Commissioners hesitate to set precedent
Minimum-maintenance road more likely to be abandoned.
LEXINGTON—If Dawson County commissioners agree to gravel a minimum maintenance road in the northeast corner of the county to make it easier for construction equipment, they may be setting a precedence for future requests.
Bart Beattie of Sumner asked commissioners during the regular bimonthly meeting on Friday if they would either authorize an upgrade on a half-mile of Road 443 off Road 767 or abandon it all together so he could add rock and gravel.
“I’m requesting an agreement to either bring the road up to standard to handle semi-truck traffic or abandon that part of the road so we can do the work ourselves,” Beattie told the board.
Beattie, who is in the process of building a $1.9 million swine facility near Sumner, said the minimum maintenance road is little more than clay and cannot handle large construction equipment nor the trucks and trailers likely to visit the facility once it is open.
But new Dawson County highway superintendent and engineer Jon Mooberry told commissioners it’s not as easy as adding a little gravel.
“I think you’d probably have to bring it completely up to standard,” Mooberry said. “I would need to research that more.”
Commissioner Dean Kugler of Gothenburg said he’d rather not set that precedent.
“Once you set a precedent, you’re kind of stuck with it,” Kugler said. “That’s why I think vacating that section of the road might be our best option.”
Commissioners suggested Beattie submit a petition for abandonment signed by adjacent property owners.
Commissioners will consider abandoning the road at a future meeting.
In other business, commissioners reorganized for the 2012 year, re-electing Kugler as board chairman and PJ Jacobson as vice chair.
The board also made its annual appointments to county offices—keeping all current employees in place—and Kugler assigned commissioners to committees.
County depositories were selected and include all banks in Dawson County. The Times will publish commissioner proceedings for the coming year as will the Tri-City Tribune.
Lexington commissioner Bill Stewart said using both newspapers for proceedings will give the county better coverage.
The Lexington Clipper Herald will publish all legal notices, giving the county a twice-weekly option for those as well as a bilingual outlet in Que Pasa.
The board approved 11 courthouse holidays as well.
In other action, commissioners:
received the monthly crime report for December and an annual review from sheriff Gary Reiber. There were 11,452 services offered in 2011 with 16,475 calls to dispatch.
learned that John Woodward, Dawson County Historical Museum director, is in the process of renegotiating the interest rate of a building improvement loan at Home Federal from 6.55% to 4.5%.
opened three bids for a pickup for the roads department and awarded the contract to Plum Creek Motors for a 2012 Chevrolet crewcab for $24,448. Other bids were from Platte Valley Auto Mart for $25,123 and Pony Express Chevrolet for $24,995.
authorized Kugler to sign all documents relating to county aid and county enhancement grant applications for funds to continue juvenile programs.
approved renewing an agreement for child support enforcement services with Kimberli Dawson.
gave Extension educator Bruce Treffer permission to hire a 4-H assistant to replace Dawn Schroeder, who resigned to accept a position in Kearney.
appointed Cozad Chamber of Commerce director Sandra Bappe to the Dawson County Visitor’s Committee.
adopted an engineering service agreement with the state department of roads for fracture critical bridge inspections. These are done on older bridges which have previously been designated at 50% or less sufficient. Mooberry said the seven such bridges in Dawson County are still safe for their weight limits.