Custer County Highway Department Over Budget With A Long Way To Go; Elevator Works At Custer County Courthouse!

CUSTER COUNTY— While the flooding has been over a month ago, the damage continues to impact Custer County, specifically in roads. At the Custer County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 30, Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen told the board that there are still isolated issues around the county, but the major issues will be fixed in the next couple of weeks.

During the meeting, Jacobsen expressed his concerns on the budget as they are around $626,000 over and the outlook going forward does not look promising. He noted that FEMA, the Federal Highway, and others were helping, but the funds are not going to come in quick enough.

Another problem that Jacobsen pointed out was there was simply not enough time to get to all of the issues that are in the county. It was mentioned that the board would have to make decisions on what roads they want to have worked on as there was not enough time to get to all of the roads this year.

Contracting the roads and bridges to other construction groups was an option that was discussed, but the worry was the possibility of the price being very high. Jacobsen asked that the board decide on if larger projects should be the departments focus going forward or if smaller project were the bigger concern.

Custer County Sheriff Dan Osmond will be purchasing a 2019 Dodge 1500 SLT for $22,350 from Sandhills Motors for another patrol vehicle after bids were opened at the meeting. Other bids included a 2019 Ford F-150 from Ranchland Ford and a 2019 Chevy Silverado from Gateway Motors. The decision to go with the Dodge was an easy one due to the department already having the proper equipment that fits Dodge pickups.

Osmond also discussed with the board the issues of inmate medical bills at the Custer County Jail. Osmond told the board that his bills were beginning to pile up due to medical care that inmates have needed recently.

According to Osmond, when an inmate is placed into emergency protective care (EPC) all medical bills that are accrued over time must be paid by the Sheriff’s Office. In normal circumstances, part of the Sheriff’s Office budget is set aside to take care of these bills, but recently a larger amount of bills have raised concerns from Sheriff Osmond.

The county budget does have a fund that helps with these costs called the Poor Relief Fund, but concern remained on if there was enough in that fund to help if the amount in that fund remained the same in the coming years. No action was taken on the issue, but it was noted that the issue would have to be readdressed when planning next year’s budget.

Other business included the approval of the special designated liquor license for Smokin Hot Steakhouse for the Ducks Unlimited Banquet on May 18.

The manager applications for the Broken Bow Country Club and the Fairgrounds/Ag Society were unanimously switched to Jeana Chancellor and Michelle Nelson respectively.

While renovation projects continue on the Custer County Courthouse, the board had good news that the newly installed elevator is working. An agreement concerning the annual maintenance on the elevator was tabled for later discussion. The elevator is part of the Custer County Courthouse renovation project that has included the renovation of rooms, bathrooms, windows and other parts of the courthouse.

The next Custer County Board of Supervisors meeting will take place May 14 at 9 AM in the Supervisors Room on the top floor of the Custer County Courthouse.