTESTS

April 21, 2014

 

Protest filed by:               Blankenau Wilmoth Jarecke, LLP for N-Corpe

 

Property Owner is:         Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project

                                                PO Box 1140

                                                Imperial NE   69033-1140                             

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Roethemeyer upon the following valuation change protests. Upon roll call Hewgley, Roethemeyer and Deterding voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

 

Protest #

Parcel #

Legal

2014

ASSESSED VALUE

Decision of County Board of Equalization

2014-VCP-1

58132.00

Pt W ½ W ½   1-11-30 Lying W. of Centerline of County Road   13.45A L:       $20,465 Protest Withdrawn

2014-VCP-2

58135.00

Pt 2-11-30   625.65A L: $1,660,450 Protest Withdrawn

2014-VCP-3

58140.00

All 11-11-30 640A L: $1,656,000 Protest Withdrawn

2014-VCP-4

84995.00

All 17-11-32 640A L:     $298,365 Lower to $244,860

2014-VCP-5

100670.00

Pt S ½, Lying SW Burlington-NE Hwy 23 13-10-34 L:       $73,435 No Change

2014-VCP-6

100670.20

Pt N ½ SW ¼ Lying SW BNRR & NE Hwy 23 13-10-34 L:       $29,280

B: $3,829,065

T: $3,848,345

Protest Withdrawn

2014-VCP-7

101710.00

All 19-11-31   627.20A L:     $241,470 No Change

2014-VCP-8

101715.00

All 20-11-31     640A L:     $263,590

B:     $185,555

T:     $449,145

No Change

2014-VCP-9

101725.00

All 21-11-31     640A L:     $244,800

B:     $730,705

T:     $975,505

No Change

2014-VCP-10

101735.00

All 27-11-31     640A L:   $353,545 Lower to $244,855

2014-VCP-11

101740.00

N ½ 28-11-31   320A L:     $123,200 No Change

2014-VCP-12

101760.00

S ½ of NE ¼ NE ¼   30-11-31 L:       $18,000 Protest Withdrawn

2014-VCP-13

101790.00

All 34-11-31   640A L:   $254,990 Lower to $254,990

2014-VCP-14

101815.00

All 22-11-32   640A L:   $246,400 No Change

2014-VCP-15

101820.00

All 23-11-32     640A L:   $246,400 No Change

2014-VCP-16

101825.00

All 24-11-32     640A L:   $246,400 No Change

2014-VCP-17

101840.00

W ½ & Pt E ½ (AKA Tract A) 25-11-32   322.88A L:   $124,310 No Change

2014-VCP-18

101855.00

Pt S ½ 26-11-32 127.56A L:     $49,110 No Change

2014-VCP-19

101857.00

Pt E ½ 26-11-32   157.72A L:     $60,725 No Change

2014-VCP-20

101861.00

Pt S ½ 27-11-32   77.24A L:     $29,735 No Change

2014-VCP-21

101870.00

NE ¼   34-11-32 160.12A L:     $61,645 No Change

2014-VCP-22

101880.00

NE ¼ & Pt NW ¼ 35-11-32 294.87A L:   $121,570 No Change

2014-VCP-23

101900.00

NW ¼ 1-9-32     161.80A L:     $60,760 No Change

2014-VCP-24

101925.00

All 3-9-32   641.24A L:     $246,880 No Change

2014-VCP-25

102520.00

W ½ NW ¼ 25-10-32 80A L:       $30,800 No Change

2014-VCP-26

102530.00

All 26-10-32   640A L:     $249,880

B:   $1,127,690

T:     $1,377,570

No Change

2014-VCP-27

102535.00

NE ¼   27-10-32 L:     $60,595 No Change

2014-VCP-28

102540.00

NW ¼   27-10-32   160A L:     $62,290 No Change

2014-VCP-29

102620.00

NE ¼   34-10-32   160A L:     $64,530 No Change

2014-VCP-30

102625.00

NW ¼ & S ½   34-10-32   480A L:   $185,235 No Change

2014-VCP-31

102630.00

N ½     35-10-32   320A L:   $128,185 No Change

2014-VCP-32

102635.00

SW ¼   35-10-32     160A L:     $64,480

B:     $39,040

T:     $103,520

No Change

2014-VCP-33

102640.00

SE ¼   35-10-32     160A L:     $62,340 No Change

2014-VCP-34

102665.00

All 21-11-32     640A L:     $246,400 No Change

2014-VCP-35

102685.00

N ½   29-11-32   320A L:     $122,860

B:       $21,350

T:     $144,210

No Change

2014-VCP-36

103765.00

E ½ & NW ¼   35-11-31   480A L:     $184,250

B:     $30,935

T:     $215,185

No Change

2014-VCP-37

104150.00

All 18-11-31   625.34A L:     $240,760 No Change

2014-VCP-38

104215.00

All   13-11-32   640A L:     $274,145 Lower to $245,640

2014-VCP-39

104220.00

All   14-11-32   640A L:   $274,340 Lower to $246,405

2014-VCP-40

104225.00

All   15-11-32     640A L:   $619,415 Lower to $246,400

2014-VCP-41

104235.00

All   16-11-32     640A L:   $329,215 Lower to $246,400

2014-VCP-42

107570.00

SE ¼   28-10-30   160A L:     $178,020

B:     $10,240

T:     $188,260

Withdrawn

2014-VCP-43

107695.00

SW ¼   19-11-30   157.01A L:     $60,450 No Change

2014-VCP-44

107697.00

NW ¼   19-11-30   157.01A L:     $59,680 No Change

2014-VCP-45

107835.00

W ½ SW ¼, W ½ NE ¼ & NW ¼   30-11-30   315.38A L:   $121,420 No Change

2014-VCP-46

107990.00

All 25-11-31   640A L:   $246,400 No Change

2014-VCP-47

108465.00

All   16-11-31   640A L:     $245,070

B:     $46,540

T:     $291,610

No Change

2014-VCP-48

108470.00

All   17-11-31   640A L:   $246,395 No Change

2014-VCP-49

109845.00

Pt SW ¼   28-10-30   153.03A L:     $172,915 Protest Withdrawn

 

The Lincoln County Board of Equalization adjourned at 12:46 P.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners reconvened.

 

Approved the following claims as presented for payment:

 

The meeting was adjourned at 1:58 P.M.

 

Advance notice and the agenda for the April 21, 2014 were sent to the county board and all others requesting the same. Notice was posted at the Lincoln County Courthouse, City Hall and on the county website.

 

The agenda for the meetings to be held on Monday, April 28, 2014 will be kept continually current and open for inspection at the office of the Lincoln County Clerk. The regular meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will be at the Lincoln County Courthouse in the Commissioners Room at 9:00 A.M. The regular meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Equalization will be at the Lincoln County Courthouse in the Commissioners Room at 9:15 A.M.

 

Rebecca J. Rossell

Lincoln County Clerk

 

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