Expecting Tough Rural Road Conditions, This Spring

BEATRICE – With the ample amount of snow and ice this winter, it could be a rough spring for county gravel road conditions when it all melts off.

That message from county officials was given at Gage County Township Association annual meeting, Thursday night, at the local UNL Extension Office.

Gage County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann says preparing for bad conditions should begin soon.

:19                  “as you can”

Gage County provides gravel and rock allocations to townships each year, during the spring and fall.  Gage County recently accepted bids for gravel and rock supplies, and Supervisor Terry Jurgens says costs are up slightly.

:08                  “last year”

Jurgens says two locations submitted bids for rock…to be supplied by Seitz Quarry and an old Barneston-area quarry that has recently been purchased by R.L. Tiemann Construction.

The county’s one-and-six-year road plan was reviewed by Highway Superintendent Galen Engel.   There are 34 projects on the planned construction list this year, and the county will armor coat 34 miles of asphalt roads at a cost of about $464,000.  Gage County received approval for two more projects partly funded by a state bridge-match program.  They include a new concrete deck bridge south of Holmesville, and a culvert project near Hidden Acres Golf Course.

County officials received questions about the ongoing impact of the Beatrice Six civil judgment on county and township operations, including whether insurance may eventually help pay part of it.  Tiemann said the judgment is a first-of-its-kind, for a Nebraska County.

:14                  “for Nebraska”

This past year, the county raised its tax rate to the maximum 50-cent cap, under state law.  It’s expected it will take eight to ten years to pay off the entire judgment, if no relief is granted through insurance, or a U.S. Supreme Court appeal that the court has not decided whether it will hear.  Once the judgment is paid off, Tiemann said the county would be able to return to tax levels of more typical county operations.

About 65 people attended the association meeting, from at least seventeen townships in the county.

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