Wayne County Updates Weather Alert Agreement, Summit Carbon Solutions Provides Economic Analysis Report

WAYNE – A pair of appointments took up most of the regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

From the Public Safety Annex, Wayne County Emergency Manager Nic Kemnitz began with an emergency alert agreement.

The websites for both the City of Wayne and Wayne County go through CivicPlus. Wayne County signed an agreement with a sub-contract group, CivicReady in August of 2016 and then was subcontracted out to ‘Regroup’ between April of 2017 – October of 2021 before going with AlertSense from last October to present.

Kemnitz stated that concerns have come up with AlertSense being more email-based rather than text-based. Wayne County signed a one-year contract for $3,640.44 with AlertSense through this August, but ‘Regroup’ still has all of the information for Wayne County and worked better in the past.

Commissioners approved the emergency alert agreement with ‘Regroup’ for the same price and will be activated immediately as Wayne County wouldn’t be billed until August.

Kemnitz also worked with the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) last Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. pertaining to a HAZMAT spill on Highway 57 (four miles north of Carroll). The spill was being listed as liquid fertilizer, but the group was unsure since the vehicle that created the spill left the scene and didn’t report it. With Thursday’s severe weather approaching, a crew sprayed the spill off the highway and open the road.

Thursday’s storm caused a roof to be blow off a building in Carroll along with several downed tree branches, shingle damage and broken power poles.

Kemnitz also mentioned Region 11 Emergency Management featuring Antelope, Madison and Pierce counties will be conducting a full scale hazardous materials multi-casualty exercise from 5 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. The location would be off a gravel road in Madison county but near the Madison, Pierce and Wayne County borders.

A team from Summit Carbon Solutions then brought forward their economic analysis report for roughly 22 miles of pipeline going through Wayne County. The goal is to capture CO2 going into the atmosphere from the 32 ethanol plants across a five-state region with half of corn going towards ethanol production. Six of the ethanol plants are located in Nebraska.

The project would bring in $28 million to Wayne County as Summit would be paying $630,000 in property taxes yearly to the county. Between 12,000 – 15,000 temporary jobs would be created across the five state region with another 500 permanent jobs available once the pipeline is online.

Last July/August, Summit Carbon Solutions reached out to landowners and provided voluntary surveys for cultural, biological and civil. As the temperatures warmed back up, the team started again in April and are going through Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition through voluntary easements.

Construction would begin next summer with the goal of being in service by end of third quarter in 2024.

Haystack Wind Farm representatives then updated the board about their project closure. Along with tying up some loose-ends, Haystack will be removing their lay-down yard before the end of May. Three turbines are currently not operational and are waiting on parts from Germany. Future wind turbine development in northeast Nebraska will be around the Battle Creek area.

Following a short recess, Disaster Recovery Specialist Sandra Hansen addressed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) through a presentation.

Wayne County received the first half of the ARPA funds being $911,463 last June and will receive the second half next month to total $1.82 million. A committee has been put together and will meet on June 7 with applications being made available by June 8.

The only action taken was if an application is deemed not eligible and the money was already allocated and spent, the group who received the money would have to pay 100% of it back in 60 days. Wayne County would appeal with the Department of Treasury.

Commissioners will be inviting other county offices to the Public Safety Annex on Thursday, May 26 at 9 a.m. to discuss what is needed in Wayne County.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, June 7.