The Dawson County Commissioners met for a regular meeting on April 17th.
After approving the March 30th minutes, Official’s Receipts were filed as submitted: $5,662.98 County Clerk; $25,772.38 Register of Deeds; $38,051.72 Clerk of District Court and $1,212.50 Surveyor.
Treasurer’s Receipts in the amount of $2,385,203.03 were approved as were Claims totaling $427,416.66.
A resolution was passed for Pinnacle Bank pledging an additional $12,000,000.00 worth of collateral.
Dawson County Sheriff Gary Reiber presented the March crime reports. There were 1,023 total services provided and 1,690 LEC dispatch calls for service during the month.
186 new inmates were booked into the Dawson County Jail with the average daily population being 97.4. 52.7 of these were contract inmates and 44.7 were Dawson County inmates. There were 1,633 inmate days in March, which was up from the 985 days in February. Sheriff Reiber noted that he would be discussing the pricing/rates with Buffalo County officials for their inmates who have ‘issues’ and bring back his findings to the commissioners.
Total revenue for this fiscal year is $1,499,206.58 compared to $1,268,925.39 at this time last year.
Sheriff Reiber also reported that the Nebraska Jail Standards Board had declared the Dawson County Jail fully compliant.
Road Superintendent Mark Christiansen opened gravel bids from Paulsen Inc. and Overton Sand & Gravel.
The bids from Overton Sand & Gravel for Range 19, Townships 9-12; Range 20, Townships 9-12 and Range 22, Township 9 were approved.
Bids from Paulsen Inc. for Range 21, Townships 9012; Range 22, Townships 10-12; Range 23, Townships 9-12, Range 24, Townships 9-12 and Range 25, Townships 9-12 were also approved. Pit prices of $8.25 from both suppliers were accepted.
The commissioners approved the appointment of Deb Egenberger to the Dawson County Visitors Committee to complete the term vacated by June Blauvelt.
The agreement presented at the March 30th meeting regarding the opioid crisis by Brock, Pohlmeier, Reynolds, Korth & Samuelson was rejected by the commissioners.
Deputy County Attorney Jared Dean had conferred with the County Attorney who had advised the county not to enter the agreement that would prove to be an ‘onus’ for them as they do not have enough manpower and would see very little benefit by joining the benefit.
Commissioner Bill Stewart noted that one client has left the CDC Building. “If affordable, it might be a good idea to move the juvenile side of probation over there,” Stewart said. “Lutheran Family Services only wants half of the building and is subleasing some offices,” he continued.
Lexington architect Brad Brandenberg will continue to work with the county on remodeling the CDC as needed in addition to County Clerk Karla Zlatkovsky’s office. The main window of the County Clerk’s office will be moved down away from the ‘hubbub’ of the County Treasurer’s Office, but most likely not until after this year’s elections according to Zlatovsky.
Board members visited and toured the Dawson County Jail.
The Dawson County Board of Equalization met prior to the Commissioners meeting.
Tax Corrections were approved parcels owned by Chauncey Bates, Nanette Bates, Kugler Farms, Huxoll (Ocken) and Huxoll c/o Overton Sand & Gravel.
The next regularly scheduled meetings for the Boards of Equalization and Commissioners are scheduled for Tuesday, May 1st beginning at 8 a.m. in the Commissioners meeting room in the Dawson County Courthouse located in Lexington, Nebraska.
A four-year lease for 150 MacBook Airs and a three-year lease for 850 iPads for use at the high school and middle school, respectively, were approved Monday night by the Lexington School Board. Annual payment for the laptops will be $29,637 and $85,275 for the tablets, according to the lease agreement.
“Starting next year the district will begin the transition to using tablets in all the schools,” noted Erin Heineman, district finance director. “The high school will continue to use laptops for the 2018-19 school year, then the following year will transition to iPads as well. The Middle School will go to iPads for the coming 2018-19 school year.”
The 2018-19 school year will begin the third rotation of laptops for every student in grades 6-12, noted the administration. Reevaluation of what device best fit the needs of students was prompted by the fact that a laptop model similar and affordable to the current MacBook Pros in use was no longer available. Budget projections forced the district to look at how to meet student needs at a lower cost to the district and this is where the iPad came in, noted the memo presented to the board.
Cost per iPad is just under $300; roughly one-third of what a laptop now costs. All Middle School teachers will be participating in voluntary summer training, as well as technology professional developments during the school year to facilitate this transition. High school teachers will also have training during the coming school year and have voluntary training with a stipend next summer to prepare for the transition at that level.
Elementaries will continue to use mobile computer labs in their respective buildings, said Heineman.
In other business Service Master was awarded a three-year contract to provide custodial services across the district. “They can do it way cheaper than we could in-house,” said Heineman. 
The monthly billing for services at the four elementary schools, high school, middle school, alternative education, career academy and administration buildings comes to $52,806 for 2018-19, and there is roughly a one percent increase per year the following two years, said Heineman. Additional cleaning charges are incurred for the school’s portion of Orthman Community YMCA and at the district owned Majestic Theatre totaling just over $4,000 a month for 2018-19.
Under the consent agenda the board accepted the following resignations: Monica Jasper, Sandoz second grade; Jess McHargue, high school English teacher (he indicated in his letter he plans to continue as head coach of the LHS boys soccer program); Meggan Messersmith, Sandoz third grade teacher; and Neil Risinger, seventh grade science teacher.
New teacher hires that were approved include: Amber Brown, middle school special education; Josi Bruning, Sandoz second grade; Madison Costello, Sandoz third grade; Mikaela Hoxmeier, Pershing fifth grade; Melissa Mann, Sandoz third grade; Amanda Ogden, high school math; and Erin Hanna was given a contract extension for media specialist duties.
A PowerPoint presentation at the end of the meeting by Audrey Downey, Amber Burson and Erica Brockmoeller highlighted the training and duties of the district crisis team. “We have about 40 members that compose the crisis team. The team goes into action for a variety of reasons ranging from severe illness or injury like a bus accident, the death of student or staff member, a natural disaster, an active shooter incident or world crisis. The take away is that we have staff that takes training and develops steps and protocol to respond to crisis situations,” said Heineman.
The board also went into an executive session to negotiate the Superintendent’s contract for 2018-20. No action was taken during the executive session.
The Lexington City Council approved two loan agreements at their April 10 meeting that will pave the way for bringing a Runza restaurant and microbrewery to the community.
Loan Agreement 2018-01 authorizes RRTABS Investments of Holdrege to take over the Runza restaurant project on South Plum Creek Parkway from the previous applicant, Whilee LLC of Gothenburg. Funds would be used to purchase the property and allow RRTABS to proceed with renovation of the former Wendy’s into a Runza franchise, noted City Manager Joe Pepplitsch.
Loan agreement 2018-02 will allow McFarland Family Farms, LLC to proceed with a $420,000 expansion. “We have decided to take a next step at Mac’s Creek and will be opening Liberty Brewing Company,” said Barry McFarland. “We will not be distributing beer. What we produce will only be for sale at our Lexington location and at the Kearney wine bar. The loan will help purchase equipment and be part of the puzzle.”
He added their goal is to have beer ready for sale by Jan. 1, 2019.
Seth McFarland said they initially want to brew three different types of beer. “We are looking at a kolsch, some type of IPA and a lager. We tried to select beers with the broadest appeal,” he said.
Pepplitsch noted the funds are part of a revolving loan pool administered by a Loan Fund Committee. “The committee took a look at both projects and deemed them worthy, as they mesh with current development plans. This puts all of our reuse dollars into play in projects and allow us to seek additional funding for other projects,” he said.
In other business the council approved a motion to approve plans and specifications for the Northwest segment of the Hike-Bike Trail project in order to seek project bids. The trail would run from the intersection of Adams and 20th Streets roughly along an old irrigation ditch, crossing Patriot Drive and going south back to 20th Street just west of Independence Avenue.
Pepplitsch said they would like to open bids in early May and bring them back at the council’s second May meeting for consideration.
The council also authorized execution of a deed conveying property at 704 W. Ninth to Roberto Franco to build a house. A remonstrance ordinance had passed at the council’s previous meeting with no petition against the sale.
The council had originally scheduled a work session for April 14, but the weekend snowstorm forced the meeting to be rescheduled.
The Lexington School Board called a special meeting for Tuesday morning, April 17 at 7 a.m. at the Central Office.
On the agenda was consideration of acceptance of the resignation of Lexington High School ELL instructor Meredith O’Hanlon, who turned in a hand-written letter of resignation on Thursday afternoon, April 12, effective immediately.
Also on the agenda was consideration of a contract to be offered to Jamie Timko to teach eighth grade science and a 10-day contract extension to high school counselor Joel Lemus-Leon.
The Cozad Community Schools Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, April 16th.
High School Principal Bill Beckenhauer reported that he had been ‘scouring’ the state for a science teacher the past month. Middle School Principal Brian Regelin expressed concern about the June 1st deadline that CCS has for teachers to get out of their contract, noting that other schools have much earlier deadlines unless a suitable replacement can be found. 
Regelin also highlighted that one person was hired to replace two people on the grounds maintenance and transportation position. “John Smock, a licensed mechanic, is capable of doing work on most of our school vehicles, but it would be a good investment to purchase a hoist to make it easier, safer and more efficient for him as he works,” Regelin explained.
Activities Director Jordan Cudney reported that Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Brent Frauen had resigned and that three applicants were to be interviewed this week for the position.
Three CCS instructors appeared with their requests for textbooks for the 2018-2019 school year.
Elementary Music Instructor Erica Wieseler explained the GamePlan music curriculum she had selected. “It is an active music curriculum, contains excellent music literature, has assessment tools and meets National Music Standards and Nebraska Music Standards,” Wieseler said. Total cost is $3,910.00.
High School Vocal Music Instructor Stacie Blackmore requested a collection of books and anthologies she can use to teach festival and contest literature. At the present time, she does not have enough copies of older anthologies and books for contest purposes where five original copies are now needed, one for her, one for her accompanist and one for each of the three judges for large vocal ensembles. Blackmore had also researched a list of reproducible music for vocal solos, duets and choral works and these also come with accompaniment CDs that are needed since the school does not have an accompanist. Cost for Blackmore’s purchase request totaled $891.43.
Ag Instructor/FFA Advisor Rebekah Kraeger requested new materials for the second year of the ag program at Cozad High School. “This year I taught only Intro to Ag and Welding. For Intro to Ag I was able to borrow from other ag instructors while I decided which materials I wanted to purchase,” Kraeger said.
Kraeger requested Agriscience Fundamentals and Applications for next year’s Intro to Ag class as some of its material will overlap into some of my other courses as well as FFA. She also selected Animal Science, Biology and Technology for her Animal Sciences class. The third textbook Kraeger requested was the Wildlife and Natural Resources Management book and the leadership book for her Natural Resource and Ag Leadership class. Total cost for the ag textbooks and workbooks totaled $8,658.10.
Approval was granted for purchase of all of the textbooks & materials requested.
In other business, board members approved sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program in the Cozad Middle School Cafeteria since the high school will be without air conditioning all summer.
Approval was given on the proposal from Beckman, Inc. for Phase One of the asbestos removal in the high school boiler room. Total cost is $33,000. Bids for the boiler room project will be due on May 8th and approved at the May board meeting.
Discussion was held concerning the proposal from VVS, Inc. for security camera installation at the high school. According to Principal Beckenhauer, the server has been updated but the 32 cameras are outdated. The proposal is to add five cameras with ‘360 degree’ cameras to be installed in the office area and the north end of the high school. 
The board members approved the $14,888.96 price tag for the camera installation and update at the high school.
The next board meeting is scheduled for  May 14th.