Custer Co. Road Crews Fighting with Mother Nature but Still Inside Budget

Custer Co. Road Crews Fighting with Mother Nature but Still Inside Budget
County road damage following the March 2019 storms. Highway Superintendent says "mother nature won't give us a break."

CUSTER COUNTY—Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen summed things up best when he said “mother nature won’t give us a break” during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Jacobsen spoke before the board to discuss county road updates stating that crews have been focusing on repairs and not new projects at this time.

However, Jacobsen said he should be inside of this year’s budget and that he has approximately $542,000 left in his budget, but only $107,000 is available right not until more money comes in from taxes and homestead money, etc. County Clerk Constance Gracey said money is being spent as part of flood recovery efforts. The fiscal year will come to an end on June 30. No funds were transferred to the roads department budget at this time.

An application to cross county R-O-W was approved for Great Plains Communications to install fiber on the Cozad Road and Highway 40, south of Callaway.

Zoning Administrator Darci Tibbs recommended that amendments to the comprehensive plan be rejected and sent back to the zoning committee. Discussion continued from two weeks ago regarding different interpretations of the number of houses allowed per section of land in urban and ag areas and what the county should regulate regarding personal property.

Beth Baxter with Region 3 Behavioral Health Services out of Kearney appeared before the board to give an update of the organization’s partnership with Custer County. She said 111 people from Custer County were served last year regarding mental health and substance abuse services.

As part of the annual agreement approved earlier this year, Region 3 requested $27,000 in county match funding. Board member Tammy Kleeb also serves on the Region 3 board and said the county’s partnership with Region 3 provides good savings for the county. Baxter said the organization also provides mental health support following a disaster.

The Board of Supervisors approved five county staff members to serve two or three year terms on a personnel policy board. The board will gather feedback from employees of all departments in order to update employee policies.

The board did not approve a letter of engagement for fiscal year 2019-2020 for budget preparation but will revisit at a later meeting. A change order with Great Plains Communications was approved in the amount of $4,180 for wiring and phone data in the courthouse. Rick Maas, Donna Glendy, and Anne Thomas were reappointed to the tourism board for four-year terms. A motor vehicle exemption for a handicap van was approved for Custer Care.

The board dove into discussion regarding the tax list corrections and valuations but no decisions were made. A meeting for valuation notice corrections will take place on Tuesday, June 4 at 9 a.m.