Commissioners Approve Exchange Of Pauper Grave Sites, Table 2020 Census And Redistricting Commissioner Voting Districts

WAYNE – Tuesday morning’s regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting moved along quickly as the board covered a range of items before tabling their final agenda item until later in the afternoon.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, JoAnn McKenzie approached the board with an update and exchange of pauper grave sites.

McKenzie is a board of trustee on the Greenwood Cemetery Board and updated the Commissioners with a change in their board members.

As Greenwood Cemetery goes through their software update and upgrade through GIS mapping on the cemetery website, McKenzie stated there are 33 graves owned by the county that are currently unoccupied.

If a family wanted to be next to a grandparent or family member who passed away and there was a county grave site with no family members, they could be moved. Everything will stay as is until a family member makes a request as Greenwood Cemetery will look to accommodate the family. This is similar to what Wayne County did in Winside in February of 2013 with an exchange.

Wayne County purchased 18 lots for $250 back in 1885 in the original/first addition of Greenwood Cemetery. There are currently between six and nine graves per lot.

Clerk of District Court, Deb Allemann-Dannelly then visited with the board about purchasing a new desk for the District Judge office and painting the room. The State has given judges a two-screen computer and the current desk doesn’t have enough space to handle the computer and allow the judges to have room for paperwork and talk with groups in the office.

This desk would be shared between district and county court as the low bid came in at $1,999.16. Allemann-Dannelly did state the judge has a budget of about $1,750. Stanton, Cuming and Pierce courthouses have made changes to the desk in their judges’ office also.

The desk would be L-shaped which allows the monitors to be placed on one side and a clear vision for the judge when they have individuals or groups of people in the office.

Wayne County Board of Commissioners were also updated that they don’t have a dog in the fight according to County Attorney, Amy Miller for the Settlement Agreement and Release with Herbst Construction, Inc. Funds were through federal grants and the Nebraska Department of Transportation as the county just had to sign-off on the document. Wayne County will not lose any funds or have to pay anything.

Nic Kemnitz, Wayne County Emergency Manager also updated the board about an upcoming Eastern Nebraska Wildland Fire Academy taking place at Ponca State Park this Thursday, November 4 – Sunday, November 7.

There’ll be a communications exercise at 10 a.m. on Thursday before the Northeast Planning, Exercise and Training Region will be conducting their Communications Exercise from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday. Next Wednesday, November 10, Kemnitz will also be working with the Plum Creek Windfarm to observe their Emergency Response Exercise. There’ll also be a Traffic Incident Management Training event from the Pilger Fire Hall on Tuesday, November 23 between 6 – 10 p.m. If a certain number of individuals attend, there would be an opportunity to receive grant funds for equipment.

As the Commissioners were looking to establish their proposed commissioner voting districts, County Attorney Miller requested this be tabled until Tuesday at 2 p.m. She had a few issues with the new voting map as the Commissioners were looking to have the areas they maintain the roads to get those voters in their district. When she looked at the proposed voting districts, she wanted to avoid the questions of gerrymandering, or the manipulation of bounders to favor one party or class.

The group will look to work with the company who is designing the voting district map as a public hearing will eventually be set for the proposed voting districts.

Two-thirds of the Wayne County Commissioner population is in the City of Wayne as the group will look to equalize the district. Both Winside and Carroll roads come to Wayne.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioner meeting will be on Tuesday, November 16 at 9 a.m.