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

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sun-Telegraph 

Jail Costs Increasing

Board Tables Fair Board Resignation


October 27, 2021 | View PDF

The cost of crime is increasing. Cheyenne County Sheriff Adam Frerichs reported in the Oct. 18 meeting of Cheyenne County Commissioners the Scottsbluff County Jail is increasing its rates.

Cheyenne County sends inmates to neighboring facilities when Cheyenne County's jail is at capacity, or for specific situations such as problem inmates. Scottsbluff County is increasing its rate for Level 3, problem inmates to $100 per day. The commissioners approved giving Frerichs signature authority to enter an agreement with Scottsbluff County.

Cheyenne County charges $50 per day for out-of-county inmates. The commissioners encouraged Frerichs to research nearby facilities to see how rates compare.

The commissioners also discussed if a board member can resign his or her position, then remain on the board as an alternate.

The board was also to consider the resignation of Whitney Whartman as vice-president of the Cheyenne County Fair Board. Commissioner Randy Miller added that she asked to return to her role as board member and secretary. Commissioner Phil Sanders said he would support her resignation, but not to return as an alternate.

The line item was tabled so Whartman could be contacted and asked to meet with the commissioners.

The commissioners also approved an engineering contract with M.C. Schaff & Associates for work on County Road 32S. The 3 ½ mile overlay project will start west of Scoular Grain. Discussion then moved to road striping and if the county should purchase a striping machine, and for how much. Highway Superintendent Doug Hart reported prices for used stripers at almost $20,000; new units exceed $50,000. Costs do not include a pickup truck capable of transporting the striper.

The commissioners also approved an Engagement Letter with E & H Certified Public Accountants for the 2020-2021 Keno audit. The commissioners then approved reissuing county tax certificates for 2017 taxes. County Treasurer Shelley Bowlin said foreclosure action did not take place within nine months and consequently have to be canceled and reissued.

The foreclosures will then mature in 2024.

The commissioners also received a report from Economic Development Director Kim Matthews. Matthews has been in the office for about four months. In the four months, she has been involved in housing studies and how best to use the tools the city has available.

“This plan will allow the city to move forward in workforce housing,” she said.

She has also worked with Brittany Hardin,Nebraska Department of Economic Development, on a business retention survey of Sidney, and a revitalization study was released in September. She also announced Sidney is one of six communities to participate in the Nebraska Family Foundation's Enhancing Entrepreneurship Eco System program. The program offers mentoring for developing businesses in a community.

She said results of the “Why Sidney” survey are in. The top answers are related to the community's resiliency and as a great place to raise a family.


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