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County board elects officers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Regional Editor

Red Willow County's District 1 commissioner was elected to his 10th year as chairman during the county board's annual reorganization Monday morning.

Commissioner Earl McNutt of McCook chaired his first meeting in January 2001. He was elected to the board of commissioners in 1998.

District 3 commissioner Leigh Hoyt of rural McCook will serve as vice-chairman of the 2010 board of commissioners.

District 2 commissioner Steve Downer of rural Bartley will continue for a second year as chairman of the county's board of equalization; McNutt will be vice chairman. Hoyt will serve as chairman and McNutt as vice president of the Noxious Weed Control Authority.

Commissioners split representation on various boards among the three of them:

McNutt: Board of trustees of the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, Jail Task Force, REWARD board of directors, West Central Nebraska Development District administrative board alternate.

Hoyt: Hillcrest Nursing Home board, Veterans' Service Committee, County Visitors' Committee. Fair Board, County Health Board, City/County Cooperation Committee, Counties' Cooperation Committee.

Downer: E-911 Committee, Resource Conservation and Development board, Red Willow County Regional Economic Development Loan Fund administrative board, Region II governing board, West Central Nebraska Development District administrative Board, Work Ethic Camp Community Involvement Committee.

Also during the board reorganization, commissioners designated banks as depositories for the county for 2010: Wells Fargo, McCook National Bank, AmFirst in McCook, Horizon Bank of McCook, First Central in McCook, Adams Bank and Trust of Bartley, State Bank of Bartley and the Nebraska Public Agency Investment Trust (NPAIT) of Lincoln.

Hoyt told County Treasurer Marleen Garcia that he's curious about the dollar amount of taxes forgiven in motor vehicle tax exemptions, as Garcia presented what she thinks is about half of the motor vehicle tax exemption applications she expects for 2010.

Sitting as a board of equalization, the board approved one new motor vehicle tax exemption application, from the McCook Humane Society, which is requesting a tax exemption for charitable reasons for one vehicle.

Other exemption applications came from: Community Hospital of McCook, eight vehicles, charitable; First Assembly of God Church, two vehicles, religious; McCook Christian Church, two vehicles, religious; First Christian Church of the Nazarene, one vehicle, religious; McCook Harvest Church, one vehicle, religious; Peace Lutheran Church, three vehicles, religious; Southwest Area Training Services , 16 vehicles, educational; and McCook YMCA, three vehicles, charitable.

Hoyt also questioned the charitable status on the hospital's application; Garcia said she would research the description of the charitable status for tax exemptions for Hoyt and report on it, along with tax exemption dollar figures, at the commissioners' Jan. 25 meeting.

Commissioners will not meet Monday, Jan. 18, because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

County Assessor Sandra Kotschwar presented a multi-page list of real and personal property tax exemption applications, only one of which was not a renewal. Commissioners scheduled a hearing for Jan. 25, at 9:15 a.m., for Community Hospital Association, which is requesting a property tax exemption, for charitable reasons, for the property it purchased for administration and office space at 711 East 11th, the former location of Apria Health Care.

The board approved Kotschwar's list of annual renewals.

In other action, commissioners"

* Reviewed and approved interlocal agreements with West Central Nebraska Development District for the McCook North and McCook West federal-aid road projects. The agreements designate Karl Elmshaeuser of WCNDD as Red Willow County's responsible charge person for road projects funded with federal aid and federal stimulus funds. The county will not pay for Elmshaeuser's services as it pays a $2,500 annual fee as a member of the WCNDD.

* Approved an interlocal agreement with the Village of Bartley for enforcement by the sheriff's office of the village's municipal ordinances. Bartley will be charged $3,000, to be paid by Dec. 31, 2010. The Bartley board approved the yearly agreement in December.

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