Drone purchase, courthouse safety discussed at Commissioner meeting


The Wayne County Board of Commissioners held a busy meeting Tuesday morning, hearing updates from many courthouse offices.

Emergency Manager Nic Kemnitz started the meeting with an overview of recent storms, stating the Wayne County Emergency Operations Center was used during severe weather events several times in the last few weeks.

Kemnitz also discussed his recent election as a representative of the Emergency Managers in Northeast Nebraska for the Nebraska Association of Emergency Management Board. This term will be two years.

He ended with a comprehensive summary of his plan to purchase a drone for county use. The drone will come out of his budget allotted from the Commissioners. In total, the drone project will cost $14,825.70. This includes the drone, extra batteries, harness and controller.

Additionally, Kemnitz discussed the purchase of  mobile video streaming equipment and several smart TVs. These costs total 16,659.99.

Kemnitz said the streaming and televisions will aid in all drone processes. The drone will be used for emergency situations, searches by the Wayne Police and Wayne County Sheriff Departments and by the road departments for project planning. Area counties including Stanton, Yankton and Cumming all use the same drone and technology.

"I have sat in the Emergency Operations Center and seen all the amazing work that Kemnitz and his team has put in," Commissioner Terry Sievers said. "This equipment will only enhance the incredible work done by our area departments."

County Attorney Amy Miller approached the board next with a request to change a county speed limit sign. No speed limit sign currently exists on 21st street on the north side of Wayne. Since part of the county road sits within Wayne's City Limits, Miller has worked with the City of Wayne and the County Commissioners to update speed limits.

The board approved the request. Now, between Claycomb and Centennial Road, the speed limit on 21st Street will be 35 MPH.

Todd Beiermann then requested Wayne County to take over the maintenance of LaPorte Cemetery Southeast of Wayne. Beiermann said volunteers have maintained the cemetery for years, but the number of helpers has dwindled recently.

Sievers said he would be more than happy to add this cemetery to his list of duties and thanked Beiermann for his dedication to preserving the history of the area.

District Clerk Diane Pieper and County Court Clerk Ashley Siebrandt presented the board with their proposal for office doors and glass divider walls.

Pieper and Siebrandt explained their safety concerns due to their line of work and added the implementation of these dividers would make them and their staffs more comfortable. The Commissioners said they understood the pair's concern for security and encouraged them to find quotes for the project.

Highway Superintended Kyle Huff then asked Commissioners to take action on Allo's permit to place fiber in county limits.

He stated their plans followed all county digging protocol. The Commissioners approved this permit and the work will begin within the next few days.

The meeting ended with the approval of Lengemann & Associates PC to complete Wayne County's audits for the years of 2024, 25 and 26.

They also approved the transfer of $2,000,000 from the General Fund to the County Road fund and heard ARPA updates from Sandra Hansen, disaster recovery specialist.

The next meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at 9 a.m.