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

Kimball County agrees to "Live Healthy"


The second meeting of 2017 for the Kimball County Board of Commissioners held on Jan. 17 was a lighter load than their typical meeting.

Commissioner Daria Faden reported early in the meeting that Jamie Soper, sponsor of the Substance Abuse Coalition at Kimball High School, had requested a time for students to present to the board the actions they have taken to promote no smoking, no drugs and no alcohol at the school. That presentation is scheduled to be held during the next board meeting.

Board Chairman, Larry Engstrom reported that PADD still has loan money available, as reported during the recent PADD meeting.

The board’s legal council, Matt Thurman, reviewed information concerning the “Live Healthy” program through the National Association of County Officals (NACo).

Thurman concluded that the agreement is “no harm/no foul,” meaning that although a five-year agreement must be signed, it does not cost the county any money and at the end of five years the county can either sign another agreement or not, with no repercussions.

The “Live Healthy” program could save members in the county up to 75 percent off services within the “CareMark” program. Each county individuals can choose whether or not they sign up at a cost of $7 for individuals and $9 for families each month with coverage in prescription, dental and even medical services.

The board approved and signed the agreement on behalf of Kimball County. Once all the papers have been approved by NACo, the county will receive more coverage information, available to the public.

Dave Hottell, County Road Superintendent, reported that there had been little road work accomplished as the roads have been frozen. Discussion then moved to Hottell’s request for a full time mechanic who would not only do routine maintenance on all county vehicles (including the sheriff and ambulance vehicles) but also be capable of minor repairs - leaving major repairs to be done by outside mechanics for insurance purposes.

As the board had previously set aside money in the budget for such a position, they directed Hottell to work with Kimball County human resources officer, Christy Warner, to create a job description for the position. Once the job description is created and approved by the board, they will begin searching for a qualified mechanic to fill that position.

The board toured the High Point Welcome Center, where the new heating and air conditioning system was inspected.

According to Commissioner Daria Faden, “In order to save heat and electricity, the rooftop units have been redirected from four to two units making it much more efficient.  It was noticeably warmer and the thermostat was turned down to 68 degrees. Soon insulation for the ceiling will be laid down and door jambs replaced. All this should help significantly with both heating and cooling.”

Other action taken by the board:

* A public hearing was set for Feb. 7 at 9:30 for the one and six year road improvement plan.

* The board conducted the quarterly jail inspection.

The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners is set for Feb. 7 at 9 a.m.


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