Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Minimizing Risk Gets Noticed For County

At the regular Kimball County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday this week, Mark Masterton of the Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association presented the commissioners with a longevity award for participation in NIRMA since becoming a member July, 1, 1988.

The organization provides economical insurance coverage, training and safety protection to county employees and groups with ties to counties.

"We are in this together," Masterton said.

NIRMA roots date to the early 1980s, when a crisis was developing as commercial insurance carriers were passing along dramatic premium increase to government consumers while offering drastically reduced coverages.

In 1985 the crisis intensified. Nebraska counties, as with many other entities, experienced an average increase of 160 percent in their premiums for liability coverage.

NIRMA eventually received a certificate of authority from the Nebraska Department of Insurance and became the first liability self-insurance pool of its kind in the state of Nebraska. It has 32 charter members.

Masterton said NIRMA now includes 84 counties, four aging offices and several natural resources districts. He said the "pool" of members also includes an emergency management group, a fair board and an airport.

Only groups that have ties to a county are eligible for NIRMA.

Also at the commissioners meeting, county zoning administrator Sheila Newell presented the recommendation from the Kimball County Planning Commission concerning the conditional use permit for Apex Sand & Gravel that expires Dec. 31.

Apex failed to apply for a new permit in the time frame given. This agenda item was discussed and the county commissioners voted to accept the Planning Commission's recommendation to require County Attorney Dave Wilson and the Kimball County Sheriff's Office to enforce violations of use beyond Dec. 31 at the location of N/26-14-53 Parcel ID number 530008130.