Which is cheaper, a new dump truck or a new roof?
Following bid openings Wednesday by the Burt County Board of Supervisors, the answer looks like the roof.
The county board approved a bid from FS Contracting for a new roof for the courthouse to replace the material put down in 1997. The bid from the Tekamah-based company came in at $124,000, nearly $100,000 less than the bids provided by two other companies. The new roof also comes with a 25-year warranty. Work on the project is expected to start in September. Since the project won’t be paid for until then, the money can either come from next year’s maintenance budget or from the county’s building fund.
That work likely will get done before the county can get a truck delivered. The board took no action on the purchase of two new dump trucks to give board members time to compare the competing bids. RDO Truck Center offered a price of $157,740 per truck plus another $142,771 for two snowplows and sander boxes. Although some trade-in value will be applied, a five percent increase is expected in June.
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A bid from MasterTech Truck and Equipment form Wichita, Kansas, sought a total cost of $688,768 for two outfitted trucks. Trade value also will be applied.
Delivery from either company isn’t expected until the first quarter of 2024.
In other business during its May 10 meeting, the county board:
—Approved keeping its employee health insurance through the Nebraska Association of County Officials risk management pool. The increase in premium comes in at just under four percent, making a monthly payment of $50,786.
—Heard office updates from County Surveyor Fred Franklin and County Attorney Edmond Talbot.
Franklin told the board most of the county’s survey records, even its oldest ones, have been digitized and are available at the county’s website as well as the site run by the state surveyor’s office. The hard copy records have been moved upstairs into storage.
Talbot told the board that shortage is likely to occur in his office’s budget due to the court ordering some costs normally paid by defendants be borne by the county.
“If a judge decides that the costs are uncollectable, then we have to pay them,” Talbot said.
He added that the board also will see increased costs for jail time and court-appointed attorney fees as a glut of cases make their way through the system.
—Sitting as the Board of Equalization, approved a slate of tax list corrections submitted by County Assessor Katie Hart.
The list included seven corrections to Homestead exemptions that were reduced by the state Department of Revenue based on the amount of income the property owner earned for the 2020 tax year.
Hart also informed the board of recent changes to assessment procedures caused by the number of real estate sales in the county and the value of those sales.
She said her office will put together a binder so the public will be able to see how much valuations have changed and how far off the valuations of some properties were compared to where they need to be in order to meet state requirements.
She said 6,850 valuation change notices soon will be mailed out. Each will contain a card showing some of the possible reasons for an increase. Sales prices are driving the increases for land value in every town, rural residential and farmland. Home values also have increased in every town and for rural residential properties due to record high sale prices. Additionally, soil adjustments were removed from farmland that experienced damages from floods in 2011 and 2019. She said farmers are encouraged to provide her office with pre- and post-flood reports from the Farm Service Agency if possible.
She said Tekamah has been split into three sales areas in order to equalize values. As an example, she said property in the Railroad Addition in Tekamah cannot be valued at the same level as other parts of the city because sale prices in the area are generally lower than the rest of the city. Two additional splits also should be done soon. Similarly, a third sales area has been added in the county. Hart said the three townships along the Missouri River—Arizona, Riverside and Quinnebaugh—have been turned into their own sales area, making three for rural property.
—Gave local approval to a request from Tipsy Pig in Tekamah for Special Designated Permits allowing the establishment to run a beer garden at the upcoming Hoot Gibson Memorial Rodeo. The request now must be approved by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.
The event is set for June 2-3 at the Hoot Gibson Arena on the west edge of Tekamah along Highway 32. The county board’s approval was necessary because the rodeo grounds are located outside of the Tekamah city limits.
—Approved a commercial renovation grant of $4,992 sought by Pelan Funeral Services to replace two sets of exterior doors at its Tekamah facility. The grant is set up to fund half of the low bid on an approved project with a limit of $15,000.
The money comes from a fund through Burt County Economic Development Corp. Although the corporation is not a government agency, final decisions on expenditures are up to the county board.