Custer County Board Of Supervisors Approves Purchase Of New Equipment

CUSTER COUNTY— An excavator is finally on the way to Custer County. The Custer County Board of Supervisors approved the special purchase of an excavator from Sherman County on Tuesday, August 28. Custer County Highway Superintendent, Chris Jacobsen, had presented to the board the possible need to purchase the excavator at the previous board meeting on August 14.

The board had approved to move forward with the purchase which required publicly posting that Custer County was intending to purchase the excavator and allow others to bid their excavator. Only one other bid came in on a 2014 Hitachi Excavator that had previously been a rental with over 3,000 hours and multiple users.

The main question asked by the board was “how much use is the county going to get out of the equipment?” Those in support of the purchase as well as Jacobsen, told the board that Custer County is behind other counties in updated equipment and the excavator would be used to help increase efficiency in the highway department.

The board did eventually vote to approve the purchase of the 2013 Komatsu Excavator at $132,000. The equipment will come into Custer County with just over 2,000 hours and only one previous owner (Sherman County).

Bids were also read at the meeting for material to replace a bridge near Oconto. The bridge, which has been rated by an engineer to handle less than 4 tons, has many structural issues including welding that is beginning to gap. According to Jacobsen, the welds that hold the stringers, which help support the bridge deck, should have never been done in the first place. What should have been done, was using bolts to secure the stringers because as vehicles drive over the bridge, it flexes causing the welds to crack and break.

The three companies that submitted bids for the supplies for the bridge, was Contech Engineered Solutions from Lincoln ($56,467; 9-13 weeks delivery), Midwest Service and Sales Co. from Schuyler ($40,147.16; week of November 11 delivery), and Ace Hardware from Kearney ($36,748; 8-16 weeks delivery). The board voted to go with Ace Hardware for the supplies, as well as voting on a design plan for the new bridge that was suggested by Jacobsen and the engineer who looked at the location and old bridge.

The Ag Society asked for a special design and liquor license to be approved for the Mid-States Rodeo that will be in Broken Bow in September. The design included moving bleachers and fencing creating a fenced off area to sell liquor. They also asked for one of the fair buildings in the event the weather would get cold such as it did last year. The board approved the design, license, and use of one of the buildings for the rodeo.

Other agenda items that were voted on and approved was the increase in the restricted funds authority by 1%, amending the deputy salary resolution which was set to 65%-75% of appointed officials salaries, a preliminary levy allocation request, and a change to the order request on the renovation project in the court house. The order request for the renovation project does extend the timeline of completion to February, but along with other changes in light fixtures and tile, decreases the total cost by $42,000.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 11.