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Burt County Courthouse July 2018

Burt County Courthouse

Burt County is going to get some help—a lot of help—in repairing flood damaged bridges and culverts.

During its meeting June 27 the county Board of Supervisors agreed to sign a contract with the Natural Resources Conservation Service for over $2.56 million in repair work. The terms of the contract require the work to be done in 220 days.

The process had been held up for roughly a month because the board wanted to know if there was a penalty if every job on the 42-project list did not get completed.

“There’s not a penalty,” Highway Superintendent Ann Chytka said. “If (the projects) take longer than that, the contract can be extended another 220 days.”

There are 27 jobs on the list the county could do itself. Of those, bids would have to be sought on only five due to their cost. Of those under the $50,000 threshold, work could commence after quotes are requested from three different contractors. The board also considered subletting some of the lesser jobs to area contractors to speed up the work.

The contract calls for NRCS to pay no more than $1,698,555.60 for work on the listed jobs. With approval of the agreement, the county expects to receive the plans and engineering designs for each project and begin the hunt for contractors.

In other business June 27, the supervisors:

—Decided to purchase extended warranties for the two motor graders it has coming out of warranty. The additional time was price-tagged at $6,425 and covers engines and drive trains.

The purchase was made to buy the board additional time as it waits to assess accumulating costs for flood repair projects and to determine what equipment might be needed as the townships get back into business.

“It’s $6,000 and in another year we’ll have a better idea where we sit,” Dist. 5 Supervisor Dale Webster said.

—Directed County Clerk Sarah Freidel to include on the July 9 agenda an action item to vote on a petition to have a culvert installed on County Road HI.

An area landowner is asking for the culvert in order to drain floodwater from roughly 80 acres of farmland. Attorney Dan Smith, representing the petitioner, said state law allows similar drainage if it follows a natural course of water, which he says this would.

A neighbor, Donette Jackson, was against the measure, saying the moving water could isolate their house because there is no ditch to carry the water away.

Attorney Kelly Turner, representing another neighbor in dissent, said there is a process that has to be followed and the board must make sure the installation of the culvert benefits more than one person.

County Attorney Frank Baron said waiting until July 9 provides additional time to investigate the matter. He said if the board agrees with the petitioner, The Road Department will be asked to provide a solution and a public hearing then will have to be scheduled within 90 days.

He said an answer, “is at least two meetings away.”

—Approved Resolution 2019-08 setting a public hearing on July 26 regarding a request to vacate Old County Road F in Summit Township.

The board asked Chytka to find out if the board can vacate part of the road or if it must act on the entire stretch.

Part of the road leads to Summit Lake property while another portion of the road is used almost daily by an area landowner.

—Approved two more commercial building renovation grants.

Farrens Market in Decatur will receive $8,175 for roof repair. Cass Plumbing in Tekamah will receive $15,000 to make repairs to its roof.

The grants pay for half of the low bid on a project but can’t exceed $15,000. The low bid on the Farrens Market job was listed as $16,350. The low bid on the Cass job was $32,259.

Patty Plugge, executive director of the Burt County Economic Development Corp., the group that administers the grant fund, said applicants can select any bid they want, but the grant funding is limited to the low bid.

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