Commissioners adopt ambitious road plan

Gothenburg projects on priority list

Dawson County highway superintendent Jon Mooberry hit the ground running.

Mooberry started his job at the head of the county’s roads department in January and just over a month later, he presented an ambitious one- and six-year road plan to county commissioners.

“My focus was to narrow and address what really needs attention,” Mooberry told the county board during its regular bimonthly meeting on Feb. 15. “I’d like to get some of the projects going that the county has already invested money into.”

Six road and bridge projects were approved as part of the one-year plan that was adopted following a public hearing.

At the top of the list is a new road to Camp Rockhaven, approximately four miles east of Gothenburg.

The project has been in the works for several years and will finally be completed this spring.

Mooberry said grading is nearly finished and gravel will be applied next month.

A one-mile road was created, from Willow Island to the church camp, so motorists could avoid a busy railroad crossing off Highway 30.

Union Pacific Railroad is contributing $85,000 of the cost with the state pitching in $25,000.

Mooberry said there may be some minimal additional labor costs left for the county.

Two other Gothenburg area projects include a culvert bridge a mile and a quarter east of Highway 47 at the Custer County line and a timber bridge four miles north of Gothenburg.

Cost for upgrades to both is less than $100,000.

The six-year plan also includes multiple Gothenburg area projects that are more long-range plans.

A culvert and grading for a bridge near D&D Feedlot and an asphalt overlay on Banner Road are included.

Mooberry said projects will be done as state and federal funding assistance becomes available, with a few of the smaller, less costly projects covered by the county.

In other action, county commissioners accepted with regret a resignation from Christina McIntire, who has served as Dawson County’s executive director of the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program since its inception 12 years ago.

McIntire told the board she will help get a CASA program going in Buffalo County. Her last day is June 30.

In other business, commissioners:

heard the monthly crime report from sheriff Gary Reiber. There were 1,293 calls dispatch calls with 887 total services and 162 new jail bookings.

authorized a change in a Nebraska Crime Commission grant for juvenile services to offer gang prevention and intervention programs across the county. A previous grant application was approved for the second year of a three-year program but a different grant opportunity allows the county to submit an application for a two-year award.

learned Dawson Area Development will host another elected officials retreat on March 24 at the Opportunity Center in Lexington.

received information from Dawson County Historical Museum director John Woodward for renegotiating the terms of a loan through Home Federal. Woodward said the move will lower payments by about $2,000. The money saved will be used for facility improvements.

adopted a resolution allowing the county attorney’s office to issue delinquent and tax sale certificates.

discussed the possibility of installing fiber optic lines to offer faster Internet within the courthouse and law enforcement center.

Michael Wells of NebraskaLink said the fiber optic lines would drastically improve the quality of the county’s Internet service and allow for web-based program expansions.

The board took no action but intends to research the financial feasibility of installation.

reviewed the county’s health insurance claims and costs with Mark Schlange of OCI Insurance. The board informed Schlange that the health insurance policy will be up for bid again in May.