SIDNEY- The Cheyenne County Commissioners met on Monday, December 18 with a full agenda. First up, Cheyenne County Tourism Director Kendra Mitchell addressed the commissioners concerning the decision to choose Allo Communications for Internet Services at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds. Mitchell said that Allo would be laying the cable at the Fairgrounds this week, but might have to come back to bury the cable underground at a later time due to the ground being frozen. Next, there was a discussion about Commissioner salaries for the 2025-2028 term of office. The commissioners unanimously agreed to keep their salaries at the existing level for the next term.
A hearing to review an application from Tyler Wieser for a subdivision known as Tract 1, Wieser Subdivision located in the southeast quarter of section 32, township 15 north, range 49 west of the 6th p.m. in Cheyenne County containing approximately 12.36 acres. The application was to change zoning from Agriculture to Community Business. The change was requested to allow commercial storage of agricultural trucks and equipment. The change was needed to comply with zoning and insurance regulations. The commissioners unanimously approved the change.
Josh Watchorn, CFO of Adams Industries, next addressed the commissioners concerning the submission of two grants on behalf of Adams Industries to upgrade roads and sewers near their location in Potter. These grants are provided by the State of Nebraska, but need to be sponsored by the county where the business is located. Commissioner Miller said that “we have to run these amounts through the budget”, although the costs are paid by the state. Although the monies would not come from Cheyenne County, the Economic Development Fund budget would need to be increased to comply with state guidelines. Adams has already been awarded state grants, and dollar amounts of these in addition to the two new grants would need to be known to amend the budget. Watchorn said the grants would most likely be awarded after July 1, which starts a new fiscal year for Cheyenne County. Miller advised Watchorn to provide the dollar amounts of grants already received in addition to the dollar amounts of the two new grants requested so the commissioners could add them on to the Economic Development Fund budget. Although Cheyenne County does not provide the funding for these grants, the state uses the county as a “pass through” to manage the funds. Watchorn agreed to provide the dollar amount information and time frame details at an upcoming meeting.
Kendra Mitchell addressed the commissioners a second time, in regard to approving a $3000 grant to the Tourism Board for the Cheyenne County Youth Basketball Classic on February 23 through 25. The grant has been issued in the past, as families from around the panhandle and Colorado travel to attend the tournament and use lodging and restaurant services. The commissioners unanimously approved the request. Next, Mitchell brought up the need to amend a Sign Lease Agreement between Cheyenne County and Nathaniel and Charity Terman pursuant to Nebraska Department of Transportation permit number 508000622NA. The lease is for a billboard on private land, and the land changed ownership. Mitchell told the commissioners the lease needed to be updated to reflect that change. The commissioners unanimously approved the change.
Melissa and Stan Norgard addressed the commissioners regarding a Special Designated Liquor License for the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce banquet on January 20, which was approved. They also asked for an easement for Boss City Brewing Company for an 8' X 10' space to install a glycol unit, refrigeration condensing unit and HVAC unit behind a county-owned building at 1212 Jackson Street. The commissioners had no issue with the easement, however they requested the owners of the building, Matt and Monica Monhieser, formally approve of the easement prior to granting the easement. Melissa Norgard said it would not be a problem, and that she will have the appropriate paperwork drawn up and submitted to the commissioners.
Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub brought up a few matters to the commissioners, the primary issue being the approval of a Juvenile Justice Grant Application for the youth mental health program that is being coordinated through the Sidney Public Schools. The amount is for $41,544 and the commissioners noted the success of the program. Additionally, the commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Cheyenne County and the Sidney Public Schools and a Memorandum of Understanding between Cheyenne, Kimball and Deuel Counties concerning the program and dispersal of funds. The program covers the Sidney Public School system, the Leyton Public School system, the Leyton Public School system, and the Kimball and Creek Valley Public School systems. The commissioners approved the requests.
The final issue brought up was by Cheyenne County Highway Superintendent Doug Hart, who spoke about joining the Sourcewell Cooperative Purchasing Program currently enacted by the State of Minnesota and a few Nebraska counties. The program allows county and state entities to bypass public bidding procedures to streamline and speed up the purchasing process. Paul Schaub spoke about Sourcewell and said that the program has not really been tested in Nebraska yet, and this agreement is for the state of Minnesota. There was some disagreement about information that counties like Lancaster in Nebraska have used the system, but the overall scope and effectiveness of Sourcewell was still in question. Commissioner Miller requested that Hart contact Sourcewell and have a representative address the commissioners and detail the program so an informed decision can be made on whether or not to participate in the program.