4-H assistant; razing old hospital discussed

Fillmore County University of Nebraska Extension Educator Brandy VanDeWalle outlined some upcoming staffing changes in her office and the Fillmore County Board discussed the eventual, probable razing of the a large portion of the old Fillmore County Hospital at the supervisors’ regularly-scheduled meeting last week on September 22.

VanDeWalle told the supervisors that current Fillmore County 4-H assistant Megan Burda is leaving her post to accept a position in York.  With this move, VanDeWalle told the county board that UNL will be gradually phasing out its contribution toward paying a portion of the local 4-H assistant’s salary.  Currently, UNL pays 80 percent of Burda’s salary and offers benefits for the post.  By 2019, VanDeWalle explained the 4-H assistant position will be a 100-percent paid county employee.
VanDeWalle said she has felt lucky that UNL has been funding the position as well as it has been.  She also said she wants to hire a person to fill the position and wants to be able to recruit talent for the position.  To do this, she wants some direction from the county board.  The supervisors set up a special meeting for Monday, October 6, at 9 a.m., to discuss options concerning the position.
Several supervisors mentioned that this could be a way that UNL is telling the county that its population is getting smaller and it needs to take away some services.  Several 4-H Council members told the county board that it would hate to see the county go backward in providing opportunities to keep local youth involved in agriculture.
In another discussion, Fillmore County Board Chairman Larry Cerny said he would like to begin the process of getting bids for what its going to cost to tear the unused portions of the old FCH down.
Supervisor Susan Johnson again mentioned that she would like to see the building saved.  She said she has been approached by people who have donated to various hospital fund-raisers in the past.  They would like to see the building kept up.
The county board recently awarded a bid to a company to begin asbestos removal at the old hospital.
“We have to move on…we put it up for sale…we tried to offer to give it to the city,” Supervisor Jerry Galusha said.  “Nobody wants it.”
The county board was in general consensus to get bids for the cost of demolishing it and some guesses on what it would cost to control the mold and get the building into a position of being usable again.

Also on September 22, the county board approved Fillmore County Highway Superintendent Pat Halbur’s 2014-2015 Year-end Report.  While at the meeting, Halbur reported work has started again on the Geneva North project and with roads being used heavily for harvest, some road issues have arisen.

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