Commissioners Hear Updates on Wind Energy Project, Broadband Backup Service For 911 System

WAYNE – No action was made during Tuesday morning’s regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting but three different updates were provided.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, updates from the Haystack Wind Project, a broadband backup service for a 911 system and COVID were discussed.

Representatives with Orsted Wind Energy, Bradley Construction Management and Blattner Energy introduced themselves and gave an update on the project. The group stated the work on hill cuts are taking longer than expected but will they’ll work through the winter months. An update will also be provided on the Haystack Project once a month moving forward.

A concern that Mark Casey, Highway Superintendent, had was getting into the winter season as Westwood Engineering has been in contact with Mainelli Wagner & Associates talking about the driveway issues and making sure they’re surveyed correctly.

Casey also shared the news that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) has approved the tire collection event in the amount of $50,764. The county will sponsor a scrap tire collection in the fall of 2021 as it hasn’t been done for a couple of years. More information will be set at a later date.

A project that has been over 10 years in the making is finally making its way through northeast Nebraska being the Broadband Backup Service for a 911 system. Sue Krogman, project manager with the Nebraska Regional Interoperability Network (NRIN) was joined by Chief of Police Marlen Chin and City of Wayne Technology Support Specialist Brian Kesting explaining more about the project that is being funded with federal dollars. Each year Krogman asks for grant funds through a competitive process with the Department of Homeland Security and could only get so much of the project complete each year.

Kesting is also a board member for NRIN.

Since most counties have their own dispatch center, the county was picking up the insurance. But the City of Wayne owns and operates the 911 call center for Wayne County as Chinn wanted to bring this information forward. Commissioners agreed that the City of Wayne would cover the insurance and would share expenses once more information is put in place.

Two host sites are being installed in Norfolk and South Sioux City as Wayne will join seven other counties and will run remotely off the host sites through fiber as a back-up system. If the main 911 system is cut, the NRIN project is in place so 911 services are not lost.

Wayne County Emergency Management, Nic Kemnitz handed out the Nebraska COVID-19 Vaccination Plan about how a vaccination would be passed along to local areas once it’s approved. Kemnitz will continue to work with local health and once more details are worked out, it’ll be given to the board of commissioners.

Kemnitz also brought forward information that Governor Ricketts made it an executive order effective December 1 – January 31, 2021 signing a waiver for the public meeting act. Public meetings can be held virtually again like they were in the Spring as the next Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, December 15 through a virtual format.

The meeting will be limited to 10 people in the annex building and start at 9 a.m.