Board of Supervisors Discuss Drones, Tractors, Wind Farms

Board of Supervisors Discuss Drones, Tractors, Wind Farms
Custer County Historical Society President Lance Bristol (left) presents update and budget request to the board of supervisors on Tuesday morning

CUSTER COUNTY—From tractors to drones and everything in between, the Custer County Board of Supervisors held its regular meeting on Tuesday morning.

Craig Sheridan of Drone Worx LLC presented to the board the benefits of utilizing drones for disaster assessment and property assessments. Sheridan explained that he can capture aerial photographs and video with a drone in addition to using it for mapping and inspection services. No decisions were made.

The Custer County Historical Society presented to the board the latest projects going on at the museum including the tractor restoration project, land records, the recent ice cream/pie social, and new display case counter tops and photo storage. President of the historical society Lance Bristol said “history happens every day” and thanked the board for their contribution to help keep the doors open at the museum.

The Historical Society is requesting $8,500 from the county to help with utilities, phone, internet, and some of the insurance costs during fiscal year 2019-2020. Bristol said $8,500 was also requested and granted last year.

Richard Chandler and Lisa Liepzig appeared before the board on behalf of the Prairie Hills Wind Farms project near Mason City. American Electric Power acquired Sempra Renewables this past spring and a three-year conditional use permit was obtained in October 2018 under the assumption that the project would begin around the year 2020 and involve four townships and around 90 land owners.

Chandler said approximately one million dollars will be added in taxes to the county, plus the creation of couple hundred construction jobs and four to six permanent jobs. As of Tuesday morning, Chandler gave an updated commercial operation date of the year 2021 for the project.

Resolutions for road closures were approved for the 2019 Sandhills Open Road Challenge with Supervisor Don Olson saying depending on road repairs, the race may be shortened if necessary.

Following a June 11 meeting in which the board discussed insurance coverage for the county, Ron Jorgenson with Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA) appeared before the board. Custer County is currently involved with NIRMA and Jorgenson said the county has been involved since the beginning with 82 out of 93 Nebraska counties using the intergovernmental risk pool.

Jorgenson said NIRMA is “tailored strictly to county government” and encourages board members to take advantage of all the continuing education opportunities NIRMA offers. He said representatives will be present at the next supervisors meeting to answer questions about the county’s coverage.

The board approved a transfer of $1.5 million from the Inheritance Fund to the Road Fund. The board also heard from Brent Burklund with T.C. Engineering to discuss prioritizing road projects based on need and costs. No decisions were made but the goal is to quickly and objectively make decisions on what is best for the county and the 340 miles of roads it encompasses.

The board approved a request from the Custer Economic Development Corporation to refinance the CDBG loan with Geared for Sports which amended the loan agreement.

SDL applications were approved for a tournament at the Arnold Golf Course on July 20, the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce Women’s Steak Fry at the Custer County Fairgrounds on August 5 and the Men’s Steak Fry on August 12.

Property Valuation Protest Hearings were held on Tuesday afternoon and will continue on Wednesday, July 10 at 9 a.m.