Cass County Courthouse

PLATTSMOUTH – Should Cass County be designated as a Livestock Friendly County?

What does that mean? Are there benefits to that designation? Concerns?

The county’s Planning Commission approved that designation Monday night. Now it’s up to the members of the Board of Commissioners, who will vote on the matter in a few weeks.

The issue was discussed at Tuesday’s board meeting with more research coming.

Livestock Friendly County, LFC, is a state voluntary program, begun in 2003, that recognizes counties that actively support the livestock industry.

Directed by the Legislature, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture uses this program to assist counties and agricultural producers in promoting this industry.

Mike Jensen, the county’s zoning director, told the board of his concern about the state possibly reviewing county decisions on livestock operations.

“A decision made by the board to deny a livestock feeding operation, for example, may be open for review by the Department of Agriculture,” he said. “The state could review it.”

The county’s regulations on such operations and their relationships with residential areas are stricter than the state’s, he said.

“We have a good set of regulations protecting residents and livestock use,” Jensen said.

He plans on getting more information about this program prior to the board’s expected vote at its Nov. 12 meeting.

“I’m exploring how it would benefit the county and not be another regulatory hurdle,” Jensen said.

On another matter that was voted on, the board approved the purchase of two motor graders and one loader for the Roads Department.

The loader, a type of equipment used in construction projects, will cost $178,825 after a $21,500 trade-in on a 22-year-old model, according to Lenny Thorne, highway superintendent.

“It’s been used hard,” he said of the old model.

The total cost of the two graders, used in the maintenance of roads, is $468,000 or $234,000 each.

“That’s a lot of money, but that’s what they cost,” Commissioner Dale Sharp said.

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