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

Visitors Center Under Review

Feb. 7 Public Hearings To Address Center’s Future And Snow Emergencies

Two public hearing will be held on Feb. 7, 2023, at the next Kimball County Commissioners meeting. At 9:30 a.m., a public hearing is scheduled for comment on the adoption of Ordinance 2023-1 concerning Snow Emergency and Abandoned Vehicles on county roads.

This appears to be a problem because when the interstate and state roads are shut down due to the weather conditions, then GPS will take travelers on the county roads, and those roads have not been cleared. Hence abandoned and stuck vehicles end up blocking the county roads, making them impassable even for emergency vehicles.

At 10 a.m., following the snow emergency public hearing will be a hearing on High Point Welcome Center’s potential sale and appraisal review. This public hearing is the first step in determining the fair market value of the property, then legally advertising the property, and finally putting the property out for bids.

In regular business, Randy Bymer, County Highway superintendent, is preparing for the next snowstorm. An estimated 6-9 inches is expected beginning Tuesday afternoon and evening. He reported that all the machines are up and running except for the spare road grader.

Bymer locked in diesel prices for April, May and June for $3.542, which is about a dollar higher than last year.

The highway department has been approached by Region 21 Emergency Management for the possible use of an operator and a road grader. Region 21 is putting plans in place for when the next big fire erupts, and area road departments can help build a fire guard when necessary. Bymer was going to call and check on the liability before committing equipment and manpower.

As snowstorms continue in the area, Bymer requested the board to increase the driveway cleaning fee per hour from $50 to $75. A resolution will have to be passed at a future meeting for this increase.

Bymer will look at his budget to determine if the finances are available to fix the main seal leak in the 644 loader or if they continue to use it with the leak.

The development agreement between Community Building Solutions and Kimball County was tabled.

Local resident Kimberly Sharples asked to be recognized in a public comment period. Sharples explained that many people would like to attend the commissioners meetings but cannot attend due to the timing. She asked the commissioners to consider having a recorded or Zoom meeting.