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Commissioner's Meeting Features Report Reviews and Budget Processes

SIDNEY - The Cheyenne County Board of Commissioners and Equalization Board met Monday morning with a packed agenda that lasted well into the afternoon. After approving the minutes from their last meeting, reviewing correspondence and paying claims, the Commissioners then approved the reappointment of Mandi Raffleson as Spirited Citizen of the Public Health Board. The Board is made up of a county commissioner and a community spirited citizen appointed by the commissioners for the Panhandle Public Health Board.

Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub then brought up a proposal for the Wheat Belt Power District Service Contract and Line Extension Agreement for the Civil Defense Warning siren in Lorenzo. After approving the siren, and then changing the location to satisfy requests from the residents, the siren needed to have a continuous power source for operation. The siren would require a dedicated line and a service contract at a cost of $50.50 per month. The commissioners approved the service contract and payment without objection.

Next, a Special Designated Liquor License was approved for MKSE Norgard LLC for the PNCC off-road race and concert. The permit will allow the sale of beer during the races and concert event. Cheyenne County Sheriff Adam Frerichs was consulted and stated there have been no problems with the event in previous years, and had no objection to approving the permit for the September 3 event in Potter. The commissioners approved the license without objection.

The commissioners then heard from Georgia Rogers, Youth Services Coordinator, about the Juvenile Justice Grant application in process. She spoke of the increase in numbers of youths in the diversion program, nearly three times as many as pre-Covid numbers. Last year's grant was for $40,000 and the new grant application is for $42,000. Most of that money is used to reimburse workers for their travel time and other expenses, while $17,000 of the monies are to go to the school counseling programs in the Sidney Public School system. The Creek Valley School System is seeking to get a grant for themselves, as the program covers Kimball, Cheyenne and Deuel Counties. In December, Rogers will be submitting the grant proposal for 2025. Rogers also noted the Panhandle area has been predesignated from “Rural” to “Frontier” for budgeting purposes. She also noted Cheyenne County has been trying to recruit more people into the juvenile mental health field as we currently have a lack of qualified workers. The commissioners approved Rogers' report.

The commissioners then switched over to the Equalization Board to hear the Cemetery Report from County Assessor Jordan Hajek. She said there has been no changes and no new cemeteries added, so the budgeting should be the same as last year's amount. The commissioners approved her report. Doug Hart, Cheyenne County Highway Superintendent gave an update on road activities and evaluations of road conditions going into the fall and winter season. He also reviewed the 2023-24 Budget with the commissioners.

The balance of the extended meeting mostly focused on initial budgeting requests and information necessary to prepare the next year's budgets for the various county departments. The meetings went on well into the afternoon. We will have additional information and actual budgetary numbers as the process continuous and will report back when that information becomes available.


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