Published On: Wed, Mar 30th, 2011

County bridges make federal watch list

HARTINGTON — Where the first board of Commissioners meeting of March was lamb-like in its agenda, the second on Tuesday was lion-like with its agenda and discussions.

County Roads Supt. Carla Schmidt said her office received the results of a federal survey conducted on state bridges in Nebraska.
The survey found that nearly one-quarter of Nebraska’s bridges were improperly posted for weight limits.
Schmidt highlighted the Cedar County bridges affected by this survey and specified their locations for the Commissioners.
In all, 27 Cedar County bridges were deemed to have incorrect weight limits posted. Cedar County Roads Dept. crews have  already been out re-posting several of the bridges and Schmidt anticipates having them all re-posted very soon.
The federal report also listed 18 county bridges in need of new bracing. The county has until the end of 2011 to address the bracing issues or the bridges will need to be re-rated with lower weight limits.
In other action, the Commission held a public hearing concerning approval of a Community Development Block Grant application being made by Nissen Wine LLC. The application is for a Tourism and Development grant through the Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development to build a Visitor and Historical Center near the Outlaw Trail.
After discussion, the application was approved by the Board. With their approval, the Commission also authorized Board Chairman Marlen Kraemer to sign the CDBG application and all other documents relating to the release of grant funds.

Mark Versch of the State of Nebraska, Department of Health and Human Services provided discussion on radon levels in Cedar County.
Versch said the bedrock composition of Chalk Rock and Pierre Shale have caused Cedar County to be “the bulls-eye for radon in Nebraska.”
Exposure to high radon levels has been shown to increase the likelihood of lung cancer. Versch hopes to see an addition to local building codes mandating radon exhaust systems in new homes.
He further encouraged the installation of radon exhaust systems in existing houses. Versch submitted information regarding radon to the Commission and forwarded it to the Zoning Dept. to be added to building permit packages.
The Commission approved Resolution #11-06 which allows the County Transit System to apply for federal and state funds. The transit system uses the funds to operate.
The Zoning Department asked the Commissioners to approve a donation to the South Dakota—Nebraska Purple Loosestrife Management Project. The donation was approved by a vote of 3-0.
The Commissioners approved a contract with the Cedar and Wayne County Coalition of Project Extra Mile. The contract is contingent on the approval of the Project’s grant application. No county tax dollars are used to pay for Project Extra Mile or to match the grant funds.