Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

County agrees to contract for public defender

HARTINGTON — Cedar County will be paying an additional $500 each month for a public defender.

County officials made the decision at the Board of County Commissioners meeting Nov. 12.

They will now be paying the Kennedy, Pier & Knoff law office $3,500 a month for their services, according to County Clerk Dave Dowling.

The decision came after no applications were submitted by the Oct. 21 deadline.

“I even e-mailed attorneys I thought might be interested, but received no replies,” Dowling told the Board at their last meeting.

Also Tuesday, Board members listened to a report by County Treasurer Carol Wortmann on outstanding distress warrants.

Distress warrants are recorded for those who are delinquent on paying their personal property tax or taxes on Improvements on Leased Land (IOLL).

Wortmann informed the Board there are still 87 outstanding warrants totaling $34,032.36.

Last year at this time, there were 107 distress warrants for about the same amount, according to Wortmann.

Highway Superintendent Carla Schmidt discussed a traffic counter report with the Board.

The county is currently borrowing this counter from the Nebraska Local Technical Assistance Program at no charge.

According to this report, more than 5,100 vehicles traveled along this section of 898 Road in District 2.

About 1,700 of these vehicles were traveling more than 50 mph, Schmidt reported.

The data also revealed that 38 vehicles were driving over 70 mph and two over 80 mph.

Schmidt also informed the Board that she had submitted an application for some grant money from NERMA, the county’s insurance carrier.

The grant money, if awarded, will assist the county in buying a new counter, which will cost about $1,100.

“I did turn the grant request in for funds for one of those, so we will find out at the beginning of next year,” she said.

The next County Commission meeting will be Nov. 26 at 8:30 a.m. at the county courthouse.