Flood-related issues dominate meeting

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2019 7:00 am

The Knox County supervisors spent considerable time considering subjects related to the March flood, when they met at the courthouse in Center on April 25.

Kevin Barta, highway superintendent presented from Intek of Yankton, S.D., for post-flood cleanup of the Niobrara and Verdigre county sheds.The estimate to clean the Verdigre shed is just over $25 grand, with the Niobrara facility cleanup estimated at just over $6,500.

Nebraska Intergovermental Risk Management Agency will cover the expense to clean the Niobrara shed. However, due to the pre-flood existence of mold at the Verdigre building, cleanup there will not be covered.

In addition, replacement of the electric panel, switches and outlets will be required at the Niobrara facility, an air compressor needs to be replaced and a trailer loaded with bridge barricades, was found to have incurred damage in the flood.  

Barta also reported NIRMA increased the appraised value of the flood-damaged backhoe to $23,825.  

Mike Crosley, Lee Ickes, Dan Redowl and Devin Henry, representing the Santee Sioux Nation, attended the meeting to discuss condition of the “bottom road” north of Center.  A portion of the road is currently closed. The Santee Sioux Nation officials raised objection to any permanent closure of 531 Avenue, citing the potential devastating effect it would have on travel and economic development.

A lengthy discussion included potential issues and possible solutions, with multiple supervisors indicating they had heard from other constituents concerned about the road’s repair and not wanting it closed. Barta offered to contact the county engineering firm, Mainelli Wagner Engineering, and said repairs would begin as soon as possible.

The leaders approved bids from Husker Steel for purchase of material necessary to repair several bridges - including $21,949 to repair the west abutment to the “Jim Fuchtman” bridge in Creighton Township; $18,754 to repair both abutments to “Reynolds” wood bridge in Harrison Township; and $25,750 for both abutments to “Rod Repenning” bridge in Central Township.

The supervisors heard that repairs needed on the “Prishman” bridge over the South Branch of the Verdigre Creek in Logan Township, estimated at $150,000 to $200,000, will need to be let to an outside contractor.

The supervisors also heard that the “Walton” bridge could be classified as a federal-aid project, but it would be a lengthy process. Application will be made to FEMA for funds. Another option is to close the road. The supervisors asked for additional information and will revisit the matter.

Other road department consideration included:

• Billing received from the Nebraska Department of Transportation for the Lindy North road project, in the amount of $30,331.86. The supervisors requested more information, including the amount that is the responsibility of the Santee Sioux Nation;

• Approved the purchase of a Roadrunner road drag from Jet Plain Company of DeWitt,  for $25,000, with the option to purchase a second one; and

• Discussed options for repair of an oil road north of Bloomfield, opting to budget for the repair in the next fiscal year.

Emergency Manager Laura Hintz showed the supervisors a photo of a barrel found in the driveway of the Whitetail Lodge west of Niobrara after the flooding. She said the owner is still sought.

While convened as a board of equalization, the supervisors again discussed flood mapping imagery, but did not reach a decision. The matter will be addressed at the next meeting, set for May 9.

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