By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Commissioners Put Lock on Firearms Permit Proposal


The Cheyenne County Commissioners Monday discussed Federal Firearms Licensing for the county.

Dave Phelps, who has a Federal Firearms License (FFL), approached the commissioners Monday about licensing the county for sales at the fairgrounds.

Phelps proposal would simplify the process of selling and then taking possession of firearms during a sale. As it is, a buyer has to take possession of the purchased firearm at the address of the FFL holder. Phelps said it would be an advantage to the county because

sale events at the fairgrounds would be more attractive. If the county held an FFL with the fairgrounds as the address, a buyer could leave with his or her firearms at the the sale. 

The commissioners questioned about potential liability with the county holding the license. County attorney Paul Schaub was asked about the issue. Schaub said he had contacted a Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (NIRMA) representative who said who said the potential liabilities outweigh the benefits.

Commissioner Philip Sanders said NIRMA is the county’s insurance provider and has to follow their direction.

“We pretty much have to do what NIRMA says. They’re our insurance carrier,” 

Sanders stressed his decision is about legalities and conducting business correctly.

“We don’t want to stop having activities out there,” he said. “We just want to do it legally.”

The board also received a commemorative gift from the Union Pacific Railroad courtesy of Sidney City Manager Ed Sadler. This year is the 150thanniversary of the cross continental railroad. As part of the celebration the Union Pacific has produced pictorial books on the history of the railroad. The books are issued to only select agencies. Locally, the books were given to the City of Sidney, Cheyenne County, and to museums.

Monday’s meeting also included the public hearing on the county’s One and Six-Year Road Improvement Plan. Much of the discussion on roads focused on gravel placement and reaction after a snow storm. Highway Superintendent Doug Hart did talk about expanding the pavement south past Love’s Truck Stop. The proposal is to extend the pavement about 600 feet to the t-intersection. He said paving the rest of the road would eliminate wash-boarding that occurs on the road.

Hart and the commissioners also discussed water runoff from the hotel, questioning if a containment pond is required.

The discussion also included the impact of oil field equipment on county roads following heavy snow and rain. The discussion included the condition of roads 56, 58 and 60. The commissioners said new employees need to be trained how to apply gravel and when; in a class or mentored by experienced staff. Sanders said a road north of Potter needs fixed.

“We have to do a better job,” Sanders said. “When [road workers] see a window (in the weather) they need to go for it.”

Concerns from the audience included the condition of County Road 56 west of Dalton and County Road 95 that is so narrow two vehicles cannot pass each other.

The commissioners also discussed reorganization of the Visitors Committee, Veteran Service Officer Fred Wiedeburg’s assistance with Kimball County, AFLAC representative Jennifer Powell and appointment of a county surveyor, and exemption of a 2015 Ford F250 pickup truck owned by Sidney Regional Medical Center from tax roles. Chris O’Malley was selected as the new county surveyor. He will be compensated at an hourly rate.


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