Discussion Pertaining To Commercial Storage Units At Commissioners Meeting

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2016. The meeting opened with the approval of the Official’s Receipts, Treasurer’s Receipts and the claims as submitted. The commissioners also approved a resolution involving Pinnacle Bank, Lexington pledging an additional $13,503,686.14 worth of collateral.
Under Committee Reports, Commissioner Chairman Butch Hagan reported that the landfill expansion bid should be in soon and that the Dawson County Fairgrounds have been busy with rodeos. He also noted that the Ag Society would be taking over the 30th Annual Antique, Flea Market and Craft Extravaganza over the Labor Day weekend at the fairgrounds. 
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the July 2016 crime reports. Total services during the month tallied 1,029 with 1,935 LEC Dispatch Calls for Service. 
198 new inmates were booked during July with the average daily population being 106. A total of $213,725.14 was taken in for July. Reiber also presented the corrected distress warrant report. Taxes collected totaled $40,906.03 with a total of $19,552.30 uncollected.
At 8:30 a.m. Chairman Hagan opened the public hearing regarding a Special Use Permit request made by Duane Kuhnel to construct commercial storage units on Lots 36, 70 & 72 of Lakeview Acres 2nd Subdivision. The hearing lasted almost two hours.
Speaking against the permit were Ricky Reid, Jon Schultheiss, Gary Heinemann, Cindy Schultheiss, Carl Tiede, Patty Barber and Dick Hollinger.
Objections voiced by the opponents included the close proximity of the buildings to their private cabins/homes and the park, that the area is zoned recreational/residential and not commercial, whether the storage buildings were adequately ventilated for boat storage in the buildings causing a possible fire hazard, run-off water issues coming from the commercial buildings, lack of respect for the covenants by the Lakeview landowners, concerns over what would be stored in the buildings, easement issues, fear of property value being lowered by the commercial buildings being built, aesthetic concerns of not being able to see the lake past the buildings, the 24/7 noise level and traffic caused by people using the present storage buildings, and the litter, trash and weeds around the existing storage buildings owned and rented by Kuhnel. 
Proponents felt that the buildings wouldn’t affect property values and that Kuhnel’s units are ‘first-class’ and well maintained. Some pointed out that they had never smelled gas in the storage units and that they had not witnessed heavier traffic or an increase in litter and trash due to the presence of the existing units.
Dawson County Zoning Administrator Pam Holbrook reported that her board had recommended denial of the special use permit request at their meeting on July 7th.
“We didn’t feel that the construction of these buildings would meet the required criteria including increased traffic, drainage issues and incompatibility with recreational usage,” Holbrook explained.
Commissioner PJ Jacobson didn’t feel that the concerns with run-off water issues and increased fire hazards were warranted, but felt that the board should listen to the zoning board members and their recommendations.
Commissioner Butch Hagan agreed that some of the existing storage buildings had been put in improperly but felt this was a tough decision since additional storage is needed at the lake.
“I have a concern for the immediate neighbors who have voiced their opposition to the construction,” said Commissioner Bill Stewart. “ I feel that we need to look at the regulations and how we they should be interpreted,” he added.
Commissioner Dennis Rickertsen noted that the special use permit request had not been taken before the Tier Two Lakeview Acres Covenants Board and that this is an emotional issue for all involved. 
Rickertsen added: “I think more about those lake cabin/home owners who live closer to the proposed site of new construction. With that in mind, I make a motion to not allow the special use permit based on not meeting four of the seven criteria for a special use permit to be approved according to Article 6, Section 602.03 of the Zoning Regulations of Dawson County: 1) Be compatible with and similar to the uses permitted in the district, 3) Not be detrimental to adjacent property, and 4) Not tend to depreciate the value of the surrounding structures or property, and 5) Be compatible with the stated intended use of the district which is Recreational/Residential.”
Commissioner Jacobson seconded the motion made by Rickertsen and the commissioners voted unanimously to deny the Special Use Permit. Kuhnel may appeal to the District Court concerning the decision.
In other business, Chairman Hagan was authorized to sign the MGT certification allocation plan.
The board entered into executive session at the request of Deputy County Attorney Kate Gatewood to discuss the contract negotiation for Applied Industrial Technologies’ Lease Renewal application. The only discussion concerned the contract rate, and Deputy County Attorney Gatewood was authorized to negotiate the contract rate for Applied Industrial Technologies.
A resolution was approved for the Advance Railroad Pavement Marking Program Agreement between Dawson County and the State of Nebraska Department of Roads. The painting at the railroad crossings will incur no cost to the county, but permission must be granted prior to painting.
Mark Gengenbach, CSTG appeared at the request of Commissioner Bill Stewart with an update on the courthouse network. 
Sheriff Reiber expressed concerns with the service provided by CSTG in the past year since the new system was installed.
“I am completely dissatisfied with the security system at the present time,” Reiber commented.  
One company representative who came to troubleshoot left a mess that had to be cleaned up by county employees.
Gengenbach apologized for that incident and promised that county officials would be notified prior to future visits from CSTG and that concerns in the county jail would be addressed.

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