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

County Commissioners Set Hearing For Road Improvement Plan

The Kimball County Commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 15, ratified the date for the hearing of the One and Six Year Road Improvement Plan. This public hearing is held to receive public input and comment on the plan. The hearing will be at March 1.

The board also ratified terms for the bids for chip sealing 6.1 miles of asphalt roads. The bid will need to be received by 4 p.m. Feb. 28 and will be opened on March 1 at 9:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, previous information had been received on the last discussion items that the commissioners approved, including an amendment to the Work and Financial Plan between Kimball County and the United States Agricultural Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services.

Unfortunately, all area counties are faced with the same issue – the increased cost of the Wildlife Services. The amendment increases the cost of the contract by 25% – from $8,436 to $10,939. The board approved the increase.

Christy Warner, county transit administrator, presented numbers and talking points about the transit. The following numbers reflect the period from July 1 through January. Total bookings were 14,452 for the six-month period, and in January, the bookings were 3,497. Boardings were a bit less due to cancellations and no-shows. From July to December, the total boardings were 10,177 and the January boardings were 2,677. Boardings are 1,474 so far this month.

Warner explained that a Medicaid trip to Lincoln would help subsidize local ridership. The figures indicate that Medicaid payment for the one day ride was $778, subsidizing the country match on local rides of $637.75.

Warner also mentioned that the transit service uses UVC lights to break down genetic materials for a germ-free environment in the vehicles.

Region 21 Emergency Management Director Ron Leal presented the commissioners with a resolution for approval for the Hazardous Material Response Plan. He also discussed Emergency Management 101 training, which is scheduled for April 27 via Zoom.

County Weed Superintendent Rick Wrangler updated the board on prices of herbicides, which is up significantly from last year. Ordering the same amount of chemicals from previous years went from $17,000 to $21,000 this year. And the fear is the prices will continue to increase. Wrangler stated that at this time, he couldn’t even get the 2,4-D herbicide and figured it would be late summer until he could, although he feels he has enough carryover.

Wrangler and the commissioners had a brief discussion on bindweed, which has been a continual problem throughout the county, yet it is not on the noxious weed list. Bindweed was discussed previously, and once again it was decided that the current budget does not reflect enough money for the cost of the spraying bindweed.

The next Kimball County Commissioners meeting is March 1.