Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Rodeo may add beer garden

County approves liquor license request

LEXINGTON—Rodeo fans will have the option to have a beer with their bulls during the annual Pony Express Rodeo in Gothenburg on July 3-4.

After clearing up a question of city limit boundaries, the Dawson County commissioners approved a request Friday by Monte Kenning of the OK Bottle Shoppe in Gothenburg for a special designated liquor license to provide alcohol during the two-day event.

Commissioners questioned whether they had jurisdiction over the rodeo grounds, thinking the property was within the Gothenburg city limits.

When confirmed that the arena lies outside the city boundaries, the board approved the request.

Kenning told commissioners that the Gothenburg After-Dark Rotary Club is planning to use a beer garden at the rodeo arena during the rodeo event as a fund raiser.

While sheriff Gary Reiber could not commit his officers to enforcement in Gothenburg over the Fourth of July holiday, police chief Randy Olson said officers from the local force would be on hand.

The license request must still be approved by the Nebraska Liquor Commission.

On another matter, county commissioners found more than $270,000 in savings for the cost of employee health insurance enticing enough to switch companies.

The board took the health insurance bids under advisement last month so each commissioner could research and compare proposals.

Health Care Solutions, the county’s existing insurance company, bid $1.835 million as a maximum liability cost with $331,000 in administrative fees.

Competitor Standard Life and Accident, offered through the Krull Agency of Hastings, came in lower at $1.548 million with $342,000 in administrative fees.

Commissioners found the coverage to be an apples-to-apples comparison.

“I don’t really want to go out of the county,” said Lexington commissioner Bill Stewart, “but that’s a fairly large amount of savings.”

If county employees are not satisfied with the change in coverage after a year, commissioners are free to bid the plan again.

In other business, commissioners:

approved, following a public hearing, a special use permit for Paul Treffer of rural Lexington to operate a machine repair and welding shop.

listened to concerns from county surveyor Jake Ripp over the new computer server integration and compatibility with existing Global Information System servers.

The board approved a new server and network last month with a goal of getting the entire courthouse on the same system.

Ripp said he feels moving the surveyor’s office to the new system is unnecessary but in the end agreed to cooperate.

granted a special designated liquor license to Karen Finke of the Lakeshore Marina at Johnson Lake for an outdoor wedding reception.

heard a road department update from superintendent Jon Mooberry, including that all that remains of the Rockhaven Road project is approval from the railroad for crossing closure.

authorized issuing a U.S. Bank purchase card for new Court Appointed Special Advocate director Linda Shaw. The previous card was in former director Christina McIntire’s name.

received an annual report from Sally Vaughn of Region II Human Services, noting that 56 of the agency’s 205 clients originate from Dawson County. Cost to the county for those services will be $1.59 per capita for the coming fiscal year.

agreed to amend a contract for child support and district court fee reimbursements from MGT of America to include automatic renewal by e-mail at a cost to the county of $1,787 per year.

adopted language which outlines the catastrophic illnesses covered in the employee paid time off policy and caps the number of hours that may be accrued by one employee at 960. The paid time off policy takes effect July 1.