Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

NDOR takes over county position

HARTINGTON — The state, and not the county, will once again take over management and oversight of Nebraska’s Federal Aid projects.

Neb. Dept. of Roads is already beginning to take back the position of Responsible Charge on federal aid projects around the state.

County Road Supt. Carla Schmidt shared the news with the Cedar Co. Commissioners last Tuesday.

“Except for the duties delegated to the Local Public Agency, [the] NDOR will be responsible for completing and overseeing all stages of development of the Federal Aid Projects on the LPA’s behalf,” she said.

For many years, the NDOR held the job of being the overseer. But about five or six years ago, Schmidt said they turned it over to the county.

Though this was before she came on as road superintendent, she thinks it was done to give the LPAs more “local control.”

And this position of RC is important for the county in a big way.

It is necessary to have so the county receives money from the state for federal aid projects.

And in order for Schmidt to be prepared to take over this position at that time, she went through some extensive training.

“The training I completed was five days of classes with an exam, along with six online courses with exams,” she said.

In addition to this, RCs must attend an annual refresher training in order to keep the certification up to date.

Now, they are taking back the position and Schmidt’s title will change from RC to project liason.

This position of project liason means Schmidt will hold a different set of duties than when she was an RC.

“The county will be responsible for confirming that work done by the NDOR on our behalf conforms to the county’s purpose and need for our projects” she explained.

The change is being implemented slowly over time. Schmidt said the state is “picking the projects off one by one.” Eventually the NDOR will take over all of them.

Schmidt said she kind of saw this coming and thinks it makes sense to do this, but wonders about recertification for the position if the state decides to turn the RC responsibilites back over to the county at some point.

She wonders if the county will have to pay once again to have her recertified for it.

“Cedar County has a considerable amount of time and training invested and that all adds up,” she said.