Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014

Cerny steps down as Ec. Develop. Director

CENTER — Knox County Supervisors are taking a look at the future of the County and Community Economic Development program.

Matt Cerny, who has been serving as the Economic Development Director since June 2012, had turned in his resignation along with a two-week notice.

Cerny is leaving to take a job at Menno, S.D.

C & C Economic Development involves an inter-local agreement between the county and the towns in Knox County.

The county, towns, Great Plains Communication and other financial institutions contribute to the financial support of the program, according to Supervisor Rayder Swanson.

“This is a good time to look at what we have and talk about what we should do,” Swanson said. “There is some cash reserve still available – but when that runs out the county or others may have to contribute more.”

Board member Norman Mackeprang said the towns involved in the program should be contacted.

“Are the towns still on board – do they like this or do they want to go their own way?” Mackeprang asked. “Before anything is done we need to see what the towns want.”

Board member Jim Fuchtman said he has not heard any negatives comments on the C & C Economic Development.

“We do have a couple of things going for us right now. Matt did write two grants for us and was successful,” Swanson said. “Right now we are looking back through prior applications. But at some point, it would have to be re-advertised if no one is interested.”

Board members discussed the county’s revolving loan program and will consider hiring someone on a temporary basis until a definite decision is made on the C & C Economic Development program.

The C & C Economic Development program was put in place in 2001, according to Fuchtman.

Terry Johnson was hired to oversee the program in March 2002 and served until July 2008.

Toni Tauber took over the director job in 2008 and stayed until 2012.

Hwy Supt Kevin Barta updated board members on repair work that is being done on county road equipment.

A Ford truck/snowplow has been repaired and is back at the Verdigre shed. A John Deere motor grader has been repaired and the motor is being overhauled in the asphalt roller/packer that is used by the oil crew.

Board members agreed to purchase a front mount system for the Road Retriever for an amount close to $6,750.

“It would be handier than the side one,” Mackeprang said. “I think it would be a good deal.”

Barta asked for input on purchasing a set of pallet forks for a second skid loader.

“We have one but we have to keep moving it back and forth. I have a quote for $775 but I am looking at getting another quote,” Barta said.

Supervisors agreed to make the purchase.

Board members decided to hold off on purchasing a mower for the roadside ditches. A decision will be made at a later date. The price could range between $9,500 to $11,500.

“Prices will be going up,” Barta said. “Do you want to go to the route of mowing our own road sides or find someone to do the mowing?

Board members and Barta went into executive session concerning personnel.

Board members approved a claim for a property tax refund on the 2010 Verdigre School Bond fund. The claim in the amount of $1,385 had been submitted by Cornerstone Ranch LLC, in care of Richard McElhaney.

The 2014 salary for the Veteran Service Officer was set at $19.45 per hour, which is a two percent increase. Leonard Boggs is currently serving as the Veteran Service Officer.

Zoning Administrator Liz Doerr presented yearly information on building permits along with a quarterly report.

December building permits included one each for a home, tool shed, pole shed, calving barn, and a machine shed.

December permits involved a total valuation of $234,300 for the county. Total valuation involved in the 2013 building permits for Knox County came in at $6,674,550.

In 2013, there were 217 building permits filed compared to 131 permits that were filed 13 years ago in 2000. The total valuation for permits filed in 2000 was $2,321,340.

Board members accepted the Sheriff’s report and placed it on file.

The Sheriff’s office took in $6,961 for serving papers, which included summons, warrants, small claims, orders and other service during 2013.

An amount of $7,240 was collected for vehicle inspections and $1,035 for Hand Gun Permits.

A total of 207 hand gun permits were issued during 2013.

Board members agreed to make the fifth payment on the over $1 million dollar courthouse addition and renovation project. An amount of $105,848 will be paid to Radec Construction out of Hartington.

The ceiling in the courtroom on the top floor of the courthouse has been torn out.

The original ceiling in the courtroom is almost 16 foot high and the windows in the courtroom were close to 12 feet according to County Attorney John Thomas.

“It was a very majestic room,” Thomas said.