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Road Dept. items dominate agenda

By GREG SCELLIN
Signal Editor

As usual, Roads Department items took up the largest portion of the regularly-scheduled Fillmore County Board of Supervisors last week.
County Roads Department items discussed on January 22 included:
• The supervisors and Fillmore County Highway Superintendent Pat Halbur discussed the condition of County Road F from the spur south out of the Village of Fairmont to U.S. Highway 81. Halbur noted that farmers in the area would not be happy with the slimmer look of the road if it was paved.  A supervisor also commented that there would be no way to have a good shoulder for a paved road.  Several supervisors commented that the Village of Fairmont would have to take the lead in any potential paving push.
• The county board discussed again the condition of a county bridge located on property owner Dennis Kimbrough's land.  Kimbrough told the supervisors he is fine with the bridge as it sits.
"I do not want to assume the liability of the bridge," he said.
Installing a bridge for an estimated cost of $4,255 for limited crossing was discussed.
The supervisors voted 3-4 (Supervisors Larry Cerny, Kenny Harre, Mark Lightwine and Jeff Neiman—no) to remove the bridge.  Later, the supervisors voted 5-2 (Supervisors Ralph Graham and Wade Sluka—no) to repair the washouts and minor items on the bridge for the time being.
• The supervisors opened and closed a Bid Letting for a new pick-up for the Roads Department.  Erdkamp Motors, Inc., of Exeter was the lone bidder and submitted a bid of $28,665 for a 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Classic ST crew cab. The supervisors unanimously accepted and awarded the pick-up bid to Erdkamp Motors.
• The supervisors and Halbur talked about flooring in the new county shop office. Polished concrete and tile were discussed. Initially, polished concrete was planned to be placed in all areas.  Now, several areas will be tiled.
"I want it to look finished and done when you walk in there," Neiman said.
• The supervisors expressed concerns about the timing and the condition of the subgrade of the concrete pour being performed by the project's general contractor.
"This is something we're going to have to live with for years and years," Supervisor Merle Noel said.
• Halbur noted that York County desires to go through the same process that Fillmore County did with the closing of County Road A between County Road 22 and County Road 23.  Because of this, Halbur said the actual road closing will be pushed back several months.
In other meeting notes, Fillmore County Sheriff Bill Burgess discussed with the county board the need to amp up efforts to recruit and hire new deputies.  His office will be short two deputies this summer. Burgess suggested the county offering a $3,000 sign-on bonus for certified officers to join the local force.  To earn the bonus, the certified officer would have to stay employed by the Fillmore County Sheriff's Office for at least two years. Burgess noted that with increased pay options in Omaha, the Nebraska State Patrol officer numbers are affected, which leads to employee moves from smaller sheriff departments.
"We're not having that good of luck hiring certified officers or even getting applications," Burgess said.
He said he thought the $3,000 might entice some applicants.
"I think it's worth a try," Graham said.
In another agenda item, Cerny noted that Fillmore County has received $272,000 in dividends over the years from its 30-year insurance program with the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA).