BROKEN BOW – Taking center stage at June’s final Custer County Board of Supervisors meeting was allocation of county money everywhere under the sun, and several places underground; the board met at 9 a.m. Tuesday to divvy a few dollars and pinch a few pennies. All representatives were present.
The City of Sargent put forth an ask, in conjunction with Olsson Associates out of Omaha and the Lower Loup Natural Resources District, for $65,530 of the county’s $1.1 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, awarded in July of 2021, to address what Olsson representative Carrie Romero called “long-standing drainage issues in the community.”
Initially warmly received, the ask went under scrutiny from the board as discussion went on; District Six’s Lynn Longmore was of the opinion that the sheer number of potential improvements that ARPA could provide should preclude the board from acting with haste.
“We haven’t really discussed what we’re going to do with ARPA money, as far as the board goes,” he said. “I think, personally, that it would benefit the county to spend our ARPA money on roads. I’m from Callaway, and I’m sure that we could use $65,000, too.”
Tammy Kleeb echoed the sentiment. “As a board, we need to explore different areas where ARPA funds could be distributed before we jump into this. I’m not saying we couldn’t do this, but I think we need to explore other possibilities.”
Before the item came to a vote, District One’s Bobby Myers bridged the gap between the two disparate sides. “I don’t disagree with you that the funds should be spent on roads, but we’ve got a major problem over in Sargent, and I think anything we can throw at it will help.”
The ask was approved six to two, with Longmore and Kleeb casting negative votes.
Before the Sargent ask, the board heard 14 claims on Form 425, which deals with the incidental, calamitous destruction of real property. Most of the claims stemmed from an April fire, ignited by a spark from a chainsaw, which resulted in the construction of over 500 acres of pasture and grassland.
The board made no decision regarding any of the claims but is expected to come to conclusions at its meeting in July.
Additionally, supervisors approved a mileage compensation rate increase suggested by the state starting July 1, from $.585 to $.625.
Kelly Flynn delivered the quarterly recycling report, and the Sargent Airport’s Interlocal Agreement for $2500 passed unanimously, as did a bid for recoating the stones outside the courthouse and annex building for $17,500.