Knox County Supervisors

The Knox County supervisors approved a 2.5% wage increase for employees when they met at the courthouse in Center last Thursday.

Excepted from the motion and vote for the 2020 increase in pay were elected officials and deputies whose salaries were set by resolution in November 2017. The resolution provided for an annual 2.5% increase in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. The emergency manager’s salary will be addressed at a future meeting.

Just one contractor submitted bids for electrical repairs at the Verdigre and Niobrara county barns. Bids from Flenniken Electric in Neligh were approved. The bid for the Verdigre facility came in at $3,900, and the one at Niobrara, $3,820. Swanson Spry Foam Insulation of Niobrara was the lone bidder insulation in the flood-damaged office area at the Niobrara site. The $3,345 bid was also approved by the county leaders.

The supervisors also approved bid from Wick’s Sterling Trucks Inc. of Omaha for the purchase of a Western Stark truck. The bid includes a stainless steel box, sander and snow plow, with warranties. The $212,221 purchase will be offset by $32,000 distribution from Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency, the county’s insurer. Cornhusker International of Norfolk also submitted a bid.

The condition of a Bohemia Township road west of Verdigre that is a mail route, drew discussion. It was noted there is no gravel on the road. County Attorney John Thomas advised the county leaders to contact the postmaster.  A suggestion was made for the county to gravel a one-mile portion of road and deduct the cost from the township’s allocation funds.  

Kevin Barta, highway superintendent, announced weight limits are being implemented on a number of oil roads in the county due to wet conditions and additional truck traffic. He also said many landslides are occurring on county roads due to the flooding and continued rainfall.

A request was heard for sandbags in the Lazy River Acres area. Supervisor Patrick Liska offered to make the arrangements. A request was also received, from Mark Simpson, for Barta and some supervisors to visit and come up with potential solutions to high water in the area west of Niobrara.

While convened as a county board of equalization, the leaders approved was an agreement with Cornerstone Mapping, Inc., for an aerial flight of the rivers in the west half of the county, along with associated report compilation, at a total cost of $19,090.

The mapping will integrate as a layer onto the GIS mapping, according to Joann Fischer, county clerk.

She said, “It will show the areas covered by silt or sand that was left by the flooding.”

The supervisors approved paying $7,765 ($2,575, planning/zoning; and $5,190, assessor) from the KENO account for the annual subscription gWorks.

“While this tool helps our offices it also is free to the public to use,” Fischer said. “The Assessor tab shows all of the parcels in Knox County and who owns them. The Planning/Zoning tab shows the parcels and the zoning (information).”