Commissioners Receive Rebate Check, Approve Two More ARPA Grant Applications

WAYNE – Good news was provided by Steve Muir with Elkhorn Valley Insurance while Wayne County Board of Commissioners will look to limit their ARPA grant applications to focus on county projects.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, Muir provided information that United Healthcare didn’t reach 85% claims and roughly three percent of funds will be distributed for the 2021 Medical Ratio rebate checks.

After receiving about $12,000 last year for the 2020 fiscal year, this year Muir was pleasantly surprised and issued a rebate check to Wayne County for just over double of roughly $24,300.

Deb Allemann-Dannelly, Clerk of District Court and Ashley Siebrandt, Clerk Magistrate presented a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on computer technology updates in the courtroom.

Wayne County will be receiving $62,000 to assist with equipment fees while the county would be in charge of electrical fees. There will also be a five year warranty on the equipment.

Commissioners approved the MOU and there’ll be a meeting on October 18 at 1 p.m. with the judges to go over the equipment and where it will be placed.

County Attorney, Amy Miller joined Mark Casey, Road Superintendent with a few minor changes in the purchase agreement between Wayne County and Union Pacific Railroad Company. An action item was approved for the purchase of 1.41 acres of Railroad Right-of-Way (ROW) for $15,000. The idea is to build a new District 3 County Shop (Jim Rabe) in Winside as the land is adjacent to the current property.

District 1 Commissioner Terry Sievers wanted to let the other members of the board know he’ll be pursuing a possible purchase of a motor grader through Sourcewell. He’s currently in the preliminary stages of gathering information.

Two more ARPA Grant Applications through Wayne County were presented. Half of the requested amount was approved to Hoskins Rural Fire District 3 for $124,054.50 since Woodland Park is in Stanton County and the board felt like the two counties should split the costs for a new water tanker. The other item approved was $49,396 for a law enforcement cruiser for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. Another request will come at a later time for equipment as Sheriff Jason Dwinell was still finalizing those bids.

The $635,000 total from the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department was denied for an office building until further information is provided and other funds are received from Cedar, Dixon and Thurston counties. This request was in the early stages as NNPHD is looking to purchase the Magic Wok building adjacent to the current property at the Health Department. Roughly $600,000 has been acquired.

Wayne County has roughly $900,000 remaining from the $1.8 million received.

ARPA applications have now been approved for Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, two Wayne County safety committee applications; Wayne County Sheriff Department as well as Winside, Carroll, Wayne and Hoskins Fire Districts. These groups will need to sign an ARPA State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Payment Agreement with the county.

Commissioners have possibly one more application they could see during their next meeting but will look to focus the remaining funds on their own projects.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, October 18.