County to court Nov. 30 on Pawnee Aviation locan

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood will appear in district court Monday, Nov. 30, asking Judge David Urbom to allow the county to liquidate collateral it holds in Pawnee Aviation, the helicopter kit company that has defaulted on a $300,000 loan from the county.

In December 2004, Pawnee Aviation borrowed $200,000 from the county's revolving loan fund and received a $100,000 grant tied to the creation of full-time jobs. Pawnee Aviation owner Ron Willocks made a total of $4,416.40 in loan payments in 4 1⁄2 years. The grant must be repaid also because jobs were not created and maintained.

County commission chairman Earl McNutt said Monday, during a weekly commissioners' meeting, that Wood has had no response from Willocks to notices of intent to sue sent to him in the mail and published in the newspaper, and will seek from Judge Urbom a ruling that will allow the county to proceed with selling collateral.

The hearing begins at 11:30 a.m.

In other action Monday morning:

* Commissioners made no decision -- nor any disclosure -- regarding a purchase of property they discussed in closed session.

* Commissioners decided not to apply for additional funds in a second round reallocation of unused "Recovery Zone" bond authority program offered through the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In the economic development bond program, counties and cities may issue bonds to finance local public infrastructure projects. Red Willow County qualifies for an allocation of bond authority of $738,000. When the bonds are paid off in 20 years, the federal government reimburses 45 percent of the interest paid.

"There are some advantages to the program," McNutt said, "but it's creating debt, too."

* Commissioners approved the continuation of the bond for Shirley Axtell, Danbury's treasurer.

* Commissioners reappointed Harlow Daffer, Jay Schilling and Dr. Wayne Watkins to the county fair board, with terms to expire Dec. 31, 2013.

* Commissioners approved applications from McCook Public Power District to occupy county road right-of-way for electric lines to cross Road 385 near the Earl Wilkinson home north of McCook on West Third, and for 2.75 miles of a an east-west road north of Ramshorn Dairy northeast of McCook.

* Commissioners discussed the possibility of co-sponsoring a waste reduction and recycling incentive grant application with Champlin Tire Recycling Inc. of Concordia, Kan., for a scrap tire collection.

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