McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners at their meeting Monday morning decided not to continue a contract for the services of a government trapper.
The decision had nothing to do with trapper Mike Sherman's job performance, commission chairman Earl McNutt said, but more to do with cutting expenses as commissioners begin to think about the next 20 years' budgets while they pay for the new county jail.
Commissioners would like to see the City of McCook pay for services that Sherman provides within the city limits.
Sherman told commissioners that he has contracted to work 600 acres of prairie dogs yet this summer. He said he understands that many rural residents know how to and can take care of their own nuisance opossum, raccoon, coyote or skunk problems. "It's those 80-year-old ladies with coons under their houses," that he's concerned with, he said.
"And for prairie dogs, nobody can do it cheaper than we can," Sherman said.
The trapper's services cost the county $7,312 per year. Sherman said, "I'd like to stay working for you, but I can understand the predicament."
McNutt said commissioners could reconsider another contract with the trapper, employed by the USDA, if the city would pay for a portion of its cost.
Commissioners agreed that county road crews can tear down the garage at 524 Norris and remove the concrete retaining wall and the sidewalks to houses at 516 and 520 Norris, in preparation for construction of the new jail.
A contractor will be hired to demolish the two apartment houses at 520 Norris, and will be responsible for the removal of all basement concrete, the removal of five trees, and backfilling and grading the location.
Before any of that can happen, however, Great Plains Asbestos Control Inc. of Kearney will remove asbestos in the two structures for $13,800. A final inspection by B2 Environmental will cost an additional $200.
Asbestos in the two houses includes some in duct wrap, boiler and boiler room insulation, vinyl and vinyl with mastic, silver tar and siding.