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Hillcrest bond OKd

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners unanimously approved issuing bonds, not to exceed $2.2 million, for improvements at Hillcrest Nursing Home.

At Monday's regular meeting, Commissioners Vesta Dack and McNutt voted unanimously to issue the bonds. Commissioner Steve Downer was absent from the meeting.

Hillcrest Nursing Home is owned by the county, but operational expenses are borne by residents of the facility. County commissioner approval is needed for the authorization of bonds.

The improvements include upgrades to the heating and cooling systems and renovations.

Andy Snyder of Smith Hayes Financial Services Corp., along with Hillcrest Nursing Home Administrator Peggy Rogers and Trustee Jim Hall, were present for the discussion of the bonds.

Snyder reminded the board that Hillcrest has always been able to afford the payment of bonds previously, so he believes Hillcrest can continue to make bond payments over the next 20 years.

Rogers said the home is ready to pay off the bonds issued in 1995, so it is able to continue to budget the same amount for the new bonds.

Commissioner Earl McNutt agreed that in the past, Hillcrest has always made the payments on their bonds.

Snyder also discussed options for financing the bridge north of the former Republican Valley High School. He said the county would issue highway allocation bonds, which allows the county to use highway funds to pay off the bonds.

If the funds are insufficient, the county could levy taxes to pay the bonds.

Smith Hayes issues a lot of highway allocation bonds, Snyder said, adding that the interest rates for these kind of bonds are great right now.

Commissioners also heard from Budget Clerk Shirley Vontz on the proposed budget.

Although the difference is small, the county tax levy for next year will be decreased.

Vontz said the proposed tax request will be $2,903,094.79, with the levy at 0.380743.

The levy for last year was .3900. That's a .009257 reduction.

Vontz said the budget is now ready for public hearing. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

She also said that she would like to see the unused budget authority a little higher, at only $844.03.

Consent agenda items approved unanimously Monday morning in one motion included:

* adopt a resolution that will transfer $100,000 from Inheritance Fund #2700 to Self-Insurance Fund #1275

* documents on the 2011 armor coating project, that include: application and certificate of payment, $28,779.11; a change order No. 1-final and a Certificate of Substantial Completion

* an agreement with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to pay $9,353 per year for rent for the McCook office

* health insurance claim and miscellaneous claims

Claims that were allowed by the Commissioners were:

* Figgins Construction Co. Inc.: armor coating project at $28,779.11;

* Meritain Health claims at $12,185.58

* Meritain Health premiums at $20,194.49

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