BEATRICE – This is the first full budget year Gage County has been undertaking payment of the Beatrice Six case civil judgment. Gage County Board Finance Chairman Erich Tiemann says he won’t say it has adversely affected operations to a great degree….but the impact is being felt.
:18 “there were cuts”
Tiemann says the county went line-by-line figuring out what could be cut out of the budget.
:16 “has to be justified”
Tiemann said everyone is trying to “run lean and still make things happen”, knowing that the county has a huge settlement to pay. That payment is expected to stretch over seven to eight years….perhaps longer, depending on trends in property valuation and the tax support that can be used.
This past year, the county maxed out its allowable tax levy, of 50 cents.
Gage County suffered recent setbacks with adverse legal rulings indicating that insurance coverage would not pay part of the judgment. Those rulings are on appeal. Gage County is also awaiting word, whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the county’s last-resort appeal of the civil rights verdict and judgment, that granted damages to the six people exonerated in a 1985 murder and rape, in Beatrice.
:28 “of the land”
Tiemann says he isn’t confident that that the case will be accepted by the high court, for review.
:05 “make your case”
Tiemann says he anticipates hearing more about the insurance appeals during the first quarter of next year.