Supervisors Discuss Anselmo Railroad Crossing, Fill Vacancy on Veteran Committee

CUSTER COUNTY— During Tuesday’s meeting, the Custer County Board of Supervisors discussed a railroad crossing project that has been years in the making. Resolution #17R-2018 Relaxation of Standards was approved for a project near Anselmo. Don Cantrell with the Custer County Corn Growers provided an update to the county board regarding the railroad crossing project near the Andersons Grain Group grain elevator. Discussions over the years have emphasized that the railroad crossing is dangerous and creates low visibility for drivers. (Click here for Chief article and Kearney Hub article.)

Cantrell said the railroad tracks are too close to the highway and that the crossing is currently at a 45-degree angle with Highway 2. For approximately five years Cantrell said he has been working with state and county officials, the department of transportation, and BNSF railway trying to increase the safety of the crossing. Currently, the plan is to make the crossing perpendicular to the highway, with paved concrete on both sides, to increase visibility. The crossing is to also include lights, but no arms according to Cantrell.

Cantrell said the last few years have been “quite the process” with countless meetings in the county, Grand Island, and Lincoln. The paving project cost is unknown at this time but the county will pay for five percent and the state of Nebraska will pay 95% of the project, according to Cantrell (because the crossing is next to a state highway). The county will likely do the dirt work and bids will soon be open for concrete. Cantrell said the goal is to ultimately keep everyone safe.

“We’re going to save a life and we’ll never know whose it is,” Cantrell said. “If we don’t, I’m afraid someone will get killed at the crossing and that’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Michael Duane Harvey of Arnold was approved to fill the vacancy on the Veteran Committee Board. Veterans Service Officer Emory Haynes requested approval from the Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy after Darrell L. Sheets, 78, passed away in April. Sheets served 21 years in the Navy and had served on the board since 2005. Harvey, an army veteran, will serve on the board until June 30, 2019.

District Court Clerk Amy Oxford appeared before the board requesting a new Polycom conference phone for the judicial center. Emergency Manager Mark Rempe said the conference phone system will also be used by other departments. The board approved the $765 phone system from Great Plains Communications, with EMS funds covering the cost.

Rempe also discussed a change in the dispatch communications program, which the board approved.

Highway Superintendent Chris Jacobsen requested approval for an application to cross county right-of-way for fiber installation on the Arnold River Road. Resolution #16R-2018 Relaxation of Minimum Design Standards for a Mason City low-water bridge crossing was approved to reduce the speed in that area.

Part of Road #1092 and all of Road #447, both in the Elk Creek Township, were declared vacated (Resolutions #19R-2018 and #20R-2018).

Mad Duck LLC was approved for a special designated liquor license for the 2018 Comstock Windmill Festival (June 15-17). A representative with Mad Duck said the company is taking all precautions for serving alcohol at the festival and has both general and liquor liability insurance.

Great Plains Communications was awarded the bid for data voice/cabling for courthouse renovations and Cole Electric was awarded the electrical bid.

Various items were declared surplus property and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield renewal application for 2018-2019 was also approved by the board.