Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning accepted the resignation of Margaret Swanda, after 15 years as the director of the county's health department.
Also at their weekly meeting, commissioners elected not to use a federal government Recovery Zone bond program to pave two miles of county road north of McCook's East 11th Street.
Commissioners will ask health board members to write an advertisement by Thursday, April 29, to begin the search for a replacement for Swanda. The position will be advertised May 3 and 10.
Commissioner Leigh Hoyt asked that Swanda and several board members review all applications and make recommendations of the best candidates for interviews to commissioners.
After several months of deliberation and discussion, commissioners decided Monday not to participate in the Recovery Zone Economic Development Bond program offered by the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Red Willow County qualified for an allocation of bond authority of $738,000 to pay for public infrastructure projects, public facilities, job training and/or educational programs. When the bonds are paid off in 20 years, the federal government reimburses 45 percent of the interest paid.
Commissioners had discussed using the bonds to pay for paving two miles of County Road 386. However, Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said Monday morning that he's concerned that the bond payments will outlast the paving project. He said the county could armor-coat the road every other year for about the same amount as the reimbursed interest -- $245,000.
The bonds would require a $63,000 annual payment -- additional tax money, Commissioner Steve Downer said. Downer said that that annual payment could go a long way to pay for other projects throughout the county.
Although fellow Commissioner Leigh Hoyt said that any road requires normal maintenance and upkeep, and "If we don't do it now, it'll never get done," and that commissioners may regret not taking advantage of this program, it was his motion to relinquish Recover Zone bonding authority to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Downer seconded the motion; the vote was unanimous.
In other action:
* Commissioners authorized deputy county clerk Tami Teel to sign the county with Asgard Energy LLC for its natural gas supplier.
* Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution to approve a multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan among Red Willow, Franklin, Furnas and Harlan counties. McCook City Manager Kurt Fritsch told commissioners that city council members will adopt the same resolution at their May 3 meeting.