Burt County Courthouse July 2018

Burt County Courthouse

The search is on for a full-time emergency manager to serve Burt County.

If the post can be filled, the new hire will be busy. The county’s Board of Supervisors on Thursday agreed to couple the position with zoning administration and floodplain management duties.

“It could be an easy fit,” Dist. 7 Supervisor Carl Pearson said of the expanded job duties. “I think it can be done. If we find out it can’t, we can do something else.”

But the candidate’s main duties will be emergency management.

Supervisors got a better idea of what the job entails after talking for nearly 45 minutes with Dakota County Emergency Manager Deanna Hagberg.

She said she’s been in emergency management for 14 years and was hired as a full-time manager from the start.

“It’s a 24/7 job,” she said. “It’s hard to track hours because you never know what you’’l do.”

She said in addition to running incident commands for anything from natural disasters to highway accidents, emergency managers also prepare the written plans the county follows in the event of an emergency. The county’s guide is due to be rewritten soon.

“It’ll take a year to do that,” she said, “and the more people you can involve with the planning the better.”

Hagberg said she works closely with all the fire departments and law enforcement agencies in her county, but she cannot be a member of either type of agency.

“It becomes a matter of what hat am I wearing, am I a law enforcement officer or an emergency manager?” she said. “It removes the decision, but a background in either, or both, is very helpful.”

Hagberg told the board her office is in the Dakota County Courthouse after moving there from the law enforcement center.

“When I moved to the courthouse, the first thing the county commission asked me was, ‘What do you need?’ I told I wanted to report to one person,” Hagberg said.

She said she typically reports to the commission chairman or the vice chairman.

Hagberg also said the best prospects also would have good computer and radio skills.

“There are good people out there, you just have to find the right one,” she said.

The county currently is advertising for the position. Applications are being accepted through April 23. More information is available in the county clerk’s office.

In other business March 12, the supervisors:

—By a 6-1 vote, agreed to sign a contract with Werner Construction for repairs to County Road GH east of Tekamah, pending approval of the contract by County Attorney Frank Barron.

Due to the amount of flood repair work being performed across the state, supervisors chose to accept the contract knowing the work likely will be delayed rather than risk a higher cost if they decide to wait and rebid the job.

Because payment for the $1.7 million project most likely falls in the next fiscal year, supervisors believe financing can easily be arranged if necessary.