Custer Co. Qualifies for County Bridge Match Program, Round 2

CUSTER COUNTY—A bridge project currently in motion will utilize state funds for repair projects in Custer County. Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen reported during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that Custer County has qualified for funding during the upcoming second round of the statewide County Bridge Match Program.

Jacobsen submitted an application requesting funding for repairs to three bridges southeast of Oconto and another bridge located outside of Broken Bow, which will be removed. The match program will award Custer County $135,000 for the project, which will cover about half of the total cost according to Jacobsen. Plans for the bridge package are currently in engineering.

The Board of Supervisors closed bids for two upcoming bridge projects—one three miles east of Gates, crossing the Middle Loup River and the other one and a half miles northwest of Ansley on Road 792. Approximately nine bids were received and Jacobsen recommended taking the bids under advisement for the highway committee and engineer to review.

Jacobsen also presented a summary of the proposed One and Six Year Highway Program Plan. Past projects included multiple bridge updates and maintenance. Upcoming projects include drainage, bridges, patchwork, “mill and fill” projects, and erosion control in various areas throughout the county. The board approved the plan.

Applications to cross county right-of-way were approved for fiber optic installation south of Berwyn and southwest of Ansley.

Deb McCaslin with the Custer Economic Development Corporation was granted approval for appointments to the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Board, a business loan fund for startup and expanding businesses. Nate Bell’s and Ken Pitkin’s terms were renewed and Chris Smith will be allowed to finish out Lynda Tincher’s term. (The seven-member board also includes Travis Hanson, Cheryl Carson, Kris Lamb, and Barry Fox.)

Deputy County Attorney Kayla Clark discussed with the board tax foreclosures for properties located in Oconto, Arnold, and Sargent.

Representing Congressman Adrian Smith, Jerad Reimers gave an update stating that Smith currently serves on the Human Resources subcommittee (under Ways and Means) which focuses on human welfare aspects of the Social Security Act. Reimers said the subcommittee is currently focusing on a program similar to Head Start, the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation Program. He also heard concerns from the crowd regarding the Veterans Choice Program.