You wouldn’t think such a small thing would cause such a big stir. But it has.
Jon and Kurt Potadle approached the Burt County Board of Supervisors last week about a tube that needs replaced.
The issue is that although the tube is under a road that’s marked like a public road and has been treated as a public road for years—it even has a stop sign where it intersects with Highway 75 north of Tekamah—a records search shows it isn’t a public road.
The road does have legitimate users. It serves as acess to properties near the old Poor Farm site.
County Attorney Edmond Talbot told the board that according to official records, the road belongs to Potadle Farms, Inc. As such, it’s up to them to replace the tube. It’s also up to them to maintain the road although anecdotal evidence suggests the road has been maintained for a number of years by either county or township crews.
“I have no idea why there’s a sign, but a sign doesn’t establish title,” Talbot said. “I don’t disagree that it’s an issue but it’s not a county road. Because the county has maintained it doesn’t make it a county road.”
“I have no intention of turning that tube out, but I don’t want to maintain the road either,” Jon Potadle said. “It seems to me the county has some responsibility. I think the long-term answer is to take an easement and get on with life.”
Talbot said here is a formal process to follow if the county wants to acquire teh road, but that would have to be a discussion for another day.
“We’ll have to look into it and see if we can do it, how we’d do it and if we want to do it,” board chairman Dave Schold said.
In other business during its June 9 meeting, the county board:
—Approved a 15.3 cents per mile bid from Joel Sinclair to haul riprap to various streambank stabilization project sites throughout the county.
Accepting the bid, however, also came with a bid to purchase rock from a different quarry. Spencer’s bid came with a bid from a South Dakota quarry to provide rock at $16 per ton. At its May 28 meeting, the board accepted a bid from Martin Marietta to provide 11,617 tons of material at a price of $36.25 per ton. It was the only rock bid the board received. It was soon learned, however, that Martin Marietta’s rock would come from two different quarries, which made the three hauling bids the board had for the May 28 meeting unusable.
The board asked the hauling companies to rebid based on a cost per loaded mile.
County Attorney Edmond Talbot told the board last week that the Martin Marietta bid was not a total contract bid, therefore it’s acceptable for the county to use another quarry.
“It’s all in what works for you,” Talbot said.
The county still will use Martin Marietta’s Fort Calhoun plant when it hauls rock for similar projects.
—Approved a request from Sheriff Eric Nick to upgrade the records management system in the sheriff’s office. The current system dates back to 1999 and creates reports in a word processing program, making them virtually unsearchable. he said old files can be viewed, but they can’t be printed or transferred.
Nick said the new system, offered by Justice Data Solutions, costs $18,105. Nick said all of the money is available in current 911 and E-911 funds. He said he already has received approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission to use the county’s money housed in its accounts. That money comes from a tax charged on cell phone bills.
The system includes a Computer Aided Dispatch dispatch center and a program to interface with the 911 mapping system. He said the new system allows 911 operators to receive emergency calls and dispatch first responders all while looking at one screen.
The system also allows various law enforcement bodies, including municipal police who may be using the system, the sate patrol and the county attorney’s office all to communicate with each other more efficiently.
The system already is in use in 63 Nebraska counties.