Commissioners approve budget, listen to road concerns


Taxes paid to the county by Wayne County residents will increase by just under $60,000 for fiscal year 2016-2017 following action taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
The total tax dollar request from the county is $4,767,389.74, which includes $4,454,190.90 for General Fund expenditures; $1,198.82 for Veterans Aid and $312,000.00 for County Improvement Fund.
Prior to the budget hearing, Gene Lutt spoke to the board on proposed budget.
Lutt told the board that while he understands the increase (in tax asking) is minor, it is not justified. He noted that the state is reducing its spending and the county should do likewise.
The budget includes funding for an additional law enforcement deputy, cruiser and equipment in the Wayne County Sheriff's Department and the paving of Chief's Way and a portion of South Centennial Road.
The additional officer with the Sheriff's Department will bring the department to six officers - the sheriff, a chief deputy and four deputies.
Commissioners listened to information from Ray and Jody Kingsly on road maintenance concerns they had on the county road that runs past their home in northwest Wayne County.
The Kingsleys noted there are water run-off issues along their property and the county road and that asphalt grindings were put in a cut on the property to slow down the water. Approximately one-third of these filings have already been cut away.
The commissioners and the Kingsleys agreed that the ditch needs to be cleaned out and the road built up to allow the water to run down the ditch.
The commissioners approved a resolution "determining that the historic and patriotic words of our national motto, "In God We Trust," shall be permanently and prominently  displayed in the Wayne County Courthouse."
The resolution came about at the request of Barb Otto, who presented the commissioners with information on the fact that in 1956 the U.S. Congress adopted "In God We Trust" as the official national motto of the United States of America. On Nov. 1, 2011 the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reaffirm the words as the nation's motto.
Otto told the commissioners that she has visited 23 of Nebraska's 93 counties asking for the approval of the resolution and to this point, all have signed such resolutions.
The exact location of the motto within the courthouse has not yet been determined.
The next meeting of the Board of Commissioners will be Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. at the courthouse.