Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Commissioners appoint Austin Garner as new VSO


The Kimball County Commissioners appointed Austin Garner as the new veterans service officer at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Garner recently returned to Nebraska after spending time in the Army overseas, where he was a flight paramedic. He was discharged in July.

Prior to his time in the Army, Garner served the LaVista Fire Department as a firefighter and paramedic. Since his return to Kimball, he recently joined the Kimball County Ambulance Service. Garner is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

The new VSO said he originally planned to move to Montana following his time in the Army, but decided to return to Kimball to be closer to family.

“When you’re growing up in Kimball, you think that you need to get out,” he said. “Coming back here, I had a few things happen where I’d call a buddy up late at night and he’d drop what he’s doing and come help you out, and that’s just an overwhelming sense of pride for the community and it’s something you can’t replicate anywhere else. After being away for so long, in Germany and growing up and living life a little bit, I decided that this is where I want to make some roots.”

Garner’s appointment as the VSO began Tuesday. Although the position is currently part-time at 20 hours per week, Garner hopes to make it full-time by pursuing grants and other funding.

“That’s something I think would be very beneficial to the community and the veterans,” he said.

Garner said he plans to reach out to all the veterans in the county and also be involved with the county’s youth. He replaces Shaun Evertson, whom the commissioners fired in August after a tumultuous past few months.

“I look forward to serving the Kimball veterans in any way that I’m able,” Garner said. “I believe the veterans service committee and the county commissioners are a wealth of knowledge and I’m grateful to work with them to better the lives of the people and our veterans. Thank you for this opportunity. I just don’t have words to describe how excited I am to fill this position.”

The commissioners also:

- Ratified the chairman’s signature on an agreement for gravel and liability between the county highway department and Hugh A. Roberts, John S. Roberts and William D. Roberts. The agreement concerns a construction project on County Road 49 between CR 24 and CR 28.

- Approved that uncollected distress warrants for property tax from 2014 for nine properties be striken from the tax rolls. County Treasurer Diana Quicke said the nine properties, all mobile homes, are either unlivable or have been moved.

- Tabled action on approving a job description for the county weed superintendent position until Oct. 20.

- Tabled the notice to seek bids for an ambulance until Oct. 20.

- Tabled a request to upgrade security equipment in the county sheriff’s office until Oct. 20.


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