Official delivers records on county bridges

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Red Willow County commissioners accepted a boxful of files during their meeting Monday morning when the county's surveyor delivered to the courthouse all the records on the county's 48 bridges.

County surveyor Gary Dicenta told commissioners in November 2009 that the federal government now requires that all bridge inspection reports "stay with the owners" and be organized according to federal requirements. That meant moving the county's bridge files from Dicenta's office at Miller and Associates in McCook to the courthouse.

Each of the county's 48 bridges now has a separate file that includes history, legal description and location, pictures, inspection notes, load rating summary sheets that detail tonnage posting recommendations, load capacity calculations to determine posting weight, correspondence on all bridges and any bridge in particular, plans for the bridge and maintenance records.

The files will be updated as needed, specifically with each bridge's inspection report every two years.

The measurements of the components of each bridge is included in each file, therefore, Dicenta said, if, for example, a stringer needs to be replaced, it can be replaced with one the same size, thereby avoiding the need to change a bridge's load rating.

The county has timber, steel, concrete and box culvert bridges.

On other action:

* Delton Young of McCook asked commissioners about the possibility of him leasing the apartment house at 524 Norris, the property that the county purchased for $50,000 from Kenneth and Stannis Spencer in February.

Young will present a written proposal at the commissioners' April 5 meeting detailing his plans to renovate four of the five apartments at his own expense, at no expense to the county.

Young said he will pay for renovation, maintenance and upkeep, taxes and insurance in exchange for the rent he would charge.

Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said this would be better than allowing the apartment house to sit empty and deteriorate until the county decides what to do with the house and garage and/or the city lot on which they sit.

McNutt told Young that commissioners were approached in late 2009 by the Spencers about the county buying the apartment house, and that they, the commissioners, have no plans for its use.

County Attorney Paul Wood will look into the possibility that the proposed project may need to be put out for bids, and report back to commissioners during their April 5 meeting, at 9:30 a.m.

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