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03-14-2019 Minutes

March 4, 2019

North Platte, Nebraska

 

Meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Present were Commissioners Joe Hewgley, Bill Henry, Kent Weems, Walt Johnson, Jerry Woodruff and County Clerk, Rebecca Rossell.  Weems offered prayer. Hewgley called the meeting to order at 9:02 A.M.

 

Chairman Hewgley 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 Johnson, seconded by Weems to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting held on February 25, 2019. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Weems to receive and order filed the treasurer’s receipts. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff 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 Hewgley 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 as well as Barb Kohler representing the County Treasurer’s Office.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Henry to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting held on February 25, 2019. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

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

 

Motion by Weems, seconded by Woodruff to approve the motor vehicle tax exemption application submitted by New Life Assembly as recommended for approval by the County Treasurer. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Weems to approve the motor vehicle tax exemption application submitted by Riverside Baptist Church as recommended for approval by the County Treasurer. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Johnson to deny the reaffirmation on tax exemption application by Harvest Christian Fellowship on Parcel # 25830.00 as it no longer qualifies by statute. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Carl Bieber appeared in person to represent VSL North Platte Estates LLC. Legal counsel, Erin Robak and Robert Lepp appeared by telephone concerning the tax exemption application submitted.

 

County Assessor, Julie Stenger, said the initial recommendation was to deny the tax exemption application on real and personal property submitted by VSL North Platte Estates LLC as a 501(c) 3 organizations does not automatically qualify for exemption. The personal property was listed under a different corporate name.  VSL has submitted additional information.  There are fifteen independent living duplexes that are not being considered for tax exemption.  The assisted living facilities is what they are requesting be considered for exemption.

 

Commissioner Hewgley asked where the revenue went each month for each resident.

 

Robak replied that it goes to pay expenses. The revenue goes back into the facility or to pay for those residents on Medicaid.

 

Lepp stated that if the facility were to be sold it would have to be approved by the Nebraska Attorney General.

 

Commissioner Hewgley inquired what would happen down the road if it would sell to a for profit company.

 

Lepp responded that it would go back on the tax roll at that time.

 

Commissioner Hewgley then asked what happened if residents could not pay.

 

Robak replied that there is no pre-screening process for financial ability to pay and no one is discharged for failure to pay.

 

Commissioner Hewgley questioned wording on their admission policy that could be open to interpretation.

 

Commissioner Johnson requested clarification that the facility would accept anybody even if they did not have the ability to pay.

 

Lepp replied yes. If the facility can offer the care required and most people would qualify for Medicaid.

 

Commissioner Weems asked what changed after operating as a taxable entity for forty one years.

Lepp responded that the Department of Health and Human Services is requiring them to seek tax exemption. It was made a 501(c) 3 for estate planning purposes.  There are no shareholders and no distributions.

 

County Assessor Stenger wondered why not every county with a Vetter facility had received a tax exemption application.

 

Robak told board members that only those counties with non-profit facilities received applications.

 

Stenger asked what would happen if the counties denied the exemption applications.

 

Lepp stated it would go have to go through TERC and then the legal system.

 

Commissioner Henry wanted to know why paying taxes was not part of the operating expenses.

 

Robak commented that generally it is but non-profits are tax exempt under the law.

 

Carl Bieber reported the facility became a 501(c) 3 several years ago. The penalty from the IRS is more than paying the property taxes.

 

Deputy County Attorney, Joe Wright, stated he felt they would have the same standard as a charitable hospital and would need to change their admission policy wording.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Johnson to table the tax exemption application submitted by VSL North Platte Estates LLC for further discussion. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

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

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Woodruff to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the two year VOCA (Victim Witness) grant to be submitted to the Nebraska Crime Commission. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Jada Venezie of the Department of Health and Human Services appeared on the general assistance appeal filed by Crista Moye. She explained why the application was denied due to the county guidelines.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Johnson to approve General Assistance Appeal # 2019-02 filed by Crista Moye. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Johnson, seconded by Weems to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign the contract with Wayne Dowhower Construction Inc. for the courthouse bathroom remodel project. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

County Highway Supt, Carla O’Dell presented an updated list of projects and cost estimates on the projects being considered for Highway Allocation bond funds. The total cost is estimated to be $3,237,023.00.

 

Motion by Henry, seconded by Woodruff to issue Highway Allocation Fund bonds not to exceed 3.5 million dollars for a term of five years for Lincoln County road projects. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Carla O’Dell, Lincoln County Highway Supt., gave a brief update on the Lake Maloney Hike and Bike Trail Phase IV.

 

Motion by Weems, seconded by Johnson to approve and authorize the Chairman to sign an agreement for professional services with Miller & Associates for the Sutherland North Bridge Replacement project. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Henry, Johnson and Woodruff voted “aye”. Nays, none.

 

Hear concerns from Elected Officials, Department Heads and their representative.

 

Approved the following claims as presented for payment:

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:31 A.M.

 

Advance notice and the agenda for the March 4, 2019 board meetings were sent to the county board and all others requesting the same. Advance public notice (includes agenda) of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting and the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting was posted at the Lincoln County Courthouse, City Hall and the Lincoln County website on March 1, 2019; and was also emailed to the media on March 1, 2019.

 

The agenda for the meetings to be held on Monday, March 11, 2019 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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