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

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

County Opens Backhoe Bids


February 12, 2020

The Cheyenne County Commissioners opened three bids for purchase of a backhoe.

The three bids, from Titan Machinery, ranged in price from $34,500 for a 2008 Case 580 to about $20,000 lease for a 2020 Case or about $93,000 purchase. Titan Machinery also offered a 2006 Case 590 for $35,900. The bids were tabled for review.

The commissioners also opened and approved a bid from Nebraska Machinery for a skid steer lease at a price of $5,700 for two years.

Where is the line between compassion and unnecessary responsibility?

That is a question the commissioners discussed during the Feb. 3 meeting.

Among the items discussed on the agenda was an expense for a hotel mattress. The county assisted a Cheyenne County resident who was living in a building deemed uninhabitable. The county later received a bill for a soiled mattress. Commissioner Randy Miller asked where is the balance between compassion and the county's responsibility. He questioned how much responsibility an hotel owner carries against incidents like this, regardless of the client's ability to pay.

The commissioners, reviewed a Wheat Belt Energy letter regarding underpayment. The county received a letter from Wheat Belt regarding underpayment for services. According to commissioner discussion, the underpayment amounts to about $15,000.

“That's a significant amount of money,” Commissioner Philip Sanders said.

According to discussion, the underpayment took place over a period of five years. County Attorney Paul Schaub was directed to contact Wheat Belt officials.

The commissioners also met with County Treasurer Shelley Bowlin regarding pledged securities and as the Board of Equalization regarding tax exemption for motor vehicles owned by a qualifying nonprofit organization. Bowlin explained changes in pledges among the banks used by the county. Meeting with the commissioners as the Board of Equalization Application for Tax Exemption on Motor Vehicles Owned by Qualifying Nonprofit Organizations. The request to review and consider was for the Cheyenne County Hospital Association, Inc. Bowlin said the Power of Attorney for the Board is actually a POA In Fact, whom she doesn't believe has the authority to sell personal property.

The Board of Equalization also reviewed tax exemptions on real and personal properties as presented by County Assessor Melody Keller. The discussion included a partial exemption for Here We Grow child care and High Plains Paws. Keller said an Order of Dissolution was issued to High Plains Paws in 2019. Keller also recommended a request by Norwegian Fjord Horse Rescue be denied. She said the petitioner has to own the property to receive an exemption.

The commissioners acting as the board of equalization tabled a decision on the property owned by High Plains Paws and approved requests for hospital purposes and for religious purposes.

The commissioners also approved use of the Visitors Center for an Autism Walk event, met with the county safety committee, Communications Director Heidi Gillespie on surplus property and Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Tom Payne on department activities.


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