Supervisors Approve Service Agreement For Security Upgrade, Hire Law Firm, And More

SUPERVISORS— The Custer County Board of Supervisors stayed busy on Tuesday, July 27 with their regular meeting.

Emory Haynes, with the Veterans Service Office, presented the annual report and the budget review where he noted there were not going to be many changes. He did say the phone bill line item in the budget had been exceeded due to more phone calls being conducted during COVID. Haynes said he had noticed a trend that the phone bill was increasing, but COVID pushed it beyond the original budget. He also asked for a 3% raise for himself and his staff.

A single bid was received regarding armor coating for 30-35 miles of county roads in Custer County from Figgins Construction Co. in Red Cloud, NE. According to comments made by the Custer County Highway Department, the bid price was higher than last year, but was following the trends of the price of everything being higher. The Supervisors discussed if looking at other options was the best way to go, but in the end approved the bid, 4-1 (Supervisor Doug Stunkel was the lone ‘No’ vote. Supervisor Bobby Myers was absent at the time of the vote).

After entering the Board of Equalization (BOE) the Supervisors entered executive session for approximately 20 minutes to discuss pending litigation. No decisions were made in executive session, but after re-convening into regular session, the Supervisors voted unanimously to hire Dvorak Law Group, LLC., in Omaha for not more than $10,000.

The Board of Equalization is the governing body that is responsible for hearing appeals from local citizens concerning property taxes and the implementation of tax regulations, assessments, and collections.

The Supervisors also approved to enter into a service agreement with Applied Connective Technologies after a presentation was given by Ed Knott concerning security. Specifically, Knott was asked to took into placing a distress/panic button in the DMV as well as other offices.  From there conversations continued into what else could be done to help improve security in the offices and also through the network of the courthouse, Judicial Center, road department, and sheriff’s office.

Knott said the company would serve as an addition to the current companies that provide services to the county including Platte Valley Communications and Central I.T. With the approval, Knott said it will take 30-45 days to complete the work needed including installing system controls, re-organizing technology towers, and implementing the new security features. Multiple departments present for the presentation stated this move was necessary and needed to happen sooner rather than later.

Also approved during the meeting was a 2 ½% increase to payrolls for appointed officials and clerical staff, motor vehicle exemptions, and vacating Road 1128 and Road 1679.