McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners are scheduled for a presentation and discussion of their proposed county jail facility during the McCook Planning Commission's regularly scheduled meeting, Monday evening, 5:15 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium.
According to the meeting agenda, city zoning ordinances do not apply to a Nebraska County jail facility, such as the $5.1 million Law Enforcement Center that Red Willow County Commissioners voted to construct in February. In a letter sent to county commissioners later that same month the Planning Commission asked for a report on the status of the project and to have a discussion.
The jail project discussion intends to allow for public questions and comments, according to the meeting details.
County commissioners worked on an informational brochure Monday that they hope will help garner support for an additional tax levy to ease potential budget restrictions created by the construction of the $5.1 million project. State law requires a successful vote for the special levy, which would be above-and-beyond the state-mandated maximum tax levy limit the county's general budget operates from.
The coming vote for the county project will differ from the 2010 vote for the construction of a McCook Municipal Facility, which allowed voters to decide whether that project and subsequent tax burden would proceed. The upcoming county vote will not effect whether the jail project proceeds, it will determine how tight the county will have to budget in the coming years and according to County Commissioner Steve Downer, determine "the financial stability of Red Willow County for the next 20 to 25 years."
County Commissioners warned Monday that if the vote failed, some of the first cuts would have to be to county personnel and county employee benefits. One of the three Red Willow County Commissioners, Earl McNutt, is himself a county employee as he works for the Red Willow County Road and Bridge department.
During the meeting, Utility Director Jesse Dutcher will review the city's annexation policy and present information pertaining to the city's ability to provide sewer and water utility service to a minor subdivision that was recently created. The subdivision was platted by the A.M Bishop Family Trust and is located just West of U.S. Highway 83 on the north side of Road 716.
Several area businesses have already begun operating or taken measures to relocate and expand at the location.
The Planning Commission will coordinate three public hearings and a subsequent resolution pertaining to each, prior to the law enforcement center and subdivision discussions:
* The first will be to consider reaffirmation of the downtown blighted area, which hasn''t been updated since 1999. The downtown blighted area runs along Norris Avenue from E Street to A Street and also encompasses portions of East First Street and runs as far West as West Third Street. The re-designation of the area as substandard and blighted will assist in continuing to obtain Tax Increment Financing and allows for the potential for new development in the downtown area, according to the meeting agenda.
* The second hearing will be to discuss the rezoning of McCorkle Motors property from Light Industrial to Business Commercial. The requested rezone will allow the business to proceed with an expansion at the location.
* The third hearing will be to consider a request from Randy and Curtis Lashley for a special exception to allow a truck and farm equipment repair facility in an agriculture district. The operation would be located at the southeast corner of Drive 716 and Road 383. City staff has recommended this exception be denied and that if it were approved that the deed or plat note that "no City services will be provided to the property," according to the meeting details. The reasoning for the denial stated future land use for the area was proposed as residential in the City's Comprehensive Plan.