The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Commissioners Approve Funding Request


September 19, 2018

Between the interstate traffic and the outdoor retail stands a bronze symbol of Sidney’s past, a lone rider on a horse determined to make his next stop on the Pony Express. It is as much real as it is symbolic as the man and steed have seen their share of weather and need sprucing up now and again.

Monday morning, the Cheyenne County Commissioners gave approval to a grant for the Sidney Jaycees to replace the flags at the National Pony Express Monument.

“Since the movement put that up, the Jaycees have taken care of it, put up the flags,” said Cheyenne County Tourism Director Kevin Howard.

Howard met with the commissioners, explaining that tourism has funded the new flags at the monument. This year, the Jaycees were asked to submit a grant request. The grant is for $1,400 for two flags, Howard said. He added the Jaycees are working on a transfer of ownership of the monument to the Pony Express Association.

The commissioners also met with Darin Van Natter and Susan Hiett regarding renewal of a conditional use permit. The permit is for operation of a salvage business near Lorenzo. Van Natter and Hiett met with the commissioners as part of a requirement for a five-year review.

“I’ve had this for 10 years,” Van Natter said.

He said the salvage yard won’t change in size or appearance. He added there hasn’t been any issues or written complaints.

County attorney Paul Schaub said in 2013, the then-seated commissioners required a review of the conditional use permit every five years.

Commissioner Randal Miller said he doesn’t see why Van Natter needs to defend his business if there are no concerns. Schaub said the commissioners had the option of not requiring future five-year reviews. The commissioners approved the conditional use permit and deleted the required five-year review.

The commissioners also discussed changes to the fair board. The commissioners met with fair board president Gerald Frerichs about adding an ex-officio commissioner to the fair board. Miller said as an ex-officio member, the commissioner could be part of discussions but would not be a voting member of the board. Miller was elected as the commissioner member of the fair board.

The commissioners also discussed with Frerichs the need for documentation regarding fair board expenditures. The commissioners stressed the question is not about management of the funds, but documentation for better oversight. They also told Frerichs minutes need to be submitted to the county clerk. One of the concerns is how to manage the assets when payments are made from two different fiscal years, according to Miller.

“Our auditor doesn’t have an answer for us,” he said.

Additionally, Frerichs and the commissioners discussed options for management of the fair and facilities. One of the considerations is an “age society,” a design where the fair and fair board collects property tax revenue but is independent of the county commissioners. The fair board collects $52,057 from taxes, has a carryover to the 20018-2019 fiscal year of $61,560 and has an approved budget of about $215,000.

The commissioners also approved a subdivision request on behalf of Marva Holt to separate 2.01 acres from the Holt Farms subdivision, and an application by Stephen  Wolff to vacate tracts 2, 3, and 5 of Lobo Estates Subdivision, changing zoning from residential estates to agriculture.


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