The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Friday, July 14, 2017.
Official’s Receipts were filed as submitted: $690.01 County Clerk; $18,488.93 Register of Deeds and $8,903.42 Clerk of District Court.
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $1,094,762.79 were approved. Approval was also granted to approve the claims submitted totaling $493,751.68.
The commissioners approved the claim for $1,463.41 to be taken out of the General Fund and not the Road Fund as of June 30, 2017.
Under Citizen’s Comments, Lee Hodges, a resident at Pelican Bay at Johnson Lake appeared to request the county to asphalt a road between Gosper and Dawson County, located by Pelican Bay and Johnson Lake Drive. At the present time Dawson County maintains the road that serves 14 houses in Gosper County and one house in Dawson County. The estimated 400 feet of asphalt would cost approximately $32,000. Hodges had already approached Gosper County officials and was told that 2018 – 2020 would be the first possible years they could do it.
“The chances of Dawson County having enough funds available to do this project with all of our paving projects is slim to none,” Commissioner Chairman PJ Jacobson told Hodges.
Dawson County Deputy Attorney Jocelyn Brasher will investigate whether or not it would be legal for the private property owners along the road to pay for the paving and report back at the next meeting.
Under Committee Reports Commissioner Butch Hagan reported that the county fair was going well and that the ag committee would be meeting on July 17th regarding the grant application for handicapped improvements at the fairgrounds.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the June 2017 crime reports and the distress warrant report. There were 923 total services provided, 1,699 LEC dispatch calls for service and 167 inmates booked during June. Total services provided for the fiscal year 2016-2017 numbered 11,871 with 20,099 LEC dispatch calls for services. 1,973 inmates were booked for the year. The Sheriff’s Department garnered $1,532,370.15 in income during the fiscal year.
The commissioners approved the resolution for the 2017 Fracture Critical Bridge Inspection Agreement between Dawson County and the State of Nebraska Department of Roads.
Crystal Werger, Historical Society Director and Dawson County Museum Director appeared with Anne Anderson, Gothenburg Museum, to provide the commissioners with an update and funding request for the new fiscal year. The Historical Society requests $80,000 funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that is up $10,000 from 2016-2017.
“Part of the original museum is currently being renovated so that patrons may walk around in a loop and see more,” Werger explained.
In Gothenburg, the museum is located directly across the street from the Pony Express Station. Last year there were over 3,000 visitors served by 40 volunteers who logged 2,500 hours.
All the museums in the county are presently working together and appreciate the funding and support from the commissioners,” Werger added.
The commissioners approved Anderson, who lives north of Gothenburg and retired from the Gothenburg Development Corporation in 2015, to the Dawson County Visitors Committee as their administrative assistant. Anderson will begin her assignment by re-evaluating the percentage of tourism funds disbursements throughout the county. At the present time Cozad and Gothenburg each receive 20 per cent and Lexington 60 per cent of the tourism funding. This funding ratio has been in place since 1984 and is based on the number of beds available in motels, beds & breakfast, etc. for lodging taxes.
A Special Designated Liquor License from Lakeshore Marina Bar & Grille was approved for a beer garden at a fishing tournament scheduled for July 30, 2017. DC Sheriff Gary Reiber had already signed off on the license for the event.
Discussion was held concerning cash in lieu option insurance offer. This option would be available to every employee in hopes of saving the county money but would be taxable. It could go to spouse’s insurances or Medicare according to County Clerk Karla Zlatkovsky.
The next regular meeting for the Dawson County Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, 2017 beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Dawson County Courthouse located in Lexington, Nebraska.
The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, July 17, 2017.
During the Public Comments portion of the meeting, Cozad TeamMates Co-Director Marcie Kostrunek and Board President Heidi Bazata presented an update on the program and distributed thank you cookies to the board members for their continued support. The Cozad TeamMates have been in existence for the past ten years and have made an obvious difference in the lives of Cozad students in numerous ways including academic improvement and fewer discipline referrals. Six mentees graduated this past May.
Plans are being made to begin matching students with mentors in grades 4 and 5 this year now that a full-time elementary counselor has been hired. “We would like to challenge each board member to recruit one mentor for the upcoming school year,” Kostrunek commented.
A public hearing was held concerning student fees and received approval from the board members.
A second public hearing was held concerning parental involvement. The current policy has been updated including a statement that it is the parents’ responsibility to look at test scores for their child(ren). The new policy needs to be in place prior to the beginning of the school year.
Discussion took place regarding the annual census report that is compiled by Elementary Administrative Assistant Cecily Clark. There are currently 1,384 children from birth to age 20 in the district with 951 being of school age. “I’m happy to report that we are not losing ground and remaining steady in our census,” according to Superintendent Joel Applegate.
Superintendent Applegate reported that the air conditioning pump at the district office went out the beginning of July and projects an $11,000 part to repair it and $8,000 in labor. District Office personnel are currently doing their work in the Cozad Middle School Library.
Applegate also reported that a new panel is needed for the high school chiller at a price tag of $1,500. Additional companies have been consulted on the three ventilator units above the high school locker rooms. Rasmussen Plumbing & Heating Co. has recommended maintenance on the loop system for the cool water chiller system. If this doesn’t pan out, the Kucera bid to replace the chiller units at $19,000 plus labor will be ordered. At the present time there are also issues with the AC in the high school auditorium.
Applegate was thankful that custodial staff was working on Tuesday, July 11th when the thunderstorm ‘microburst’ caused a 12 foot section of roof on the southeast corner of the high school to rip off. Buckets were placed in two classrooms and books, materials and furniture moved out of the rooms in an efficient manner by the custodians.
Applegate also noted that work on the building north of the elementary school is progressing at a good pace.
The summer lunch program will be done this Friday, July 20th with the new food service taking over operations of the kitchen and lunch program.
Board members approved the 2017-2018 Cozad Community Schools Middle/High School Parent/Student Handbook the Elementary Student Handbook and the CEEC Pre-Kindergarten Handbook. The Activities Handbook will need to be approved at the August board meeting.
Board members approved the adoption of several Board Policies including deposits (no money is to be left out in any school overnight but locked in a safe), the review of bills by board members, the policy concerning gifts, grants and bequests that was amended last year and the annual audit. An audit is completed the end of September or beginning of October each year, but a policy hasn’t been in place until now.
Other Board Policies adopted included insurance, transportation and the transportation for non-school groups that was prompted by the air show at the Cozad Municipal Airport in June 2016. The emergency closings policy was also approved. “I usually confer with Dr. Teahon in Gothenburg and other nearby superintendents before making the decision to call off school or have a late start,” Applegate said.
Official adoption of the board policy concerning Sunday and/or Wednesday practices prior to district competitions was also approved. These practices are to be limited to when the district competition falls on a Monday or Thursday and cannot be mandatory.
The last policy to be updated and approved to replace the current board policy was for tobacco products.
Discussion Items included scheduling a date and time for Board Member Policy Review of two policies that need to be approved prior to the beginning of school including the parental involvement policy and the sex offender letters. Superintendent Applegate also asked board members to be thinking of a date in late September or early October for a board retreat to set goals for the year and to bring up items that board members would like to discuss but do not have time to do so at regular meetings.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the board is scheduled for Monday, August 14, 2017 beginning at 7 p.m.
Former St. John’s Lutheran Church employee, 34 year old Candice Hasbrouck was sentenced to 3 years of Probation in Dawson County District Court Monday, July 17th following her guilty plea.
Hasbrouck pled guilty to embezzling more than $46,000 from St. John’s Lutheran Church. She had served as Treasurer since 2009.
Hasbrouck has already repaid the missing amount of $46,109.37 in full.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska is having a donation drive in Cozad that began on on July 11th and will continue until Tuesday, July 25th. The trailer is open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day during the drive at the Cozad Recycling Area located on Highway 30.
Virtually anyting in your home or garage that you no longer use is accepted; clothing, household items, shoes, boots, purses, belts, hats, books, computers, printers, monitors and computer accesories can be placed inside the Goodwill trailer. Due to limited storage space, furniture, televisions and large appliances are not accepted. Tax donation receipts are available at the trailer.