County, city reach water line accord

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Red Willow County commissioners approved the signing Monday morning of an easement agreement with the City of McCook for the laying of a new water line along the county portion of Ravenswood Road.

Commissioners' concerns about the restoration of lawns and yards delayed the signing at the commissioners' meeting June 19.

However, Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said Monday morning, County Attorney Paul Wood has added some language to the agreement that will ensure that the city, which is requesting the easement, will "cause the entire premises to be restored to a condition equal to or better than original" as a result of all the construction work.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to sign the easement.

Monday morning, commissioners distributed gravel bids between the two companies that submitted bids.

Paulsen Inc. was awarded gravel bids for these precincts: Lebanon ($6.94 per ton), Beaver ($6.41), Danbury ($6.22), Tyrone ($6.34), Missouri Ridge ($5.96), Bondville ($5.85), East Valley ($5.96), Indianola ($5.56), Red Willow ($5.56), North Valley ($6.07), Alliance ($5.79) and Coleman ($5.47).

Hancock Gravel Inc. was awarded gravel bids for these precincts: Gerver ($6.33 per ton), Grant ($5.99), Valley Grange ($5.72), Driftwood ($5.24), Willow Grove ($5.24), Perry ($5.23), Fritsch ($5.99) and Box Elder ($5.98).

Paulsen's "pit price," for gravel picked up at its pit, would be $4.20 per ton. Hancock's pit price would be $4.25 per ton.

Commissioners also agreed to cooperate with Kimball County and use its county attorney David Wilson in a multi-county response to an appeal by Roberen Properties Inc. of Sidney to the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission.

Roberen is protesting to the state board the counties' denial of Roberen's claims that land it leases from the Nebraska Board of Educational Land and Funds is non-taxable public property and that royalty interest in producing oil and gas leases is not subject to property tax.

Red Willow County commissioners, on April 24, 2006, ruled that the property leased by Roberen is not leased for a public purpose and is therefore subject to property tax.

In Red Willow County, Roberen is protesting taxes assessed to royalty interest in the Sleepy Hollow Oilfield's Reagan Unit and the Sleepy Hollow Lansing-Kansas City Unit.

Red Willow County Assessor Sandra Kotschwar told commissioners that although the amount of taxes is not significant, the lawsuit could set a precedent for other royalty interest owners.

Because of a conflict of interest, Red Willow County's county attorney office cannot be involved in the lawsuit.

In other action, commissioners:

* Discussed with County Attorney Paul Wood the legal procedures required when complaints are filed about unkempt properties within the county.

* Approved an agreement with the City of McCook for bleachers, tables and a water truck borrowed by the county for the county fair.

* Approved the administrative service agreement with Regional Care Inc., for health insurance claims, and COBRA rates for Red Willow County health insurance plan.

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