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10-25-2021 Minutes

October 25, 2021

North Platte, Nebraska

 

Meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners. Present were Commissioners Joe Hewgley, Kent Weems, Chris Bruns, Jerry Woodruff and County Clerk, Rebecca Rossell. Weems offered prayer. Weems called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M.

 

Chairman Weems 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 Bruns, seconded by Woodruff to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting held on October 18, 2021.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

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

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Woodruff to authorize the Chairman to sign the right of way application submitted by Viaero Fiber Networks LLC.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Bruns, seconded by Woodruff to authorize the Chairman to sign the Employer Benefit Agreement with MASA Medical Transport Services.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns 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 Weems 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 County Treasurer Alex Gurciullo.

 

Motion by Bruns, seconded by Hewgley to approve the minutes regarding the Lincoln County Board of Equalization meeting held on October 18, 2021. Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

No certificates of correction or refund submitted by the County Assessor.

 

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

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Bruns to approve the motor vehicle tax exemption applications submitted by West Central District Health Department as recommended for approval by the County Treasurer.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Bruns, seconded by Woodruff to approve the motor vehicle tax exemption application submitted by American National Red Cross as recommended for approval by the County Treasurer.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Motion by Hewgley, seconded by Bruns to approve the motor vehicle tax exemption application submitted by American National Red Cross as recommended for approval by the County Treasurer.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

The Lincoln County Board of Equalization adjourned at 9:23 A.M. and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners reconvened.

 

Motion by Bruns, seconded by Woodruff to authorize the Chairman to enter into a contract with Martin Troshynski to provide legal conflict representation in the amount of $8250 per month.

 

Commissioner Hewgley commented that is not easy to get attorneys to take this service.

 

Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.  Motion carried.

 

Motion by Woodruff, seconded by Bruns to authorize the Chairman to enter into a contract with William Troshynski to provide court appointed guardian services in the amount of $4500 per month.  Upon roll call vote Hewgley, Weems, Bruns and Woodruff voted “aye”.  Nays, none.

 

Deputy County Attorney, Tyler Volkmer, reported that he had requested a review by the Dept. of Health & Human Services of the office space and staffing for the administration of the Lincoln County Public Assistance Programs.  The proposed rental contract to house these individuals at the Craft State Building had gone up considerably.  The response indicated they are still requiring the same square footage.  The county is obligated to supply the square footage but can determine where they are housed.

 

Commissioner Hewgley gave the board some background on housing these individuals and previous negotiations on this matter.

 

Volkmer stated as part of the rent there is a building maintenance fee that is not normal in rental agreements.

 

Commissioner Weems commented that the rent is not going to get any cheaper in the future.  He sees this more like an unfunded mandate.

 

Commissioner Bruns indicated he would be in favor of housing them on the 4th floor of the Courthouse.

 

Volkmer informed board members that they do have the option to not agree to the rent being requested and house them elsewhere.  It is our understanding there are only three people that actually administer the Lincoln County General & Medical Assistance Guidelines.

 

Commissioner Bruns requested that the maintenance department and I.T. department look at the 4th floor to see if housing this office would be possible.

 

Jerry Fiest, USDA District Supervisor, appeared to inform board members that they have lost their federal money, which means they have lost their ability to cost share with Nebraska counties.  The expense will now be borne by the cooperators entirely.  The counties paid 55% of the cost and the federal money paid for the other 45%.  It would now cost Lincoln County an additional $26,000 per year for an annual contribution of $58,000.  The total cost per year to keep this person in the field is $90,000.  The City of North Platte and Union Pacific Railroad do kick in some money so he is hoping the county would agree to an additional $10,000 per year.  Another option is to hire an intermittent person with no benefits at $16.90 per hour that would get paid only when they work.  He is seeking guidance from the County Board.

 

Commissioner Weems asked about the duration of our current contract and if the USDA is still responsible until the contract ends.

 

Fiest replied there is legal verbiage in the contract concerning the federal funding.

 

Commissioner Weems stated the board would need to see some activity numbers again and look at the value of the contract.  He asked that Fiest bring this additional information back to the board.

 

Discussion was held concerning the SLFRF Funds.  Deputy County Attorney, Tyler Volkmer, handed out guidelines from the Nebraska Association of County Officials.  Some questions to be addressed are how do we want to get the notice of funding sent out and what type of individuals or entities does the county want to fund. He reported that the county can invest the money and keep the interest. He suggested that an ad hoc sub-committee be formed to go through the applications and make recommendations. They could also short list what types of funding the county might want to provide first.

 

Commissioner Woodruff suggested assisting child care facilities.  He commented that the money was intended for businesses that suffered from no fault of their own.

 

Volkmer stated that travel and tourism comes up in the regulations.

 

Commissioner Bruns feels the risk of using this money is actually limited unless you get into a gray area.  If the county puts the notice out it does not commit the county.

 

Commissioner Hewgley suggested that through a committee structure these questions be addressed.  They can then come back to the county board with priorities and recommendations for the County Board to consider.

 

Region 51 Emergency Management Director, Brandon Myers, brought up food banks as they are still struggling.

 

Volkmer told board members that the process for funding is basically set up as block grant applications.  NACO has set up the basic process for us to use.  He also reminded them that the CARES act funds must be spent by December 31, 2021.

 

The ad hoc committee members selected by Commissioners Weems are Commissioner Bruns, Commissioner Hewgley, Brandon Myers, Tyler Volkmer and Rebecca Rossell.

 

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

 

Approved the claims as presented for payment.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 A.M.

 

Advance notice and the agenda for the October 25, 2021 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 October 22, 2021; and was also emailed to the media on October 22, 2021.

 

The agenda for the meetings to be held on Monday, November 1, 2021 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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