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Red Willow County Commissioners

News about Red Willow County government

Health Department director on agenda for commssioners (12/19/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County Commissioners will receive and consider a recommendation from the Red Willow County Health Board for a new director of the department Monday. Meeting at 9 a.m., commissioners will also consider the 2015 Community-Based Juvenile Services Aid grant application and the six-county memorandum of understanding with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska...
Request to use old sheriff's office on commissioner agenda (12/12/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- County Judge Anne Paine and Clerk Magristrate Gretchen Wiebe will meet with Red Willow County Commissioners Monday regarding a request to use the old sheriff's office. That item is on the agenda for 9:45 a.m. Other items include a request from Tom Stritt for approval of an interlocal agreement with Furnas County for veterans' services. That item is set for 10 a.m...
County accepts bid for third new arena (11/10/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners officially accepted a $571,000 bid Monday morning for the construction of a new arena/multi-purpose building on the fairgrounds in McCook. Engineer Jeff Tidyman of Engineering International, McCook, told commissioners that the single responsive bid (meeting all the specs advertised) came from J.L. Construction of McCook. A second bid was $100,000 less expensive, but did not meet advertised specs, nor was the bidder bonded, Tidyman said...
Salvage yard to be in operation next spring near old Rep Valley (11/04/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- "4M Pick and Pull Parts and Salvage" will be up and running next spring. Terry Sides, owner of the new wrecker and automobile salvage business northwest of the former Republican Valley school on Highway 6&34 between McCook and Indianola, told Red Willow County commissioners at their weekly meeting Monday morning that he's still working on the eight-foot solid fence on the west side of the 10-acre property. ...
Third Kiplinger building announced for fairgrounds (10/09/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The newest structure on the Red Willow County, Nebraska, fairgrounds in McCook will be the "Alice Kiplinger Building," a warm-up arena and multi-purpose building that will complete a triangle of horse arenas given to the county by McCook-area rancher Tom Kiplinger...
'Ribbon' cutting (09/15/14)
A very determined Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioner Vesta Dack struggles with bolt cutters at the "ribbon" cutting of the new Red Willow County Law Enforcement Center in McCook Sunday afternoon. "I can do this!" Dack laughed, as jail superintendent Gerry Hunter reached in to help guide her cutting of a link on the leg irons. ...
County cuts tax request, levy (09/15/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners finished up their yearly budget work, lowering the county's tax request and tax levy for 2014-15. Because of an increase in the county's tax valuation -- from $931,795,554 in 2013-14 to $1,128,594,832 in 2014-15 -- commissioners were able to drop the county's tax request from $3,095,367 in 2013-2014 to $3,509,089 in 2014-2015, and reduce the county's tax levy from 41 cents ($0.409200) to 31 cents ($.0310926) per $100 of tax valuation in the new 2014-15 budget.. ...
New jail ready for operation (09/11/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The city streets and alley will open up again and traffic will flow freely in the 500 block of McCook's Norris Avenue at about the same time that men and women who have temporarily lost their freedom are locked behind bars in the new Red Willow County jail...
Calabria issues tabled indefinitely (09/09/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Residents of the Calabria Subdivision northeast of McCook, Nebraska, have several options available to them to address their road problems, three of which do not involve the entire county paying for their roads' reconstruction. After 1 1/2 hours of discussion at their weekly meeting Monday morning, commissioners tabled the issue indefinitely. ...
Rural fire department budgets benefit from increasing valuations (08/28/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Rural fire departments in Red Willow County, Nebraska, are making out like bandits with the county's large increase in valuation and a tax levy that does not change from year to year. The county's valuation jumps from $931,795,554 in 2013-14 to $1,128,594,832 in 2014-15, mainly because of increases in the tax valuation of agricultural land...
County won't help fund revised business contest (08/27/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners passed, at least for now, on the county helping to fund a revised "Hormel Business Plan Competition." Andy Long, vice president of McCook Community College, which partners with the Hormel Family Foundation in the entrepreneurial contest, told commissioners Monday morning that "sponsorships" have been added and changes made to enhance the contest and to ensure its continuation into the future...
Kiplinger Trust funding another horse arena (08/26/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A member of the Red Willow County, Nebraska, fair board said Monday that the addition of one more horse arena will take the county fairgrounds in McCook "from best to big time." Fair board member Don Klein of McCook told county commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday that the new "Alice Arena" will not be designed, built, operated or maintained with any tax payer money. "There will be no money spent that doesn't come from the Kiplinger trust," Klein said...
More Calabria road problems cropping up (08/26/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Problems with a road project in the Calabria Subdivision northeast of McCook, Nebraska, have emerged at such a rate that Red Willow County's highway superintendent lost track of their number during a commissioners' meeting Monday morning...
Commissioners to discuss Calabria grading issue (08/22/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Road grading in the Calabria Subdivision northeast of McCook, Nebraska, continues to be a topic of discussion for Red Willow County commissioners and the county's highway superintendent. The subject comes up before commissioners and roads superintendent Gary Dicenta at the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday, on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook. The meeting, always open to the public, begins at 9 a.m.; the Calabria subject is scheduled at 10:15 a.m...
County gets early look at budget (08/05/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners took an early look Monday morning at the county's 2014-15 budget, pondering the purchase of a new road grader and the costs of armor-coated county roads and tax foreclosures. In the preliminary road and bridge budget, commissioners Earl McNutt, Vesta Dack and Steve Downer penciled in a new road grader at $250,000...
Local irrigators file class-action lawsuit (08/01/14)
OMAHA, Neb. -- Four southwest Nebraska irrigators filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Nebraska and the Department of Natural Resources for damages to their 2013, crops. Greg Hill of Furnas County, Brent Coffey of Harlan County, James Uerling of Red Willow County, and Warren Schaffert of Hitchcock County, filed the case in Furnas County District Court on July 31st...
Board listens to protests, limited in power to change (07/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County commissioners listened intently to tax payers' concerns about the tax valuation of their real estate, but for some, there was nothing commissioners could do to make any changes. Nebraska statutes require that agricultural land be valued at 69 to 75 percent of market value, and the market prices of ag land continue to climb...
Church offers to trade parking for county services (07/23/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Rather than complain to county commissioners about wear-and-tear to his church's parking lot because of the construction of the county's new jail, one McCook man and his church Vestry are suggesting working together on a solution that would benefit both parties involved...
No thanks: Resident of another subdivision not interested in county road maintenance (07/08/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- A resident of a housing subdivision south of McCook did not ask Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning to maintain or improve her subdivision's roads. "We don't want to ask for county help," said Darlene Nothnagel, who lives in the Nothnagel Addition about two miles south of McCook. "We believe it's up to our homeowners to maintain our roads."...
Annex (07/08/14)
Last week a group of residents gathered with the Red Willow County Board of Commissioners to complain. Their beef had to do with the County not tending to the roads in the Calabria subdivision located a mile of so outside the McCook City Limits. Just a reminder that "all politics is local." The County Board reluctantly agreed to do better...
Disappointed (07/08/14)
I was disappointed with our county commissioners' choice of how to spend our tax dollars. This same board was advised by a consulting firm and our county attorney in June 2011 to not get involved with subdivision roads. None of the facts or laws have changed since that time. The board stated that it was not something they were required to do, but something they felt was a good thing to do...
Pauper burial, Calabria Subdivision roads on county agenda (07/03/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County commissioners will discuss how much will be paid for to bury an unclaimed body. Monday's agenda includes a decision, at 9:50 a.m., on how much Herrman-Jones Funeral Chapel will be paid for the pauper burial of an unclaimed body...
Commissioners award gravel bids (06/25/14)
Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners awarded gravel bids during their weekly meeting Monday morning.
Commissioners vote 2-1 for Calabria Subdivision road work (06/24/14)
While two Red Willow County commissioners approved blading and graveling roads in a rural McCook subdivision, a third commissioner envisions requests from other subdivisions for the same treatment.
Tourism grants available (06/17/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Grant funds are now available to improve existing or create new visitor attractions and facilities in Red Willow County. The "Red Willow County Improvement Fund" is funded with 2 percent lodging tax revenues, according to Carol Schlegel, Red Willow County tourism director, who described the grant process to county commissioners Monday morning...
Funding requests, updates on county agenda (06/13/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The McCook Humane Society will make an annual request for Red Willow County funding Monday. The items is on the board of commissioners agenda for 9:30 a.m., following a board of equalization meeting by the commissioners at 9 a.m. Other items include an update from Carol Schlegel of the County Visitors Committee, an update on an application for Livestock Friendly Status with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and a revised proposal from Rob Henry of Commercial Engineering Services LLC for a courthouse phone system.. ...
Red Willow County to pursue 'Livestock Friendly' designation (06/03/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County commissioner Earl McNutt said a "livestock friendly county" designation is mostly a "PR deal," but does offer a tool for attracting new industries to the county. The county will continue to work toward that designation following Monday's meeting of the county commission, filling out applications to submit to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture...
Official 'Livestock Friendly' designation on county agenda Monday (05/30/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- Red Willow County has unofficially been a "livestock friendly county" for a number of years, but the county commissioners will consider an application to make it official at Monday's meeting. The Nebraska Livestock Friendly County program is a voluntary program that recognizes counties that actively support the livestock industry...
County commissioners decide against expanded internet service capacity (05/07/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- It it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's the attitude Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners took Monday morning when they discussed internet service for the new county jail and law enforcement center that will open this summer.
Tech recommends fiber optic for county (04/29/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- The computer consultant for the Red Willow County Sheriff's Department wants a fiber circuit -- not wireless -- for the Internet service in the county's new jail. Rob Henry of McCook, information technology and computer support person for the sheriff's office, told county commissioners Monday morning he recommends a primary service provider backed up by a secondary provider...
County board reconsiders route to 'Livestock Friendly' designation (04/29/14)
McCOOK, Neb. -- In 2006, Red Willow County commissioners themselves declared their county "livestock friendly," rather than joining a state Department of Agriculture initiative that recognizes counties that actively support the livestock industry. Now, eight years later, commissioners may reconsider that decision...
Tourism effort on agenda (03/21/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners and the county's tourism director will discuss recently-approved state legislation aimed at improving visitor attractions and facilities in the county, during the commissioners' meeting scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Monday, in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook...
Tax sale generates cash for county (03/11/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A public auction of delinquent real estate taxes in Red Willow County, Nebraska, Monday, March 3, generated $147,109.17. As far as the county's concerned, the majority of the past-due taxes are now paid, and county treasurer -- and tax collector -- Marleen Garcia can distribute the sale proceeds to the county's subdivisions...
Mineral lease, jail contracts on county agenda (03/07/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Roger Gouldner of R. Gouldner Co. LLC will meet with Red Willow County Commissioners to discuss an oil and gas lease on land in the county. Gouldner is on the agenda at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the commissioners room at the courthouse...
Land use, not surveys at fault in questions over deeds (02/27/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Original surveys of the northwest corner of Red Willow County were done as accurately as possible at the time, but the way landowners used their property over the years has made things complicated in the 21st century. County Surveyor Dicenta told the Gazette today that landowners often didn't follow the existing survey when they laid out fencelines, for example, or planted crops...
County awards jail food contract (02/25/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners, selected the food service company with the local contact when they decided at their weekly meeting Monday morning who would run the kitchen in the county's new jail. While Consolidated Management's main offices are located in Des Moines, Iowa, the company manages the cafeteria at McCook Community College, and the MCC manager is Jamie Mockry of McCook. ...
Oil leases put spotlight on faulty surveys (02/25/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- In an ideal world, counties are divided into townships and townships are divided into 36 "nice, pretty squares." However, Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners learned Monday morning, that something happened many years ago in the northwest corner of Red Willow County -- and the sections in Township 4, Range 30 W are not 36 "nice, pretty squares."...
Hillcrest contract with staffing firm on county agenda (02/07/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A representative of a medical staffing firm will meet with Red Willow County Commissioners concerning an alleged breach of contract with Hilldrest Nursing Home. Kent Bernbeck, NebraskaCare LLC, is on the agenda for 9:15 a.m. Monday in the commissioners' room in the courthouse...
Homeowner lauds county flood plain administrator (02/04/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- It's not often that commissioners hear compliments. More often, it's with complaints that people approach the county board. However, when Con Fielding was hit with mortgage insurance costs that could have doubled, he turned to Red Willow County's flood plain administrator, Gary Dicenta, to help him straighten out a question about the meandering Republican River and its flood plain near his home southwest of McCook...
County board to open bids (01/31/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will awards bids on kitchen and storage equipment for the new county jail during their weekly meeting starting at 9 a.m., Monday, on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook. The bids are on the agenda at 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m...
Commissioners open bids for jail equipment (01/28/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners opened bids for kitchen appliances and storage systems for the new jail during their weekly meeting Monday morning. Commissioners took no action on the bids, but gave them to Prochaska & Associates architects Bill Huey and Scott Lundberg, who will review them and return Monday, Feb. 3, with their recommendations to commissioners...
County board opening bids for jail equipment (01/24/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will open bids for kitchen and storage equipment at the new jail at 9:30 a.m., Monday, in their office on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook. The commissioners' weekly meeting begins at 9 a.m.; the meeting is open to the public...
County accepts land bid (01/14/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska commissioners Monday morning signed the papers that accepted the final bid of $3,850 per acre, or $616,000, for 160 acres of farm land donated to the county by McCook-area farmer-rancher Tom Kiplinger...
Commissioners select new chairwoman (01/07/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- District 3 county commissioner Vesta Dack of rural McCook, Nebraska, is the new chairman of the Red Willow County board of commissioners, elected unanimously at the commissioners' meeting and annual board reorganization Monday morning...
Helicopter kit equipment fetches $18,500 (01/07/14)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- John Hubert of McCook, Nebraska, says his grandkids and great-grandkids are having fun playing in "Miss McCook," the helicopter cabin that he bought in an on-line auction of "Pawnee Aviation" helicopter kit bits-and-pieces in mid-December...
County seeks to sell land, keep half of mineral rights (12/02/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County will retain 50 percent of the minerals on land donated to the county and scheduled to be offered for sale within a couple months. Deputy county attorney Phil Lyons told county commissioners at their weekly meeting this morning that the county does indeed own the mineral rights on a quarter-section of irrigated farm land southwest of McCook gifted to the county by Kiplinger arena facilities benefactor and McCook-area farmer-rancher Tom Kiplinger. ...
County signs real estate agency to sell donated land (11/26/13)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a contract Monday morning with Gateway Realty of McCook to sell the quarter-section of farm land donated by Kiplinger arenas benefactor Tom Kiplinger...
County board votes 2-1 to sell donated land (11/20/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners voted 2-1 Monday morning to sell land donated to the county by McCook-area rancher-farmer Tom Kiplinger. After coming out of a 30-minute public hearing, commissioner Vesta Dack cast the lone vote against selling the quarter section of canal-irrigated crop land southwest of McCook. Dack said she agreed with several callers she had who said, "If you have land, you keep it."...
Hearing required on sale of property donated to county (10/28/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners must advertise and conduct a public hearing before deciding whether or not to sell a quarter-section of land gifted to the county by Tom Kiplinger. Kiplinger, the benefactor of the Kiplinger arenas on the county fairgrounds in McCook, gave the land to the county to rent or sell, the proceeds of either will be placed in an endowment fund to operate and maintain two indoor arenas and the associated pens, stalls and animal handling equipment.. ...
County to consider selling gifted land (10/25/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will consider a county fairboard recommendation to sell land that was given to the county to finance maintenance FOR buildings and other structures already donated to the county. Tom Kiplinger of McCook already donated funds for the Kiplinger Arena, Trudy Arena and other pens and structures, and donated the land to help pay for their upkeep. The arenas have proven to be a popular and well-used addition to the fairgrounds...
County begins foreclosures (09/17/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning started foreclosure procedures on nine properties whose owners who have not paid their real estate taxes for two years or more. The taxes owed on the nine properties in McCook, Indianola, Lebanon and in rural Red Willow County total $6,780, county treasurer Marleen Garcia told commissioners. The smallest tax bill is $33.35 on a property in Indianola; the largest tax bill is $2,703, on a property in McCook...
Sold or rented, land will support arena (09/17/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Whether the gift of land is sold or continues to be rented, its proceeds will take care of Kiplinger buildings on the Red Willow County fairgrounds in McCook into perpetuity. A recommendation to sell or rent the 160 acres of farm land gifted to the county by McCook-area farmer-rancher Tom Kiplinger will be made by members of the county's fair board, and the ultimate decision will be made by the county commissioners...
County juggle numbers to keep budget in line with state requirements (08/27/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- It's a juggling act of plusses and minuses ... of increases and reductions. It's a complex game of strategy that challenges Red Willow County commissioners every summer, to write a new budget that pays for services to citizens without hurting their checkbooks too terribly...
County testing security system (08/14/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Security at the Red Willow County courthouse in McCook would be enhanced with the "call duress system" that will be tested during the next couple of weeks. Sheriff's Deputy Steve Kotschwar told county commissioners Monday morning that a system that alerts sheriff's officers to a problem in the courthouse could help de-escalate a situation and prevent injury...
Weeds unfazed by continuing drought (08/13/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Despite the continuing drought in Southwest Nebraska, and particularly in Red Willow County, weeds continue to grow, well ... hmmm ... like weeds. Bill Elliott, the county's weed control specialist, told county commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday morning that he continues to inspect sprayed and uncontrolled infestations of musk and Canada thistles, salt cedar, phragmites and leafy spurge, and now, even a weed called "houndstongue" or "dog bur."...
County federal aid road project finally on track (08/13/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A federal aid road project in Red Willow County that's been in the works for at least 14-15 years will start this fall. Red Willow County will pay $292,000 of the "McCook North" project; it's already made one $85,000 payment. The federal government will pick up the remainder of the $1.4 million project...
Medical self-insurance expected to boost county budget $300,000 (08/06/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Preliminary numbers for the 2013-14 Red Willow County budget shows the employee self-insurance fund gobbling up $1.47 million, more than $300,000 than last year at $797,488. Dan Miller presented the preliminary budget at the regular Red Willow County Commissioner meeting Monday morning and told commissioners that numbers were based on projected valuations of $939,336,356, up from $838,364,751 in 2012-13. ...
Internet tower, business approved by commissioners (08/06/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners gave the green light for an Internet tower in Danbury and a sod farm/landscaping business outside of McCook. The commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit requested by BW Telecom for a wireless Internet tower north of Danbury, to be used for broadband signals. A 190-foot guyed tower would be used, with an adjacent 8 by 16 foot equipment hut...
County receives household hazardous waste funding (07/24/13)
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Red Willow County has received $113,373 to fund its household hazardous waste facility in McCook. The permanent facility on the Railroad Service Road in south McCook, offers residents of 45 counties a safe and reliable way to dispose of household hazardous waste, along with fluorescent bulbs and electronic waste...
County supports family groups (06/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners agreed to contribute money in 2013-14 to two organizations that help families going through stressful times. BRIDGE OF HOPE The county will donate $2,000 to the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center in North Platte. ...
Commissioners split gravel bids for 2013-14 (06/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners split gravel bids for 2013-14 between the two suppliers who submitted bids by Monday morning's deadline, and accepted the bid of the only company to bid on the county's 2013 armor coating projects...
Man seeks state, county approval for salvage yard (06/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook, Nebraska, businessman wants to start an auto wrecking/salvage yard business northeast of McCook, if he can get approval from the Red Willow County commissioners and from the State of Nebraska. Terry Sides, owner also of TJ's Family Fun Center in McCook, told commissioners during a public hearing Monday morning that there is a need for used car parts and for some place for derelict cars to go. ...
Firm makes pitch for jail food contract (06/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Jeff Green of CBM Managed Services of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told Red Willow County, Nebraska commissioners Monday morning that CBM cooks for one jail that houses up to 400 inmates, and can prepare meals for inmates in the county's new 30-bed jail when it's completed next year...
School board vote split on teacher's fate (06/12/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook High School teacher accused of unprofessional conduct will be able to keep her job in the district, after the McCook School Board met Tuesday night for a hearing and failed by a tie vote to agree on a motion. After hearing six hours of testimony and evidence and then meeting in closed session, the McCook School Board reconvened in open session and made the motion that the employment contract of Lana Egle, a high school special education teacher, should be continued for the 2013-14 school year, subject to a written reprimand and corrective action and improvement plan.. ...
Humane Society makes annual plea for funding (06/11/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Marilyn Cuellar's mother's theory about preventing unwanted puppies involved never having female dogs. Marilyn, a board member of the McCook Humane Society who visited with Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning, chuckled, " 'course, that didn't help the neighbors."...
Humane Society funding, transfers on county agenda (06/07/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will hear a request for funding from the McCook Humane Society, and approve transfer of funding for various items at Monday's regular meeting. It begins at 9 a.m. in the commissioners' room at the courthouse...
County looks for ways to replace weather warning system (06/04/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners and Sheriff Gene Mahon discussed storm preparations at the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday. "We've had a light weather year so far, with a lot of storms going around us," the sheriff said...
New director approved, commissioners hear reports (05/14/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Patricia Powers of McCook, Nebraska, has been approved by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to fill the permanent position of director of the Red Willow County Health Department. County commissioners Monday morning voted unanimously to change Powers' status from interim director (since the resignation of director Darcey Hansen Dec. ...
Helicopter property on agenda (05/10/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County attorney will discuss sale of property from Pawnee Aviation, a defunct helicopter kit company, at Monday's county commissioner meeting. The board will also hear an annual report on the regional health department and consider appointment of a permanent director for the county health department...
Groundbreaking (04/17/13)
Red Willow County, Nebraska, road crew supervisor and commissioner Earl McNutt dumps dirt from the site of the county's new jail into a county dump truck driven by Jim Mullen Tuesday afternoon. An official groundbreaking ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Monday at the courthouse. ...
County accepts endowment (04/15/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County farmer/rancher who has endowed the county with a very successful roping arena has now created a revocable trust that will maintain it in perpetuity. This morning, county commissioners officially signed an endowment agreement with John Thomas "Tom" Kiplinger of rural McCook, who in 2003 paid for the construction of the "Kiplinger Arena" on the fairgrounds in McCook, and has since financed the expansion of the complex with warm-up arenas and horse stalls...
Endowment on county agenda (04/12/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will decide whether to accept an endowment to maintain and operate several buildings at the fairgrounds. A decision on the "Tom and Alice Kiplinger Endowment Fund Agreement" is slated for 9:30 a.m. Monday...
Kiplinger offers county endowment for buildings (04/09/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners are reviewing an offer, by the man who gave the county a large arena and another building on the fairgrounds, to establish an endowment to keep up those buildings. The board is expected to approve the agreement at next week's meeting...
Crowd cheers vote to retain county health department (03/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- At the conclusion of a meeting which felt more like a made-for-TV melodrama than a McCook public hearing, more than 90 area residents burst into applause and cheers Tuesday evening as Red Willow County Commissioners decided on a split vote to continue operating the county health department. ...
County seeks guaranteed maximum price on jail (03/19/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- While they wait for clarification of one bid package and the rebidding of another package, Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners also wait for a guaranteed maximum price -- GMP -- on the county's new $5.1 million 24-bed jail and law enforcement center...
Proponents ask commissioners to keep Red Willow County Health Department (03/18/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Personnel of Red Willow County, Nebraska's health department presented to county commissioners Monday morning a very preliminary budget proposal for 2013-2014, trying to persuade commissioners to not terminate the health department after a public hearing Monday, March 25...
County waives fees for power districts (02/26/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- In recognition of power districts' longtime cooperation with the county, Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning decided to waive a permit fee for McCook Public Power District/REA and other power districts applying to work or dig in the county's right-of-way...
Safety, respect emphasized for jail construction (02/07/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Safety and respect will be top considerations when construction starts on the new Red Willow County jail in McCook, Nebraska, this spring. At a pre-bid conference Wednesday afternoon for contractors interested in bidding on the $5.1 million 24-bed jail project, Bill Barritt of Norfolk, Beckenhauer Construction's senior project manager said, "We won't sacrifice safety for the schedule. Everyone goes home safe at the end of the day."...
Commissioners suggest sheriff hire on-call jailers (02/05/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners encouraged the county's sheriff and jail administrator to check into hiring part-time "on-call" jail staff to help the county ensure compliance with state jail standards. Sheriff Gene Mahon told commissioners that the state recommends at least two jailers on staff at all times, with one male and one female jailer preferred. ...
County plans to clean out its attic (02/05/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Antique light fixtures and oak filing cabinets now stored in the Red Willow County, Nebraska, courthouse will be offered to the Museum of the High Plains in McCook. That was commissioners', district court clerk Beverly Dodge's and custodian Greg Holthus' consensus as they discussed Monday morning what to do with "surplus" on the fourth floor of the courthouse...
Commissioners name interim director for county health department (01/29/13)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners named Patricia Powers of McCook as "interim director" of the county's health department during their weekly meeting Monday morning. With the resignation of director Darcey Hansen Dec. ...
Norfolk firm will build jail for $5.1 million (01/15/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a contract Monday afternoon with a construction company whose officials presented an estimate that does not exceed the $5.1 million construction cost and bond maximum set by commissioners and architects to build a new 24-bed county jail...
McNutt retained as Red Willow County Commission chairman (01/08/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Earl McNutt of McCook, Nebraska, this morning started his 13th year as chairman of Red Willow County's board of commissioners. During the board's first meeting of the new year and its annual reorganization Monday morning, the board also approved the reappointment of Steve Downer of rural Bartley as vice chairman...
Surveyor marks corners for highway project (01/08/13)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, surveyor Gary Dicenta will mark 11 section corners before construction starts on "Danbury West," on Nebraska Highway 89 from Danbury, Nebraska, west, in March. County commissioners Monday morning complied with a request from the Nebraska Department of Roads that Dicenta tie out 11 corners before the start of the 91⁄2-mile, 125-day federal-aid highway construction project...
Commissioners to decide whether to replace health director (12/28/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Current director of the Red Willow County Health Department, Darcey Hansen, is slated to meet with county commissioners Monday concerning personnel issues. Following that meeting, scheduled for 9:20 a.m. Monday in the commissioner's room at the courthouse, the commissioners will have an opportunity to decide whether to advertise for a replacement for Hansen, who has submitted her resignation...
Commissioners sign resolution to advance federal aid road project (12/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Wednesday afternoon signed a resolution to expedite a federal aid project that will help pay for a six-inch-thick asphalt overlay on County Road 386 from the north end of East 11th at the City of McCook limits to the county's four-way intersection 2 1/2 miles north...
County attorney says tax sales likely in April (12/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, county attorney Paul Wood told county commissioners Monday morning he plans foreclosure sales most likely in April. Commission chairman Earl McNutt and county treasurer Marlene Garcia each said they've had inquiries about purchasing properties whose owners haven't paid their real estate taxes or assessments for at least two years...
Surveyor: Not really a subdivision (12/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County, Nebraska surveyor told county commissioners Monday morning that a proposed subdivision north of McCook on West Third is less of a "subdivision" and more of a "lot split." Gary Dicenta said that "Hill's Place Subdivision" -- on the west side of County Road 385 starting about one-half mile south of the four-way intersection north of McCook on West Third -- "is not a true subdivision and more of a lot split because it's been split before" for a previous sale, and of the 21 acres remaining and now separated into two blocks after the first split, only about 5.85 acres are suitable for construction.. ...
No major bridge problems in county (12/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The half of Red Willow County, Nebraska's bridges inspected in 2012 have no major structural concerns, the county's surveyor told county commissioners Monday morning. The county has about 44 bridges, half of which are inspected on a yearly rotating cycle. Many of those inspected this year are of concrete construction or are box culverts...
Surveyor: Not really a subdivision (12/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County, Nebraska surveyor told county commissioners Monday morning that a proposed subdivision north of McCook on West Third is less of a "subdivision" and more of a "lot split." Gary Dicenta said that "Hill's Place Subdivision" -- on the west side of County Road 385 starting about one-half mile south of the four-way intersection north of McCook on West Third -- "is not a true subdivision and more of a lot split because it's been split before" for a previous sale, and of the 21 acres remaining and now separated into two blocks after the first split, only about 5.85 acres are suitable for construction.. ...
County gets workers comp check (11/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska's workers compensation insurance company presented the county with a $9,022 dividend check during the county commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning. Larry Eisenmenger of McCook, representing Employers Mutual, said the check is representative of the county's "excellent loss ratio on workers comp of 0.56 percent. That's not 56 percent -- it's less than 1 percent."...
County nets $250K for bed licenses (11/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners finished the paperwork Monday morning that sells for $250,000 the 20 Medicare/Medicaid bed licenses that the county-owned Hillcrest Nursing Home no longer needs. Hillcrest administrator Colinda Nappa told commissioners during their weekly meeting that she planned to send signed documents electronically yet Monday, and expected a check for $250,000 to be Fed-Exed to her the same day...
County can't change street's name, because it's really in the city (11/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners decided Monday morning the county can't change the name of a McCook city street, and, like city officials, are reluctant to consider exceptions to the numbering system used to summon emergency personnel...
County continues contract with GIS company (11/08/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a contract Monday morning to continue its contract with the company that provides and updates property search, property tax search and mapping information for the assessor's and treasurer's computer webpages...
Sheriff: County jail staff will be ready to go (11/07/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, Sheriff Gene Mahon assured county commissioners Monday morning that his staff will be ready to go when the City of McCook moves out of its jail facility on Tuesday, Dec. 18 and, within seconds, the county takes over...
County signs agreements to sell rights to 20 beds (11/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning signed purchase and transfer agreements that allow the county-owned Hillcrest Nursing Home to sell 20 Medicare/Medicaid bed licenses for $250,000. Hillcrest's board of trustees voted to approve the sale at its meeting Oct. 30...
Prairie chicken dance seen as tourism draw (11/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Prairie chickens evidently do their spring mating dance on a regular schedule -- a schedule so unfailing that tourism coordinators can market the event and entice new and experienced bird watchers. Carol Schlegel, tourism director of Red Willow County's Visitors Committee, told county commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday that bird watching is an exciting, growing tourism opportunity, and that starting in April 2013, the visitors committee, in conjunction with the Southwest Nebraska RC&D (Resource Conservation and Development), will offer weekend experiences to view the mating dance of the greater prairie chicken.. ...
Commissioners to check with also-rans on jail construction management bids (11/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners decided Monday morning that they'll see if the other two companies who wanted to be construction manager for the county's new jail project are still interested after commissioners terminated the county's contract with their first choice last month...
Contractor can't meet jail cost limits (10/23/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A senior project manager of the Lincoln, Nebraska company hired by Red Willow County to be the construction manager for its new law enforcement center and jail told county commissioners Monday morning his company cannot build the project for $4.3 million...
Sheriff's office receives funding for in-car cameras (10/09/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County Sheriff's Office is receiving grant funding assistance for obtaining three in-car camera systems, according to Fred Zwonechek, administrator for the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety. "This highway safety grant funding in the amount of $3,138.75 will aid the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office in purchasing three camera systems," Zwonechek said...
County looks to trim budget (08/14/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commission chairman Earl McNutt said he knew the county's tax levy for 2012-13 would increase. "But," he said during the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning, "I was hoping it would be 41 ... 42 cents, max."...
Demo man (07/25/12)
Wendell Peters of P&G Excavation, McCook, Nebraska, dumps brush that he ripped out between three houses to be demolished north of the Red Willow County courthouse in McCook, making way for construction of the county's new $5.1 million, 24-bed jail and law enforcement center. ...
McCook firm gets demolition bid (07/17/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- P&G Excavating of rural McCook, Nebraska, will tear down three structures north of the Red Willow County courthouse to make way for the new county jail. County commissioners Monday morning accepted P&G's bid of $36,500 to demolish the former beauty salon at 516 Norris Avenue and two apartment houses at 520 Norris, and to backfill, compact and regrade the resulting vacant lots...
Fair board member, businessman calls for jail project delay (07/17/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook, Nebraska, business owner and Red Willow County supporter who has invested a third of his life in service to the county asked county commissioners Monday morning "to put one house in order before building another." Don Klein, owner of Klein's Motor Electric and a member of the county's fair board for 20-some years, told county commissioners Monday morning that he is "very, very concerned" about finances at the county-owned nursing home, and recommends that the county take care of Hillcrest Nursing Homes' critical cash flow situation -- precipitating the need for a $1 million loan -- before it builds a new law enforcement center and jail.. ...
City charging county, more for dispatching (07/17/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- What the City of McCook will charge Red Willow County for having dispatched the county sheriff's officers during 2011-2012 will raise by $19,072. During their weekly meeting Monday morning, county commissioners discussed briefly a letter from McCook Police Chief Isaac Brown telling them that the city will charge the county $59,973 for dispatching services during 2011-12...
Commissioners approve lodging tax increase (07/17/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning approved an increase in the county's lodging tax to establish an "improvement fund" that can help finance "brick and mortar" projects designed to enhance tourism opportunities...
New schedule for county fair (07/16/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- There are several changes to the 4-H contests and show schedule that will be happening at the Red Willow County Fair this year, according to Mary K. Warner, Extension Educator. One of the first changes will be with the shooting sports events. The BB Gun, Air Rifle, Air Pistol and Air Rifle Silhouette Contests will be in the Kiplinger Arena on Saturday, July 21 starting at 8:30 a.m. followed by the Small Bore Contest at the City Firing Range north of the Airport...
Demo bids, Hillcrest on county agenda (07/13/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook businessman Don Klein plans to address Red Willow County Commissioners about the plan to loan Hillcrest Nursing Home a million dollars to make up a shortfall in Medicare and Medicaid collections. Klein is slated to meet with the commissioners at 10 a.m. Monday during a regular meeting...
County to consider emergency funding for Hillcrest (07/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County Attorney will present an emergency resolution to the county commissioners Monday to borrow funding for Hillcrest Nursing Home. The county-owned nursing home ran into a cash flow problem after a billing clerk was fired in February, and Medicare and Medicaid claims were not filed, or were filed incorrectly, for three months...
County drops trapper contract (07/03/12)
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...
Even the weeds don't like the hot weather (07/03/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- How hot is it? It's so hot that even the weeds are burning up. "The only thing that's green is the kochia. Oh, and bind weed," Red Willow County weed control superintendent Bill Elliott told county commissioners Monday morning. Elliott said that he has inspected all but one of the 12 properties on which the state inspector found uncontrolled growth of musk thistle late this spring and earlier this summer. "Yeah, it's there," Elliott added, "but there aren't huge patches."...
County road funds to be put into asphalt project north of East 11th this year (06/26/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners won't put any money into armor coating county roads this year, but will use those funds to help pay for the county's share of new asphalt on County Road 386, north of McCook's East 11th...
County drops revolving loan program (06/19/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, is out of the loan business. After commissioners' action Monday morning, about $267,500 -- the balance of the county's revolving loan fund -- will be turned over to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development...
Revolving loan, walk through on agenda for County Commissioners on Monday (06/15/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook Economic Development official will discuss whether a revolving loan fund balance should be returned to the state, and board members will walk through apartment houses to be demolished for a new jail at Monday's meeting of the Red Willow County Commissioners...
Federal funding comes through for armor coating (06/12/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Out of the blue, 13 years later, the federal government has come through with funding to armor coat a county road in Red Willow County, Nebraska. Monday morning, county commissioners signed documents needed by the Nebraska Department of Roads (through which the federal money is funneled) to add another layer of armor coating to 2 1/2 miles of County Road 386 starting at the north end of McCook's East 11th. ...
County OKs funding for two agencies (06/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners this morning approved funding requests from two agencies that provide assistance to children and families living within the county. Commissioners okayed a $2,000 donation to the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center, an agency in North Platte that Red Willow County uses in investigations of child abuse. That amount is the same as last year...
County may change health insurance plan (05/29/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will consider changes in county employees' health insurance plans during a weekly meeting Wednesday, starting at 9 a.m., in the courthouse in McCook. If approved, the new plan will become effective June 1 and include two copayments for three-month mail-order prescriptions, and new hires will have to pay for their dependents...
County may drop jail pact with Oberlin (05/18/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Board of Commissioners will coordinate their regularly scheduled meeting, 9 a.m., Monday morning in the commissioners room at the courthouse. The meeting agenda includes considering authorization to notify Decatur County Commissioners of termination of the jail contract, effective July 1, 2012; possibly adopting changes to TIF procedures pertaining to the County's tax-exempt bonds; and transferring funds from the inheritance fund to the Capital Projects Fund; among other items.. ...
Lincoln firm selected to manage construction (05/15/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A day before voters decide how the project will be financed, Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners selected Sampson Construction of Lincoln as the construction manager for the construction of the county's new jail and law enforcement center...
Temporary jail contract in the works (05/14/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners decided this morning to work out an arrangement with the City of McCook to use the city's public safety center and jail cells until the county's new law enforcement center and jail is completed in late 2013...
County to pick construction chief (05/11/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A day before voters will decide how the project will be financed, Red Willow County Commissioners will meet to select a construction manager for the new Law Enforcement Center. Monday's agenda also includes a decision on whether the county will use the existing city police, fire and jail facilities temporarily for future jail services and respond with a letter of intent to City Manager Jeff Hancock...
City, county explore agreement to use holding cells temporarily (05/07/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners and McCook city council members may work out an agreement that would allow the county to use the city's 96-hour jail cells until the county is ready to move into a new jail in late 2013...
Ex-commissioner thinks jail, lid limit compatible (05/04/12)
BARTLEY, Nebraska -- A former Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioner thinks boards of commissioners can keep the bond levy to pay for the construction of a new 24-36 bed jail and law enforcement center within the county's levy limit "without creating any hardship for anyone."...
Opponents mailing out jail preference poll (05/04/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A preference poll has been mailed to every address in Red Willow County to ask citizens whether or not they favor the construction of a jail building in the 500 block of Norris Avenue in McCook. The mailing, sponsored and paid for by Citizens Concerned about Jail Costs (CCAJC), will go to 5,710 addresses in Red Willow County...
Officials field questions from neighbors of future jail (05/01/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Past and future structures on the corner of Norris Avenue and F streets in McCook, Nebraska, will house about the same type of people. It's just that, in the future, they'll be behind bars. A Red Willow County sheriff's deputy told the 45-50 people gathered in McCook for a community meeting about financing the county's new jail that, as a McCook police officer, he responded to violent domestic disturbances and drug problems at the apartment house on the corner and also throughout the course of investigation of burglaries.. ...
Commissioner: Financing plan 'risk management' (04/27/12)
INDIANOLA, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioner Steve Downer spent about 10 minutes Thursday evening explaining his stand on the bond levy to finance a new county jail, and about 50 more minutes deflecting attacks from a determined and disgruntled McCook resident about the commissioners' decision process to build the jail...
County officials plead case for jail financing plan (04/25/12)
DANBURY, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commission chairman Earl McNutt told 14 people in the Danbury community building Tuesday evening that he's looking out for future commissioners by advocating that bond payments for construction of the county's new law enforcement facility be placed outside the county's general levy limit...
An apt monument (04/17/12)
It has been most interesting to watch the pro- and anti- machinations concerning the prospect of a new jail for Red Willow County. I have not attended any of the County Board meetings but like the public have read what has been published in the Gazette. Evidently, many individuals have strong feelings about the subject. Every taxpayer too should be interested because we are the ones who will have to eventually pay the bill...
Jail safety issues (04/17/12)
This letter is in response to Mr. Dueland's comments recently regarding the jail study committee. I am one of the 50 percent of the jail committee who live outside the city limits of McCook. I honestly feel I represented ALL taxpayers concerning the new jail in Red Willow County...
Fulfilling duty (04/17/12)
I feel the need to say some things about a special interest group who are trying to overturn an unanimous decision of your duly-elected Red Willow County Board. I have served as a member of elected public boards for over 20 years and nearly every time we have voted to change anything, someone or some group surfaces, that want something different or no change at all...
County to plan town hall meetings on jail (04/13/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will compile a list of dates and times for town hall meetings regarding the new law enforcement center. Also on the agenda for Monday's regular meeting is to appoint members to the construction manager selection committee for the new building...
Chairman sees state jail interest as 'pure speculation' (04/10/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- If Red Willow County builds a jail with sufficient beds or with the potential to expand significantly, low-risk prisoners "can come out here in the busloads," according to a McCook man bent on keeping a proposed law enforcement center from being built on property between the courthouse and a house designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright...
Jail opponent hires law firm (04/09/12)
CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- A McCook, Nebraska, man has hired a legal firm to validate his and others' arguments against the new county law enforcement center proposed to be built north of the Red Willow County courthouse in downtown McCook...
Jail comments, townhall meetings on county agenda (04/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will have a long day Monday, starting their weekly meeting at 9 a.m. and ending after 2 p.m. -- and after discussing three agenda items dealing with the county's law enforcement center. The meeting may begin with comments about the jail also, but no action can be taken on comments made during citizens' comments allowed at 9 a.m...
City Council adopts guidelines limiting time for public comment (04/03/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council unanimously approved the implementation of new citizen comment guidelines, Monday evening, during a regularly scheduled meeting at councilor chambers. The guidelines limit only citizen comments during public hearings, council meetings and during public meetings. Councilors and others speaking on specific items will not be limited by the new policy...
Commissioners reject proposal for alternate site (04/03/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Monday morning, Dale Dueland once again approached Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners about locating the county's new jail at a "greenfield" site next to the state's Work Ethic Camp northwest of McCook, insisting "there are better plans" than building a law enforcement center next door to the courthouse...
Agenda shows county forging ahead, despite continued opposition (03/30/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A proponent of finding an alternate site for a new Red Willow County jail will make one more pitch to county commissioners Monday, but the official agenda already shows signs that he will be turned down. Dale Dueland is on the agenda at 10:15 a.m., to "review and reaffirm citizens' recommendation to explore alternative jail site."...
Delaying jail would require powerful arguments (03/27/12)
It is good to see organized, thoughtful arguments, offered in a reasonable manner, like those offered to the Red Willow County Commissioners in opposition to their choice for a location for the new Law Enforcement Center -- jail -- on Norris Avenue...
Commissioners stick with Norris Avenue site for jail (03/26/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners listened to critics of the proposed Norris Avenue Law Enforcement Center, Monday morning during their regularly scheduled meeting, before reiterating that they would not be exploring alternative locations for the project...
Citizens make pitch to move jail (03/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- In February, the three Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to build a new 24-bed county jail and sheriff's office, and to build the facility next to the courthouse in the 500 block of Norris Avenue...
Resident offers new sites for jail (03/16/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- An outspoken critic of the Red Willow County commissioners' plan to build a new jail and law enforcement on a lot north of the courthouse is offering an alternative. Dale Dueland, who has questioned the location as well as other aspects of the project, is on the agenda for Monday's commissioner meeting, 15 minutes after the agenda begins at 9 a.m...
Commissioners accept credit, debit card plan (03/14/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County Commissioners unanimously voted to allow county departments to sign up for a credit card service program provided by the Nebraska.gov website. The decision Monday will give county entities the ability to accept credit or debit cards for payment of services...
Friends, foes turn out on jail (03/13/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook Planning Commission invited Red Willow County Commissioners to attend its meeting, Monday evening at Memorial Auditorium, and give a presentation on the Law Enforcement Center that is to be built on Norris Avenue. The discussion between the two entities drew an attendance of more than 40 that crowded into City Council Chambers, with those in attendance seemingly split evenly between supporters and critics of the jail project...
County to select construction manager (03/09/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning will adopt a resolution to select the "construction manager at risk" contract delivery process for construction of the county's new law enforcement center. The commissioners' weekly meeting begins at 9 a.m., in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook. The construction manager item comes up at 9:30 a.m...
City planners, county board to discuss jail (03/09/12)
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...
County works on message to voters (03/06/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners worked for about an hour Monday morning on an informational brochure that will explain to voters the importance of approving a tax levy outside the state-mandated levy limit to pay for the construction of a $5.1 million 24-bed jail and law enforcement center...
County OKs $35k loan for new welding shop (03/05/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning approved the application for a $35,000 loan from the county's revolving loan program. Jeremy Bain, owner of JLB Welding of McCook, will use the 10-year, 3 percent-interest loan to purchase land on County Drive 716 west of Orscheln's...
County to consider business loan, law center info (03/02/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will be asked to approve a loan for a new welding business and help plan a brochure for bonds for the new county law enforcement center. Meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, the board also will go into executive session at 9:15 a.m. to discuss pending litigation regarding a lawsuit by Thomas K. Leach against the county in connection with a failed helicopter kit company...
County begins new search for budget clerk (02/29/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- It'll be really hard to replace 59 1⁄2 years of knowledge and experience, but that's what Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners are facing. Here it is almost March 1, said commission chairman Earl McNutt during a commissioners' meeting Monday morning, "and before you know it, it'll be July and time to start thinking about budgets."...
Bond vote to set course for county (02/28/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, voters will determine on Tuesday, May 15 just how tight they want to make county budgets while paying for a new county law enforcement center over 20 years. Commissioners Earl McNutt, Steve Downer and Vesta Dack decided on Feb. ...
Special election resolution on county agenda (02/24/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners have a full agenda for their weekly meeting Monday, at 9 a.m., in their office on the third floor of the courthouse in downtown McCook, Nebraska. The county's new law enforcement center will be the center of discussion for public information at 10:15 a.m., followed at 11:45 a.m. ...
Vote unanimous to build jail (02/14/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- During their weekly meeting Monday morning, Red Willow County's commissioners unanimously approved a motion to build a new $5.1 million 24-bed jail and law enforcement center next door to the courthouse in McCook. To finance the new facility's construction, commissioners will ask voters at the May preliminary election whether they want a bond repayment levy within or outside of the county's state-mandated 50-cent tax levy limit. ...
Jail is 'go,' financing up to voters (02/13/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners agreed this morning to build a new law enforcement center in McCook, Nebraska, and to build it next door to the courthouse. The board also agreed unanimously to allow county voters to decide whether they want to finance construction of the jail with bonds whose repayment levy would be outside the county's state-mandated 50-cent levy limit...
Voters may be asked to approve jail bonds (02/10/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners are still investigating all the pros and cons, the legalities and the financial ramifications involved in the possible construction of a jail in McCook. "We don't want to rush us into a situation that creates a financial burden for future generations," commission chairman Earl McNutt said. "In all reality, the bottom line is, we need to explore all the options."...
Health department gears up for insurance billing (02/01/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The director of the Red Willow County, Nebraska, Health Department told county commissioners Monday morning that the department's ability to bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield allows its vaccination program to reach a larger segment of people...
County buys two buildings (01/30/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners signed a real estate purchase agreement this morning to buy the last two privately-owned properties north of the courthouse in the 500 block of Norris Avenue in McCook. Commissioners agreed to purchase the two apartment houses at 520 Norris from Greg and Janet Hepp of McCook for $160,000, clearing the way for a jail if commissioners should decide to build one...
County board opposes ending inheritance tax (01/24/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioner Earl McNutt may have the opportunity Thursday to speak against Nebraska counties losing inheritance taxes. The move to eliminate inheritance taxes by Gov. Dave Heineman and Omaha Sen. Abbie Cornett, who introduced Legislative Bill 970 ending the county inheritance tax, could affect some county budgets by millions of dollar annually, McNutt said. ...
County agrees to buy apartment buildings (01/24/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners agreed Monday afternoon to pay Greg and Janet Hepp of McCook $160,000 for two apartment houses north of the courthouse in McCook. The purchase means the county will own all the land between the courthouse and West F on the west side of Norris Avenue. It's a possible location for a county jail...
County board considers jail issues Monday (01/20/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners will consider more steps toward construction of a new jail at Monday's weekly meeting. In an item scheduled for 11:45 a.m. in the commissioners room at the courthouse, the board will meet with Wes Bradish and Nate Eckloff, RBC Capital Markets, on financing for the proposed jail project...
Five accounts current, two paid in full (01/10/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- At the end of 2011, Red Willow County's revolving loan fund had a balance of $273,999.21, five accounts were current on their loan payments and two paid their loans in full. County commissioners approved the end-of-the-year program income report for the county's revolving loan fund during their weekly meeting Monday morning...
County reviews plans for new subdivision (01/04/12)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners looked over plans for a new subdivision northwest of McCook and, because of the potential for new business(es) to locate on the new blocks, commission chairman Earl McNutt wished the best for developers...
Retired judge favors new site for county jail (12/13/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Retired Red Willow County, Nebraska, county judge Cloyd Clark admitted to county commissioners Monday morning that he knows it's late in the process, but he recommends that a county jail be built on lots in the 400 block of West First rather than on Norris Avenue...
Official pegs jail cost at $5 million (12/13/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, county commission chairman said Monday morning that he does not expect a proposed 24-bed county jail and law enforcement facility to cost more than $5,073,850. Earl McNutt said during a weekly meeting of the commissioners Monday morning that the county has money set aside now for the acquisition and demolition of one more property north of the courthouse in McCook, so those costs are not included in what is still a very preliminary proposed jail construction budget.. ...
County jail decision by end of month (11/18/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioner Vesta Dack told local law enforcement and representatives from the Work Ethic Camp that if the county decided to proceed with building a new jail, the estimated completion date would be September 2013. Dack added that commissioners would be making the decision on how to proceed by the end of the month. The comments came during a scheduled Work Ethic Camp breakfast, Friday morning, at Madison's Restaraunt in McCook...
County wants to give away house, garage -- but they must be moved (11/16/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will give away a stucco-covered red tile block house and a red brick double garage as long as they're removed from lots north of courthouse in McCook. Commissioners said during their weekly meeting Monday morning they've tried giving away the structures, at 516 Norris and 524 Norris, before and have had no takers. But they're still trying to avoid paying for their demolition...
County gets look at early jail ideas (11/15/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners got a first look Monday morning at what the exterior of a jail could look like sitting on lots north of the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska. The computer drawings are in their very early stages, "the first pass at it," architect Steve Riley of Prochaska & Associates, Omaha, told commissioners during the commissioners' weekly meeting. ...
Shortage of rentals 'desperate' (10/25/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The lack of rental properties in McCook, Nebraska, is "desperate." Barb Ostrum, community service coordinator of the McCook office of Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, asked Red Willow County commissioners to consider the plight of seven more families looking for rental housing if the county purchases and then demolishes the two two-story apartment houses at 520 Norris as the county makes way for the possible construction of a jail north of the courthouse...
County to consider property (10/21/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County, Nebraska, board of commissioners plans a closed session Monday morning to discuss the possible purchase of two apartment houses north of the courthouse on Norris Avenue in McCook. The meeting begins at 9 a.m., in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse. The closed session is scheduled at 9:30 a.m., and involves the possible purchase of two apartment buildings at 520 Norris from owners Greg and Janet Hepp of McCook...
Surveyor recommends sign maintenance plan (10/19/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska's county surveyor told commissioners Monday morning that while road sign maintenance plans are not mandatory, it would be beneficial to the county to have one in place. Gary Dicenta told commissioners that the plan would be a good idea, especially in light of a $407,000 jury award in August to a Michigan man who claimed he was injured in a car accident in Furnas County because the county failed to adequately mark a sharp turn in a road...
Commissioners OK paid tourism position (10/19/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County's Visitors Committee will pay a rural McCook, Nebraska, woman $35,000 a year to put "heads in beds" -- heads that pay lodging taxes that will be used to help promote tourism in McCook and Red Willow County. Carol Schlegel of rural McCook is chairman of the county's Visitors Committee whose members have written a contract that outlines Schlegel's duties as "tourism director" for one year. ...
County Tourism Director job on commissioner agenda (10/14/11)
\McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will discuss contracting the duties of the director of the county tourism board during their weekly meeting Monday morning in the commissioners' office on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook...
Commissioners want drawing of proposed jail (10/04/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners want a schematic drawing of the jail that may be built north of the courthouse in downtown McCook, Nebraska. "Yes, it's money spent," commission chairman Earl McNutt said during the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning. "But we'll have a colored picture of what the jail would look like on this property."...
Group offers to take over revolving fund (10/04/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County has the opportunity to get out of the banking business. Starting in the mid-1990s when two dairies were built north of McCook using money borrowed through the federal government's Community Development Block Grant Program and repaid to Red Willow County, the county created a "revolving loan fund" that loans money to new businesses and to existing business that want to expand. ...
Commissioners hear comments, ponder options for prisoners (09/27/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A Red Willow County, Nebraska, taxpayer shared with county commissioners Monday morning his concerns and observations about the possibility of building a county jail, and doing it without a vote by county residents. Another taxpayer, a rural McCook resident, told commissioners regarding a jail, "It's time to quit draggin' your feet." Her husband added, "We're going to have to have one."...
Jail decision up to county commissioners (09/22/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County's jail task force handed the final decision -- build a jail or continue transporting prisoners -- to county commissioners following a 2 1/2-hour task force meeting Wednesday evening. Jail committee members have met since April and have, with planners from Prochaska & Associates, updated a jail study done in 2005-06 and toured new jails built since that time. ...
Norfolk firm gets id to build bridge (09/20/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning awarded a Norfolk firm the bid to build a new bridge over Red Willow Creek north of the former Republican Valley Junior/Senior High School between McCook and Indianola. Norfolk Contracting Inc. will build the precast concrete bridge for $213,285, a bid that is 11 percent below an engineer's estimate of $240,300...
New jail would cost $340K per year to finance (09/13/11)
LORRI SUGHROUE McCook Daily Gazette McCOOK, Nebraska -- It would cost Red Willow County an average of $340,000 per year for the next 20 years, if the county decided to use bonds to finance a new jail. Red Willow County Commissioners discussed financing options for a proposed jail at their meeting Monday morning, with Paul Grieger of D.A. Davidson and Co., the bonding company that worked with the county the last time a new jail was proposed in 2005...
Hillcrest bond OKd (09/07/11)
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...
EDC no longer wants county-owned house (09/01/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- What Red Willow County commissioners thought was a done deal has turned out to be not so done after all. Mary Kircher, director of the housing committee of the McCook Economic Development Corp., sent e-mails to commissioners last week telling them that she won't be needing the house that the county donated for the committee's rehabilitation project...
Commissioners shave $180,000 from roads, bridge budget (08/24/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners shaved $180,000 from the county's roads and bridges budget Monday morning in an attempt to maintain a 39-cent tax levy, removing $160,000 they'd budgeted for a bridge that they've decided now to finance over three years...
County may combine voting districts (08/19/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will discuss consolidating two voting districts when they meet Monday morning for their weekly meeting beginning at 9 a.m. in the courthouse in McCook. At 10 a.m., the agenda includes receiving public comment regarding the consolidation of the Willow voting district with Indianola, followed at 10:30 a.m. with public comment on the consolidation of the Ward 4 Precinct 1 voting district with Ward 4 Precinct 2 district...
County to discuss training, budgets (07/29/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will discuss training and budgets during their weekly meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Monday in their office on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska. At 9:15 a.m., commissioners will decide who wants to attend a training conducted by the National Institute of Corrections, Nebraska Jail Standards and University of Nebraska Department of Criminal Justice in Kearney in September...
Road projects will cost $16,000 per mile (07/11/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County''s armor coating projects for the 2011 summer will cost about $16,000 a mile. During their meeting Monday morning in the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska, county commissioners accepted the single bid submitted on labor to armor coat 7.5 miles of county roads...
Should county maintain roads in subdivisions? (06/28/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The chairman of the Red Willow County, Nebraska, board of commissioners doesn't want to start road maintenance for one subdivision because then every other subdivision will want the same treatment. And, commission chairman Earl McNutt said he's worked hard to treat the county's six subdivisions the same -- no county maintenance on roads that are not publicly owned. McNutt said he's set a precedence in the past, that the county does not maintain roads in subdivisions...
County board delays Calabria roads decision (06/23/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning tabled until next week any decision about maintaining roads in the Calabria Subdivision about two miles northeast of McCook. County Attorney Paul Wood requested the week's delay so that he can work with county roads superintendent Lloyd Miller to decide whether Calabria roads meet two criteria that determine whether a road must be maintained by the county...
County to seek bids for Red Willow bridge (06/21/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska - Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will advertise for bids to build a new bridge over Red Willow Creek north of the former Republican Valley Junior/Senior High School between McCook and Indianola. Commissioners will open bids for a new bridge -- a 50-foot bridge with a steel substructure and a concrete deck -- in July, after they begin work on the county's 2011-12 budget. They'd like work to begin in August...
County ups contribution to center (06/14/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners increased the county's yearly contribution to the "Family Resource Center" to help the center pay for services provided to 478 Red Willow County families during the past year. Kathy Haas of McCook, FRC coordinator, told commissioners at their weekly meeting Monday morning that "no donation is too large," and that any donation will help the center keep its doors open...
County: Land not officially isolated (05/17/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners, decided Monday morning they cannot grant a request for access to Section 16 south of McCook across a neighbor's property because Section 16 is not "isolated." The Nebraska Bureau of Educational Lands and Funds -- BELF -- had requested that the county allow access to western areas of BELF-owned Section 16 via a two-trail pasture road that crosses Section 17, about one-third of which has been owned since 2005 by Michael and Cathy Sis of Bellevue, Nebraska. ...
Noxious weeds a growing problem (05/11/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- A little bit of moisture and a little bit of heat, and weeds in Red Willow County are growing like ... well, like weeds. Bill Elliott, the county's weed superintendent, told county commissioners at their weekly meeting in McCook, Nebraska, Monday morning that this summer "is going to be a good year for both Canada and musk thistle," two plants on Nebraska's noxious weed list...
Commissioners asked to settle access dispute (05/10/11)
Connie Jo Discoe Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- A Red Willow County, Nebraska, landowner and the Nebraska Bureau of Educational Lands and Funds -- BELF -- can't agree on what kind of road is appropriate for grain trucks and combines, and, Monday morning, asked county commissioners to decide for them...
County could use cells as is (04/26/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Unless Red Willow County changes walls, cells and occupancy in the 96-hour prisoner holding facility operated by the City of McCook, there would be little expense involved and no change in a fire marshal's latest inspection if the county takes over the facility's operation...
County to meet with state regarding use of old city holding cells (04/22/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners will meet with a representative of the State Fire Marshal's office to discuss any concerns connected with using McCook's Public Safety Center as a county jail. The discussion will be part of the regular meeting Monday in the commissioners' room in the courthouse...
Nine picked for jail task force (04/19/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning approved a list of nine county residents to help the Omaha firm selected as a jail study consultant investigate the county's options for transporting and housing its prisoners...
County gives house to EDC (04/11/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning gave away the stucco-covered house north of the courthouse in McCook to allow it to be relocated and rehabbed, and eventually returned to the tax rolls. Commissioner Steve Downer called the opportunity to generate some revenue with the now-unused house "a heck-of-a-deal." And the house will make a nice home for someone, Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said...
Roads projects on county agenda (04/01/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will discuss two road projects during their regular weekly meeting scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Monday, in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse at 502 Norris Ave. in downtown McCook...
County plans jail task force (03/29/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will create a jail task force to spearhead the county's study into jail options. Unlike a task force five or six years ago that studied the possibility of building a joint City of McCook-county law enforcement facility, this task force will concentrate strictly on the pros and cons of a operating a county jail and continuation of the current prisoner transport procedure...
County hires Omaha firm to conduct jail study (03/14/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners at their weekly meeting this morning hired an Omaha firm to conduct a study of options for housing the county's prisoners. Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said, "The (construction and operation) numbers may scare us to death, but this is a place to start."...
County to select firm for jail study (03/11/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- At 10:15 a.m., Monday, Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will select a firm to do a feasibility study of jail options available to the county. The commissioners' weekly meeting begins at 9 a.m., in their office on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook...
Jail expert: Keep it simple (03/08/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners learned during their weekly meeting Monday that jails aren't rocket science. Loren Anderson of Treanor Architects P.A., Topeka, Kansas, said that a jail just has to be designed to keep staff at the safest level. "Keep it simple and efficient," Anderson told commissioners...
County compromises on assessor's website (03/01/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County's assessor will make changes to the county's property search website following action at the county commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning. Danny Berndt of rural Danbury, Nebraska, a Red Willow County property owner and tax payer, requested that the assessor remove all photographs from the assessor's online property records available at www.co.red-willow.ne.us/webpages/assesso... and clicking on Red Willow -- GIS Workshop Property Search...
County considers jail feasibility study (02/23/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, county commissioners Monday morning authorized an Omaha, Nebraska, architectural and planning firm to prepare a written agreement of costs associated with the study of building a jail in McCook. The "meat" of the study by Prochaska & Associates, according to commissioner Steve Downer of rural Bartley and Donald Prochaska, should be the study of five options, and the price tag associated with each:...
Jail feasibility on county agenda for Tuesday (02/18/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will listen to a presentation on the feasibility of a county jail during their weekly meeting Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m., in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska...
Official: Unusual for county like ours not to have a jail (02/08/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- It's very, very uncommon that a county the size of Red Willow operates without its own jail, a Nebraska jail standards field representative told Red Willow County commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday morning in the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska...
Commissioners will study options for jail (01/21/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, Sheriff Gene Mahon and county commissioners will discuss jail options available to the county during the commissioners' meeting Monday in the courthouse in downtown McCook. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the commissioners' room on the third floor...
McNutt re-elected commission chair (01/10/11)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioner Earl McNutt of McCook was elected this morning to his 11th term as chairman of the county board of commissioners. McNutt was first elected to the board of commissioners as District 1 representative in 1998 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2010. His fellow commissioners voted him chairman in January 2001...
Commissioners consider changing meeting schedule (12/20/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Would residents attend county commissioners' meetings if they were scheduled in the evening? Would they attend meetings if commissioners met twice a month, rather than four times a month? Would Tuesdays, or even Wednesdays, work better than Mondays?...
County to set date for demolition (12/03/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners will set a date to open bids for the removal/demolition of county-owned property near the courthouse in McCook during their weekly meeting Monday. The meeting begins at 9 a.m., in the commissioners' office on the third floor of the courthouse...
County delays decision on rental (10/26/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners need more information before they can make any decision about renting the former beauty shop next door to the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska. Commission chairman Earl McNutt said during the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning that a counseling center in North Platte would like to move from its current McCook office and expand services, and is inquiring about renting the beauty shop building that the county purchased in early 2008 for courthouse expansion or additional office space or parking, or, according to conjecture at the time, land upon which to build a county jail.. ...
County supports shelter, wants others to chip in as well (09/21/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners agreed Monday to support the work of the McCook Humane Society with a monthly check, but Commissioner Leigh Hoyt wants shelter representatives to approach other towns and counties about paying their share of shelter expenses...
Commissioners adopt $16.4 million budget (09/14/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County Commissioners adopted a $16,357,476.12 budget following a 30-minute public hearing Monday. Then, following a 15-minute hearing, they set the tax request at $2,788,590.06, based on a $0.39 levy, which was increased from $2,422,044.42 for the prior fiscal year, based on a $0.36 levy...
Fair budget must absorb old sales taxes (09/01/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners declined Monday morning to add more money to the 2010-11 budget for the county fairgrounds, although the fair board must come up with about $7,000 to pay five years of sales taxes that it should have been collecting but didn't...
Grant recipient vows to conduct eco-retreat events soon (09/01/10)
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska -- Andela Taylor of rural Cambridge wrote in a report to Red Willow County commissioners and Steve Charleston of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development that progress continues on EarthBlooms eco-retreat southwest of Cambridge, in Red Willow County...
Overlooked car taxes help county budget (08/17/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The outlook for the 2010-11 budget for Red Willow County, Nebraska, improved last week when county officials discovered that $325,000 in motor vehicle taxes had been overlooked and not included in budget proposals. "This is how I'd feel if I'd gone to Vegas and hit the jackpot," budget clerk Shirley Volz told commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday morning...
County board looks for cuts (08/11/10)
By CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County Commissioners hope taxes paid between now and Sept. 1, and the cooperation of county officials figuring pay raises will help them write a budget that doesn't break the bank...
County begins budget process (07/20/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- More, more, more. Everyone wants more. The state wants more weeds controlled in Red Willow County. Insurance companies want more money from Red Willow County. County employees want more wages from county commissioners. At this rate, "more" is going to become a four-letter word...
Property owners protest valuation increases (07/15/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- One hundred and nineteen Red Willow County, Nebraska, taxpayers are protesting increases in the tax valuation of their residential, commercial property or agriculture land. Sitting as a board of equalization, county commissioners listened Monday afternoon to the first round of protests from taxpayers unhappy with increases in the tax valuation of their homes and ag land...
Sole bidder gets armor coat contract (07/14/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners awarded the armor coating contract for summer projects to the only contractor submitting a bid for work on 11 miles of paved county roads. Figgins Construction of Red Cloud, Nebraska, will charge the county 22 cents per square yard for the application of oil and gravel on:...
Oil price to boost paving costs (06/29/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The application rate of the oil on the two county roads set to get a new armor coating this summer will likely increase the projected cost of the 11 miles of roadwork. Early estimates of $13,500 per mile could increase to $14,600 a mile because, county surveyor Gary Dicenta told Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning, "the road controls the application rate" of the oil. ...
Property tax protests due June 30 (06/22/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, tax payers have until Wednesday, June 30, to file protests of their tax valuations. County Assessor Sandra Kotschwar told county commissioners during their weekly meeting Monday that her office mailed out approximately 5,000 notices of valuation increases on ag land, commercial and residential properties, the owners of which have the right to protest the increase...
Armor coating projects expected to cost about $13,500 per mile (06/22/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners and the county's surveyor are estimating armor coating projects this summer will cost about $13,500 a mile. During the commissioners' weekly meeting in the courthouse in McCook, Nebraska, Monday morning, commissioners and county surveyor Gary Dicenta decided to continue the process in which the county buys the oil and gravel, and bids only the application...
Non-profit can't use county house (06/22/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The county-owned apartment house at 524 Norris Ave. in McCook, Nebraska, won't work for the family resources organization that looked at it as a possible rent-free location. Red Willow County commission chairman Earl McNutt said during the commissioners' weekly meeting Monday morning that representatives of the Family Resources Center "threw up their hands" after touring the large, two-story apartment house that the county purchased last year for the city lot on which it sits. ...
No interest in historic 524 Norris Ave. (06/08/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners received absolutely no inquiries about nor a single bid to buy or demolish the two-story white-frame apartment house at 524 Norris, north of the county courthouse in McCook, Nebraska. Commission chairman Earl McNutt said Monday, during the commissioners' weekly meeting, there is obviously no interest in saving the house. ...
Landowner says he'll comply (05/26/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook man who is stockpiling inoperable vehicles and appliances, computers, tanks and oil filters on 30 acres of land that he owns southwest of McCook is complying with county officials who have asked him to clean up his property...
County wants buildings to be torn down or moved (05/11/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners want the land at 524 Norris in McCook, but not the house and garage. Nor do they think the county needs to be in the rental or lease business. Therefore, at their weekly meeting Monday morning, commissioners decided to sell the big two-story white-and-gray apartment house on the corner north of the courthouse and require that it be moved off the lot or torn down...
County won't be rushed into jail project (05/11/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning declined to participate with the City of McCook on a new law enforcement facility. "The city wants an answer by their (City Council) meeting Monday," said commission chairman Earl McNutt, but neither he nor fellow commissioner Steve Downer felt that gave them enough time to decide whether the county wants to place a jail in the new law enforcement facility proposed by the city...
County to consider cooperation on city building (05/07/10)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Red Willow County Commissioners will consider whether to pursue cooperation with the City of McCook on a new law enforcement facility at their regular meeting Monday. While a joint law enforcement facility failed a test of the voters a few years ago, the city will soon ask voters to support a new fire hall, police station and administrative offices...
County accepts resignation of health department head (04/26/10)
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...
Local officials retrieve files on defaulted loan (04/19/10)
The intellectual properties of Pawnee Aviation Inc. have been retrieved from the man who borrowed $300,000 from Red Willow County and defaulted on the loan. Rex Nelson of McCook, administrator of the county's revolving loan fund program, drove to Longmont, Colo., Friday and took possession of computers, files, filing cabinets, blueprints and designs for the helicopter kit that Ron Willocks, owner of Pawnee Aviation, was developing with the $200,000 loan and the $100,000 grant that he received from the county in December 2004. ...
Commissioners hear updates on development (04/13/10)
Red Willow County commissioners listened to updates on hiring by EarthBlooms Eco-Retreat southwest of Cambridge and the sale of land east of Quality Urgent Care during their weekly meeting in the courthouse in McCook Monday morning. Andela Taylor, general manager of EarthBlooms, the eco-retreat being developed on her rural Red Willow County family farm, told commissioners that the hospitality/events administrator that she has hired starts Thursday...
EcoRetreat plans to open in July (04/06/10)
The developer of an agri-tourism resort in Red Willow County told county commissioners Monday morning that she has one employee ready to start in mid-April, and hopes to open "EarthBlooms EcoRetreat" in July. During their regular weekly meeting, commissioners also discussed the future of the apartment building the county bought in February, applying for "Recovery Zone" bonds and the status of a county loan to a medical clinic in McCook...
County grapples with helicopter's value (03/23/10)
How much is a prototype helicopter worth? Who's going to determine its value? And if the helicopter and its technology are sold, how much of Red Willow County's $300,000 loan can be recouped? Should the county pay storage costs accruing on the helicopter?...
County may be on the hook for helicopter storage costs (03/15/10)
Red Willow County may have to pay $7,758.70 in storage costs if commissioners want to collect the county's helicopter collateral in Colorado. County attorney Paul Wood and commissioners Monday morning talked to the manager of a Longmont, Colo. hangar owners' association in whose hangars Ron Willocks has stored the helicopter prototype that he developed with a $300,000 loan from Red Willow County's revolving loan fund. ...
County ponders trip to retrieve kit helicopters (03/09/10)
Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood wants a time, date and location agreed upon and set in stone before county officials go to Colorado to retrieve a kit helicopter built with a loan from the county. Rex Nelson, administrator of the county's revolving loan program, told Red Willow County commissioners during their meeting Monday morning that Ron Willocks of Longmont, Colo., owner of the now-defunct Pawnee Aviation helicopter kit company, seems anxious and willing to get this matter settled. ...
Despite bankruptcy, gift shop owner vows to repay (03/09/10)
A downtown McCook gift shop has filed for bankruptcy protection, but its owner assured Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning that she intends to repay her loan from the county. Betty Kenner, owner of Accents Etc., told commissioners during their weekly meeting that Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow her to reorganize, stay in business and continue to liquidate inventory to pay her creditors. ...
County holds EDC contribution to $5,000 (02/23/10)
For the second year in a row, Red Willow County commissioners voted to pay $5,000 instead of $10,000 for the county' membership contribution to the McCook Economic Development Corp. During the commissioners' regular weekly meeting Monday morning, a motion by Commissioner Steve Downer to make a contribution of $10,000 died for lack of a second...
County buys apartment building (02/02/10)
By CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor Red Willow County commissioners closed on the purchase of the big gray-and-white apartment house at 524 Norris Ave. during their weekly meeting Monday morning. Commissioners agreed in December to pay Stannis and Kenneth Spencer of McCook $50,000 for the property. Camy Bradley of McCook Abstract Co. Monday morning presented the purchaser's statement to commissioners for signatures...
County board elects officers (01/12/10)
By CONNIE JO DISCOE Regional Editor Red Willow County's District 1 commissioner was elected to his 10th year as chairman during the county board's annual reorganization Monday morning. Commissioner Earl McNutt of McCook chaired his first meeting in January 2001. He was elected to the board of commissioners in 1998...
Commissioners approve new extension board members (12/23/09)
Red Willow County commissioners approve the appointments of two new members of the Red Willow County Extension Board during their meeting Monday morning. Lori Beeby of Lebanon will represent District 1, replacing Elaine Haag. Beeby's term will expire in 2012. Theresa Tiller of rural McCook will be the 4-H Council representative, replacing Jeff Stagemeyer; her term will expire at the end of 2010...
Commissioners increase salaries (12/22/09)
Red Willow County commissioners gave elected officials a raise and determined a yearly increase beginning in 2011, adopting a resolution setting salaries for the next four-year term at their weekly meeting Monday morning. Commission Chairman Earl McNutt said salaries for elected officials had to be set by Jan. 15...
Commissioners to review salaries (12/11/09)
The Red Willow County commissioners will discuss elected officials' salaries at their regular meeting Monday. The meeting will be called to order at 9 a.m. in the comissioners' room at the courthouse, with the salary discussion set for 9:15 a.m. At 9:45 a.m., Andy Snyder of Smith-Hayes will discuss a recolution for reimbursement on recently purchased property...
County buys apartment house, reviews wind study (12/08/09)
Red Willow County commissioners purchased real estate and updated themselves on a wind study being conducted in the county during their regular weekly meeting Monday morning. Commissioners voted un-animously to purchase the two-story frame white-and-gray apartment house at 524 Norris -- on the corner north of the courthouse in McCook -- for $50,000 from Stannis and Kenneth Spencer, McCook...
County buys apartment house, reviews wind study (12/08/09)
Red Willow County commissioners purchased real estate and updated themselves on a wind study being conducted in the county during their regular weekly meeting Monday morning. Commissioners voted un-animously to purchase the two-story frame white-and-gray apartment house at 524 Norris -- on the corner north of the courthouse in McCook -- for $50,000 from Stannis and Kenneth Spencer, McCook...
County buys neighboring apartments (12/07/09)
At their weekly meeting this morning, Red Willow County commissioners purchased the big white and gray apartment house at 524 Norris, on the corner north of the courthouse in McCook. Commissioners unanimously authorized commission chairman Earl McNutt to sign the purchase agreement to buy the apartment house for $50,000 from Stannis and Kenneth Spencer of McCook...
Commissioners split vote to buy new grader (11/25/09)
Red Willow County commissioners replaced a 1993 Caterpillar road grader with another Caterpillar, upgrading to a 2010 Model 140M at their weekly meeting Monday morning. The new Cat grader will cost $150,314, and will be delivered to Commissioner Steve Downer's District 2 shop in Bartley on or about March 1...
Federal road funding on track (11/24/09)
The "responsible charge person" for Red Willow County assured commissioners during their meeting Monday morning that the county's documentation on federal aid and federal stimulus road projects is "on track and moving forward." Karl Elmshaeuser of the West Central Nebraska Development District in Ogallala and Red Willow County's "RC person" for federal aid road projects, told commissioners it seems that the process that the federal government requires recipients to follow for stimulus-funded projects "is being defined as we go along." McNutt said, "We're six months into this, and they're still changing the process." Fellow commissioner Leigh Hoyt said, "Just about a year ago, the stimulus programs started, and there's still no money for transportation projects.". ...
Engineering firm ends services to avoid funding threat (11/17/09)
The McCook engineering consulting firm of Miller and Associates resigned effective Monday morning as Red Willow County's roads superintendent. At the county commissioners' weekly meeting Monday, engineer and roads supervisor Gary Dicenta told commissioners that the resignation will prevent a conflict of interest when the county is approved for federal aid or federal stimulus money for transportation projects...
County to court Nov. 30 on Pawnee Aviation locan (11/17/09)
Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood will appear in district court Monday, Nov. 30, asking Judge David Urbom to allow the county to liquidate collateral it holds in Pawnee Aviation, the helicopter kit company that has defaulted on a $300,000 loan from the county...
Pawnee Aviation lawsuit on county agenda Monday (11/13/09)
Red Willow County commissioners will discuss the county's lawsuit to recover loan funds from Pawnee Aviation during their weekly meeting Monday morning. The meeting begins at 9 a.m., in the commissioners' room on the third floor of the courthouse in McCook; the Pawnee Aviation topic, in closed session, comes up at 9:15 a.m...
County recalculates tax support for historical society (11/02/09)
Red Willow County commissioners approved recalculations in the amount of tax support for the High Plains Historical Society and in income guidelines for county medical assistance during their weekly meeting Monday morning. Nebraska's state auditor spotted a miscalculation in the historical society's lid limit, and reduced the amount of tax support it will receive from $16,658.78 to $15,441,46, and its levy from $.002476 to $.002295. ...
County rewriting guidelines for public assistance requests (10/27/09)
Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning asked for assistance from Nebraska Health and Human Services to rewrite the county's guidelines for requesting funds from the county's medical assistance program. While some parts of the program will be revised, the base gross monthly income at which a single person qualifies may be increased by only $29...