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County opts to name temporary surveyor

 


Cheyenne County Commissioners appointed Donald Brush of Panhandle Land Surveying as temporary county surveyor at yesterday’s meeting.

“What I’m needing is the duties of a county surveyor in Cheyenne County,” Brush told the commissioners. “I’ve had some clients that have requested some surveying.”

Most of the time during land survey work, monuments marking the corners of property are in place and there are records which establish the edges of a property. Sometimes the corners of the property aren’t properly marked, Brush explained.

“When the monument’s gone, it’s not legal for a non-county surveyor to reestablish any of the corners that were originally set by the government land office,” Brush said.

These corners have to be reestablished by an official county surveyor. Brush is currently working on two surveys in the county in which the corners are missing and must be reestablished. Brush cannot move forward on these projects without the services of an official county surveyor. One of the projects is under time constraint.

Brush asked for the appointment of a surveyor, either himself or someone else.

“It’s really kind of put us in a bind, so to speak, not having the availability of a county surveyor,” Brush said.

Brush is currently appointed as surveyor of Kimball County for a four year term and was elected to the same position in Sioux County, where he resides. Brush told the commissioners that he does a large amount of survey work in Kimball County, but only a few jobs per year in Sioux County.

There are obvious advantages for Brush when appointed county surveyor, because if he does a job for a private individual, he can officially reestablish the borders at the same time without having to find the county surveyor.

If he was appointed county surveyor, another surveyor living in Cheyenne County could run for election and preempt anyone from outside the county for the position, Brush said.

The commissioners mulled over whether Brush would be considered a county employee and if this position required an election or if the county need provide him healthcare. The commission also discussed whether or not to appoint Brush for a short time to finish these projects and if they should advertise the position first.

Brush commented that he didn’t care if he or someone else was appointed as county surveyor but that it would be beneficial to Cheyenne County citizens to have a surveyor in cases such as the ones he’s currently dealing with.

“One of my biggest questions is, once you make that appointment to county surveyor, are you a county employee and the other things that go with it?” asked commissioner Harold Winkelman.

Winkelman suggested appointing Brush for two months while the commissioners decide how to deal with a more long-term position.

“We need some answers before, I think we can do a year’s contract,” Winkelman said.

Commissioner Ken McMillen moved that the commissioners appoint Brush for 60 days

“I’d like to see 60 days in case something else came up,” McMillen said. “Then we don’t go back to square one again.”

Others at the meeting wondered how they would deal with payment for this temporary appointment.

“There would be no charge to Cheyenne County on these two projects I’m working on,” Brush said.

Of the two projects for which Brush needs a county surveyor, both are already funded by the private landowners.

This temporary 60 day appointment would give the commissioners time to find out if anyone within the county was interested in the job and whether or not the position would be contractual or if the surveyor would actually be an official county employee.

A motion was approved to appoint Brush as county surveyor for 60 days on a contractual, as-needed basis. Brush would be paid $55 per hour and mileage for any additional work beyond his two current projects and would have to consult with the commissioners before beginning any additional work.

“Basically, for your understanding, I’m being named in a position that the cost to the county would be zero,” Brush said.

 

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