Several Roads Vacated, Budget Requests Discussed During County Supervisors Meeting

Several Roads Vacated, Budget Requests Discussed During County Supervisors Meeting
County Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen and Dave Downey discuss road maintenance on Old Highway 2 in Merna with the County Supervisors on August 25

BROKEN BOW—Requests for additional funding were denied to some local entities during the Custer County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, August 25. After much discussion regarding the Ag Society, the Supervisors voted to deny a $6,000 increase request as part of a resolution to approve or deny the preliminary levy allocation. Instead of the increase, the Ag Society will receive the same amount of money from the county as it did in 2019.

Similarly, increases in support requests for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 were denied to the Custer County Historical Society, Seven Valleys Historical Society, and CHORE. These entities will also be given the same amount of money as they were in 2019 rather than receive additional funding. Supervisor Tammy Kleeb said she wanted to support all of these groups but felt it was best to stick with last year’s funding requests because “everything is tight” this year.

The Sandhills Open Road Challenge was held just a few weeks ago but the request to close the roads for next year’s event—August 13-15, 2021—was approved by the supervisors on Tuesday morning.

Separate public hearings were held regarding the vacation of Roads #1854 (Elim Township), Road #1239 (Delight/Elim Townships), Road #947 (Elim Township), and Road #1143 (Elim Township). All of the roads are southwest of Callaway and no one spoke in opposition of vacating the roads. The board approved four separate motions to offer each road back to the appropriate township and the townships have 120 days to decide if they want to maintain them or close the roads.

Resolutions #40R-2020 and #41R-2020 were approved declaring Road #818 and Road #44 vacated. Each road was previously offered back to the Broken Bow Township in July but the township said it does not want the roads or the costs associated with maintaining them. The supervisors voted 5-1 to approve the resolutions and vacate the roads. Roads #818 and #44 (located south of Broken Bow) will revert back to the responsibility of the landowners, which is Adams Land and Cattle.

A letter of agreement was approved with Region III Behavioral Health Services stating that Custer County will be switching services from Richard Young to Mary Lanning Health Care for Emergency Protective Custody services.

Resolution #42R-2020 was approved which directs Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen to make a road study on Road #325 ½ which is east of Mason City at a railroad crossing.

A lengthy discussion took place regarding ownership of the Old Highway 2 that runs east and west between Trotters and Downey Well Co., Inc. in Merna. A portion of the road in that area is state maintained but concerns brought to the board by Dave Downey included who is responsible for maintaining other portions of the road—the village of Merna, the County, or the Kilfoil Township. Chris Jacobsen said nothing has been put in writing but that the three entities should work out a plan to repair the road in a more consistent manner.

It was proposed by Dave Downey that the county maintains the road but Merna pays for half of it, with a township representative adding that the township board already pays Merna for annual road maintenance. A motion made by Dwain Bryner was approved to have an ongoing 50/50 agreement with the village of Merna and the county for maintenance and fixing the road between Old Highway 2 east of Highway 92 from Andrews Street and east to the corner of Price Street.

Resolution #43-2020 was approved which will put the surveyor position on the November ballot as an elected position. (The board previously discussed the position being either elected or appointed but took no action several months back, so therefore it will be on the ballot this fall.)

Representatives from the county probation and problem solving court offices appeared before the board to discuss access to the judicial center for programs taking place evenings and weekends.
The board discussed some parking lot redirection issues and moving the election box but no decisions were made. The Judicial Center five-year sprinkler inspection contract was tabled and 2020 Inventory’s were approved.

The next County Supervisors meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 15 in which the board will consider approving approve the county budget.