Board of Commissioners Conduct Statutory Meeting
The Dawson County Commissioners conducted a statutory meeting on Friday, January 13, 2017.
Official’s Receipts were approved as submitted: $9,717.19 Clerk; $23,804.84 Register of Deeds; $16,895.67 Clerk of District Court and $1,512.50 Surveyor. Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $560,762.45 and Total Claims in the amount of $319,339.16 were also approved to be filed.
Commissioner PJ Jacobson was elected as Chairman for 2017 and Dean Kugler as Vice-Chairman.
County Appointments were as follows:
ADA Coordinator – Brian Woldt;
Cooperative Lottery Representatives – Dean Kugler and Yvonne Rickertsen
County Highway Superintendent Randy Deans; Miller and Associates – Engineer
County Highway Administrator – Pat Nichols
Courthouse Building Coordinator – Brian Woldt
Dawson Area Development Board – Dave Stenberg
Dawson County Weed Superintendent – Marty Craig
Emergency Management Director – Brian Woldt
Spring Creek Chairman – PJ Jacobson
Veteran’s Service Administrator – Steve Zerr
Zoning Administrator – Pam Holbrook.
--Board members approved all reappointments.
Commissioner appointments for the upcoming year included:
--Commissioner Jacobson will serve on Catastrophic Leave, Finance Committee, Law Enforcement, Region II Human Services, Region II Development and Disability Services and West Central Area on Aging.
--Commissioner Butch Hagan will serve on Dawson County Ag Society, Lexington Area Solid Waste Board, Road Committee, RTSD Board, and the Tower Incorporated.
--Commissioner Bruce Rickertsen will serve on the Dawson County Extension Board, RTSD Board, Two Rivers Public Health Board and the Dawson County Weed Board.
--Commissioner Bill Stewart will serve on Catastrophic Leave, Community Economic Development Board, Courthouse Building Committee, Dawson Area Development as an alternate; Finance Committee, Law Enforcement, RTSD board and the West Central Nebraska Development District as the alternate.
--Commissioner Dean Kugler will serve on the Dawson Area Development Board (DAD), Dawson County Veteran’s Service Officer and the Road Committee. All appointments were approved.
Resolutions approving the Lexington Clipper-Herald and the County Website, dawson countyne.org for publishing legal notices and the Tri-City Tribune and Gothenburg Times for publishing the commissioners’ proceedings were approved.
Also adopted was a resolution regarding the depositories for public funds.
Official Holidays were approved as presented.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Hagan is still waiting to hear on the grant for the Ag Society. He found out that Dawson County does not qualify to receive any money from the state for bridge repairs.
Commissioner Kugler reported that he had attended the Veterans Service Board meeting on Thursday evening and that the interlocal agreement between Dawson and Frontier counties continues to be working out well.
Commissioner Stewart encouraged Deputy County Attorney Jocelyn Brasher to begin work on some zoning issues.
Commissioner Jacobson inquired how progress on removing the items from the ‘old’ jail was coming. Brian Woldt reported that a lot of items were removed on November 16 – 18. Jacobson would like to bids put out for demolition of the old jail building as soon as possible.
Two bids were received and opened for motor graders by County Roads Department Shop Foreman Tim Speak. Nebraska Machinery (NMC) bid was for three Caterpillar motor graders for $798,750 less trade-in of three old motor graders at $207,275 for a total of $591.475. Murphy Tractor & Equipment submitted a bid for three John Deere motor graders for $779,850 less trade-in of three old motor graders at $250,000 each for a total of $529,850. After Speaks and Hagan looked over and discussed the bids they returned and recommended that the bid from Murphy Tractor & Equipment be accepted. The commissioners approved.
Dawson County Gary Reiber presented the December 2016 crime reports. Reiber reported that there were 898 total services provided during the month with 1,547 LEC dispatch calls for service made.
Reiber noted that once again contract inmate numbers were down. “LB 605 in reality puts more people on probation and less people in county jails,” Reiber noted.
“On a positive note, our income for the first half of the fiscal year is up from last year’s $813,259.16 to $903,157.87 this year,” Reiber reported.
Dawson County Assessor John Moore presented information concerning the GIS ‘clean-up’. He estimates the cost will come to about $20,000.
The 2015-2016 audit was accepted as presented.
The commissioners entered executive session at 8:53 a.m. to discuss personnel issues and reconvened at 9:12 a.m. No action was taken.
The Board of Equalization met prior to the Commissioner’s meeting. Approval was granted for a vehicle tax exemption for Camp Comeca for a 2003 Honda Accord. Also approved were tax corrections for Pramberg Livestock Inc., David R. Wolfe, Zachary T. Olmstead and Richard V. Beran.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, Nebraska.
Turnpike Troubadours To Highlight 2017 Wurst Tag Celebration
The Turnpike Troubadours will be spotlighted during Nebraska’s Biggest Party on the Hill, as they will highlight the 2017 Wurst Tag celebration that will be held on June 10th in Eustis.
The Turnpike Troubadours have hosted soldout shows in their home state of Oklahoma as well as in Texas and in major cities all across and America and they hope to sellout the Hill of the Sausage Capitol of Nebraska this upcoming summer. Opening up for the Turnpike Troubadors will be Switchbak. Tickets will be available for purchase soon
Many of the traditional events that are held each year during the Wurst Tag celebration are in the planning stages and the details are being worked out currently by the Wurst Tag Committee for the upcoming event.
Gothenburg Will Host Winter Royalty This Week
Going on a safari is the name of the game for Gothenburg Public Schools as they hope to “Tame the Tigers’ to celebrate Winter Coronation with the basketball games set for Saturday evening.
Throughout the week, the Gothenburg students have shown great participation in the ‘Dress-Up’ days that coincide with Winter Coronation.
On Monday, it was in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the Swedes sleep tonight. They wore PJ’s on Monday.
Going on a safari were the Swedes to hunt the Tigers in their camo and safari gear on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the students wore stripes as the Swedes are going to skin the Tigers.
Seeing multiple generations roam the halls will be easy on Thursday, as the students will make the Tigers see generations. Seniors dress as grandparents. Juniors dress as adults. Sophomores will dress as teens and the Freshmen will dress as babies.
On Friday, the students will dress to impress the tigers as frat boys and sorority girls.
Students will decorate for the parade starting at 12:40 p.m.
Final voting for the King and Queen will be on Tuesday.
The Winter Coronation games are set with the Girls Varsity game starting at 3:30 p.m. and the Boys Varsity to follow at or near 5 p.m.
Following the games, the GHS Winter Coronation royalty will be selected as the king and queen will be crowned. Competing for the honors and accolades to reign over the festivities are three boys and girls who were selected as Royalty nominees.
Queen finalists are:
MCKENNA PETERSON: daughter of Tim and Lynn Peterson; and Kelsey Peterson
GEORGINA DISHMAN: daughter of Michelle Ryan.
SARAH HABE: daughter of Gary Habe and Tish Doughty.
King finalists are:
WILL HEALEY: son of Chris and Stacy Healey.
TY CLEMENT: son of Dan Clement and Steph Binderup.
JOHN KOZEAL: son of Steve Kozeal and Suzi Kozeal.
The Winter Coronation dance will follow the crowning in the Dudley Elementary Gym, with doors opening at 9:30 p.m. and closing promptly at 10:30 p.m. The dance will conclude at 12:30 a.m. There will be no jeans or hats allowed. The cost is $5 per person. Out of town dates must be signed up in the office by the end of the school day on Thursday.
Dawson County Awarded $350,000 Grant By DED
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded $350,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to the Dawson County Agricultural Society, Inc., for improvements designed to provide for investments in effective and affordable tourist attraction facilities to grow Nebraska communities that invest in long-term development. The tourist attraction project improvements will enable severely disabled persons and the elderly accessibility to attraction’s buildings and grounds.
The CDBG Tourism Development Category is open to CDBG non-entitlement incorporated municipalities throughout Nebraska. Grants are administered by DED from the State’s annual allocation of CDBG funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Below is a brief description about the projects and the award:
Set to Sing Loud and Proud from Cozad High School:
Cozad's Paulsen Wins BIG FAN On Monday Night
Getting the chance to live out a dream was shared with people all across the globe was Colt Paulsen of Cozad as he not only met Kim Kardashian West but was able to display his vast knowledge of the Kardashian family by winning top honors on the ABC Television show BIG FAN on Monday evening.
The show was taped in April in Los Angeles and Paulsen had to then bite his tongue about the results of the show since the taping.
When he won the tiebreaker in the second round, he then faced off in a speed round with the one and only Kim Kardashian West in the final round. There was a moment in the final round, where Kim looked flabbergasted and stated, “It’s not that I don’t know these answers, obviously.”
Colt was nearly star-struck but he was ecstatic and rearing to answer the questions, “ I was very excited because at that moment I knew I got to spend one-on-one time with Kim,” expressed Colt Paulsen. My favorite part of the show was getting to meet Kim. I would love to meet Kim again. I don’t know when it will be but I hope to interview her on the red carpet one day.”
Colt Paulsen is currently a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and he plans to continue enjoying school and of course, keep up with the Karsdashians every Sunday.
Olsen Is Gothenburg Chamber Of Commerce President
With the new year comes a change in leadership for the Gothenburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Janell Rossen, who served as president of the board for 2016, passed the duties to Matt Olsen during the board’s first meeting of the year on January 10th.
Olsen grew up in Oklahoma, graduating from high school in 1999. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with minor in economics from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2003 and also has a master’s degree in organizational development from the University of Oklahoma.
He worked for the U.S. Department of Defense for 10 years. Olsen moved to Gothenburg in 2010 to become a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments.
Olsen has now began his third year on the Gothenburg Area Chamber of Commerce board. He was previously chairman of the Gothenburg Chamber’s promotions committee and has also served as a Gothenburg Ambassador. Outside of the Chamber of Commerce, Olsen is involved as a member of the Gothenburg Senior Center board, is on the state and local boards for L2 for Kids, is a member of Noon Rotary and volunteers as a TeamMates mentor.
Olsen and his wife, Amber, have two children, Ethan, 11, and Kaylee, 9.
Rossen will serve another year on the board as the past president.
Elected to the Chamber board during year-end member balloting were Jim Widdifield and Heather Combs Platter. Widdifield, a veteran on the board, represents Gothenburg Public Schools and Combs Platter, who previously worked in the Chamber office, represents Gothenburg Health. Combs Platter replaces Laurie Moody of First State Insurance, who has been on the board three years.
For more information about the benefits of joining the Gothenburg Chamber of Commercee or to get more involved, call the office at 308-537-3505.
Cozad Chamber of Commerce Banquet To Be Held On Friday Evening
Coming together to celebrate the success of the businesses in Cozad will be a large crowd that will assemble for the 2017 Cozad Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet on Friday evening at the Elks Club.
Chamber members and families will begin the evening with a social hour at 6 p.m. The Dinner will be promptly served at 6:30 p.m.
At the conclusion of the dinner the presentation of awards will be highlighted along with updates coming from committee chairpersons.
If you have any questions about the upcoming banquet, please call the Cozad Chamber of Commerce at 784-3930 or send and email to cozadchamber @cozadtel.net.
Cozad High School Groups Make Their Mark
2017 Relay For Life Meeting Scheduled
One in three women and one in two men in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. One of those people could be you or someone you love. That’s why we Relay, according to participants of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Dawson County. Everyone who joins knows “when you Relay, you help save lives.”
Planning for the 2017 Relay For Life begins on Thursday, January 26th at 6 p.m. at the Cozad Middle School Library. Invite family and friends to attend as more volunteers are needed to plan this community owned event. Those attending will help set a date for the event as well as work out other event details.
ACS Staff Partner Cristy Thompson of North Platte is actively looking for an event lead(s) and welcomes information about possible candidates to contact. She can be reached at 308-530-6002.
For more information about Relay For Life, go to relayforlife.org. To learn more about the American Cancer Society, go to cancer.org or call toll-free 1-800-227-2345.
Cozad Jaycees Cake Auction To Be Held February 9th
The Cozad Jaycees will be hosting their annual cake auction on Thursday, February 9th at Chipper Hall in Cozad.
Items may be dropped off starting at 7:30 a.m. with bidding commencing at 9:00 a.m. Bidding will end promptly at 5:45 p.m. Baked goods as well as non-perishable items such as baskets are welcomed.
All items will qualify for the ‘Buy-Now’ feature. For $75 any item may be purchased on the spot.
Questions or additional information may be obtained by contacting Lindsay Erickson at 308-325-5551.
Lexington Volunteer Fire Department Reports Busy Month
The Lexington Volunteer Fire Department reported a busy December with a total of 61 calls for service. 10 of which were fire calls with the worst one being a mobile home fire that totalled the home.
Also reported was 51 rescue calls with several of them being vehicle accidents.
Training for the month included a program by the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office which assisted with teaching what personnel should watch for and be concerned with at a scene. They also watched a working canine in action.
Also in December the firefighters participated in the Santa Parade and provided fire truck rides in downtown Lexington.
First Baby Born for 2017 In Cozad:
New Police Chief Montgomery Sworn In At Council Meeting
The Cozad City Council met for the first meeting of the New Year on January 9th, 2017.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale swore into office Chief of Police Mark Montgomery to begin the meeting. He succeeds Randy Adams who left the department to work as an investigator for the Dawson County Sheriff’s office.
A public hearing was held on the application of MAD Food Services LLC dba Bella Italia for a Class C liquor license. Present to present the request were new Bella Italia owners Mark and Maria Diaz. The license was approved and council members thanked them for taking over the restaurant and continuing to provide the authentic Italian cuisine patrons have become accustomed to.
Discussion took place regarding the ambulance billing service. Deputy City Clerk Kelly Peden had submitted research she had conducted that showed Cozad hadn’t raised the ambulance rates since 2009 and that they no longer were in compliance with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield fee schedule. The current charge is $360.00 per ambulance run plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside the city limits of Cozad. The allowed billable amount for 2017 is $556.80. Peden recommended raising the rate to $550.00 to be in compliance with the fee schedule. Council members approved the $500.00 ambulance run fee plus $10.00 per loaded mile outside of the city limits of Cozad to commence in 2017.
Under Reports, Water Commissioner Dallas Nichols reported that he would be attending the League of Nebraska Municipalities Meeting this Wednesday through Friday. He has accepted a nomination to serve on the League of Nebraska Municipalities Executive Board.
Wilson Public Library Director Laurie Yocom reported that Arturo Martinez has been hired to fill the vacancy created by Amanda Valenzuela who was recently hired to work at Cozad Headstart.
Cozad Fire Department Assistant Rescue Chief Travis Lee reported that the new stretcher has been installed. “An in-service attended by 15 members was recently conducted for the stretcher and it will truly be an asset to our department,” according to Lee.
Chief of Police Mark Montgomery reported that he is getting settled in and thanked Police Sergeant John Peden for his assistance and guidance these past two weeks. “I sincerely appreciate his help in returning to the head of our fine department,” noted Montgomery.
City Attorney Scott Trusdale reported that a couple of city employees have inquired about the possibility of making memberships to the Community Wellness Center available as a payroll deduction. They have also asked if the city would consider a partial reimbursement each month for regular attendance at the center. “Half a dozen businesses in Cozad already do this for their employees, so it is something we may want to consider,” Trusdale commented.
The next regular meeting for the council is scheduled for Monday, January 23rd, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the City Office building.
Pleschourt Named Eustis/Farnam Student Of The Month
Spotlighted as the Eustis/Farnam Student of the Month by the Eustis Chamber of Commerce for January is Sara Pleschourt.
As a Senior, Sara is keeps a busy schedule at Eustis/Farnam as she is involved in a wide array of activities while excelling in the classroom.
Sarah participates in band, speech, one-acts and currently the President of the Eustis/Farnam FFA and President of the Student Council. Pleschourt has been a letterwinner in both volleyball and basketball throughout her prep career.
In addition to attending school and participating in the plethroa of activities, Sara works at the care home in Elwood and at the Eustis/Farnam Pool.
Sara plans to attend Southeast Community College in Beatrice to play volleyball and pursue a degree in nursing.
UNICAMERAL UPDATE From Matt Williams
Greetings District 36. The first session of the 105th Legislature began on Wednesday, January 4th. Seventeen new senators were sworn in and new leadership was elected, but the first few days of session are mostly used for organizational purposes. Senators are assigned office space and the halls of the Capitol are filled with furniture and files as everyone settles into a space for the next two years. There is a lot of energy in the building after the quiet interim.
Senators also learn their committee assignments in the first few days of session. I have been assigned to the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee which is a good fit given my 40 year career in banking. I have also been assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee. There are a number of challenges facing the Department of Health and Human Services and I look forward to learning more about these issues.
The first ten days of session are when all the bills are introduced. Each bill that is introduced will have a public hearing in a committee. I am working on a number of bills on a range of topics. I will provide more information in a future column about the bills I introduce. We will also hear from the Governor in his state of the state address as well as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in his state of the judiciary address.
I am optimistic about this session even recognizing that we have significant challenges. We have the budget shortfall, issues with the Department of Corrections, and tax issues that need solutions. If we roll-up our sleeves and collaborate on the important issues, I believe we can achieve great results for our state.
On a somber note, District 36 recently lost a great leader with the passing for former Senator John Wightman. John's work in Lexington, Dawson County, and the Nebraska Legislature touched many lives. His dedication and hard work set an example for many of us to follow. For me John was a trusted adviser and supporter. Most of all he was a dear friend. Our prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.
I am humbled and honored to serve as your representative in the Legislature. I would ask for your thoughts and prayers for the senators as we begin this journey on behalf of all Nebraskans.