Commissioners Approve Two Additional ARPA Grant Applications, Hear Update From NACO Office

WAYNE – Two more ARPA grant applications in Wayne County were approved Tuesday morning with a possibility of one more on the way before county officials determine how much they’ll retain for their own projects.

From the Wayne County Safety Annex, Sandra Hansen, Disaster Recovery Specialist shared with the board from the just over $1.8 in ARPA funds received, they’d be down between $870,000 – $1.1 million remaining.

From the four applications approved last meeting, two more were approved Tuesday morning during the regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting.

They included $111,783.16 to Carroll Rural Fire District 1 for fire equipment, new gear and pagers as well as $248,350 to Wayne Rural Fire District 2 for a 2,000 gallon tanker/pumper combo which would take roughly 200 business days to construct.

A seventh application is in the process of being finalized from Hoskins Fire for roughly $270,000 on the high side for a water tanker and gear. Hansen is expecting to receive that application prior to the next meeting.

Once the Hoskins application comes in, commissioners will determine how much of the ARPA funds will be retained for county usage.

Amy Topp introduced the new Wayne County 4-H Educator, Julie Schultz from Pierce. Schultz has nine years of Lego League experience, has been the Colfax County 4-H Educator for the past seven years and also spent time in the State 4-H office.

She’ll be based in Wayne and oversee 4-H in Pierce county as well.

With the need for another SPIKE Prime Robot and expansion kit to be added to the First Lego League in Wayne County, board members approved the purchase of roughly $505. A competition series is available for youth aged 9-14 as there is enough youth to create nearly three teams.

Todd Greunke also provided an update on the Ag Society website, Fair officials are working on making it more user friendly and also adding photos and videos from the fair.

Highway Superintendent, Mark Casey stated he submitted three bridges from District I (Terry Sievers); two from District II (Dean Burbach) and two from District III (Jim Rabe). A couple addition bridges are being looked at to submit for a bond project to Mainelli Wagner.

Casey also went over questions from the carbon pipeline projects from Navigator and Summit Carbon Solutions. If the size of the pipe going underground is greater than 8 inches, the cost is a $1,000 permit fee per crossing. Commissioners also agreed upon at least a one million dollar insurance policy and one million dollar bond for the projects as a road agreement is being determined.

Jon Canon, Executive Director of NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) gave an in-person update from his office. The main highlights focused on the Inheritance Tax and getting the word out about what it is used for, the Post Card Bill pertaining to Tuesday night’s Joint Public Meeting and up to 40% of the legislature could see a turnover in new Senators.

Canon stated if the Inheritance Tax is gone, property tax would go up and added just over half of the Nebraska counties will be hosting a Joint Public Meeting due to the public entities having a 2% plus growth in their budget. Wayne County did not but a few school districts did inside Wayne County which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse on Tuesday.

Come next session, there’ll be 16 new Senators which is a third of the legislature and up to 19 possibly which is closer to 40%. With nearly a third of all bills introduced pertaining to county government, NACO will provide testimony or insight for those bills at the State Capitol.

Canon closed with an update on cyber security and gives Wayne County credit for being in good shape.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, October 4.