Published On: Thu, May 15th, 2014

Weather warnings via cell phone likely for County

CENTER — A move by the Knox County board members will provide residents a chance to receive timely weather reports and weather warnings via text messages on their cellphones, email messages or online.

Sheriff Don Henery, 911 Coordinator Connie Janecek, and Emergency Manager Laura Hintz urged board members to take the necessary steps that would allow people to receive timely weather reports on Nixle’s Mass Notification.

Knox County will have to pay a $1,435 annual fee in order for the residents to have access to the weather reports.

The Weather Center will directly send weather warnings to all individuals who have already signed up or who will be signing up for the important neighborhood-level public safety notices through the Nixle information service.

No fees had been involved for the service which allowed residents to receive alerts that include missing person reports, community outreach programs and other public safety notices, although there is a fee for the weather warnings.

“There is no limit to the number of people that can sign up,” Janecek said. “People will enter the zip codes for the area they want to receive weather warnings and other information for.”

The fee has to be paid in order for residents to receive the weather reports, according to Hintz.

“I think this is important,” Hintz said. “This amount is a drop in the bucket compared to other expenses.”


Board members tabled taking action on the bids that were opened for a used truck tractor and a used gravel belly dump trailer during the May 8 meeting.

Twelve bids had come in for the truck tractors and two bids had been received for trailers, according to Knox County Hwy Supt. Kevin Barta.

“We need to take a closer look at the trucks and drive them,” Barta said.

Board members thought the bids on used trailers seemed high and decided to take bids on new trailers.

Barta updated board members on work being done by the bridge crew.

The design for the concrete box culvert at the Pierce/Knox County line has been completed and bids will be taken.

The cost for the project will be split between Pierce and Knox counties.

“Knox County’s share could run around $30,000,” Barta said.


A bridge in Sparta Twp is being torn apart and a tube will be laid.

Barta is also looking at doing work on a bridge north of Bloomfield and two bridges east of Wausa.

Barta has been working with the Bureau of Indians Affairs on a bridge southwest of Lindy.

“We are finishing the documents for funding and moving ahead. The bridge is on the Howe Creek,” Barta said.


Barta asked board members for their thoughts on going to a four ten-hour work week.

There are 22 counties in Nebraska with a four-day, ten hour per day, work week according to Barta.

“Most of the counties just do this during the summer. It was kind of interesting though — some counties work five ten-hour days during the summer,” Barta said. “I have thought about talking to the road crew about it.”

Jim Fuchtman thought the road crew should be consulted before a decision is made.

“It doesn’t really make any difference but it should be up to the employees,” Fuchtman said. “Do what works better for them.”

“If it is hot – ten hours can be a long day,” Danny Schlote said.

Barta said he may send out a survey to see what the crew would like to do.


Fuchtman and Virgil Miller had recently attended a meeting on health insurance that was sponsored by the Nebraska Association of County Officials.

“There are a lot of different options and there will be a lot changes during the next year or two,” Fuchtman said.


Board members placed their approval on the monthly permit report for April.

Permit applications included three new homes, three home additions, one deck and one mobile home along with 11 bins, two pole sheds, three sheds, four machine sheds, one each for a machine shed addition, cattle shed, repair shop, barn, shop, a machinery carport, cart shed addition and two met towers.

The total valuations listed on the April permit applications was right at $1,467,500


The new three-story addition/renovation project at the Knox County Courthouse, which includes new restrooms and a stairwell along with an elevator that would be in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, is close to being completed.

The total cost for the project was right at $1,265,800.

A payment of $117,057 to RaDec Construction was approved by board members during the May 8 meeting.

The final inspection of the project will be made May 14, at 10:30 a.m.


Glenn Mannes and Sarah Mannes Homstad, Mannes Architects, Yankton, S.D., Ed Bottolfsen and Heath Opfer, Radec Construction, Hartington, met with board members during the May 8 Supervisor meeting.

“The final grading is done.  Almost all of the excess material is out of the building. We are in the final stages of cleaning up inside the addition,” Bottolfsen said. “The electrical and mechanical engineers have been here to look at it. The state elevator inspector was here two weeks ago. There had been several changes on regulations for elevators since the project was started. It has been taken care of through change orders.”

Board members were informed the roof has a 15-year roof/maintenance guarantee and should be maintenance free.

Board members talked about doing some extra work on one of the structural cement walls.


Radec employees have been impressed with the Knox County area.

“We could not have found a friendlier place to work. Everyone was so helpful and friendly – especially the staff at the Courthouse,” Bottolfsen said. “It speaks well for rural Nebraska.