Commissioners move to exit Solid Waste Agency agreement

After several months of contemplations, Chase County Commissioners Dave Hogsett, Chuck Vette and Don Weiss, Jr. agreed it was time for Chase County to exit the Solid Waste Agency (SWA) contract with the City of Imperial. The commissioners approved a motion at their Sept. 12 meeting to have Chase County Attorney Arlan Wine begin the process.
    SWA board member Larry Carpenter was at last week’s meeting and said that because the city and county can’t agree on anything, the board is a waste of time.
    The commissioners believe the facilities will be ran better with “one boss.”
    Any money the county has contributed to the SWA coffers will remain with the agency. The county will keep its equipment. The county would remain bound to any service agreements with the agency.
    The original agreements went back to 1993, with updates in 2002 and 2004.Weiss wishes recycling would have remained independent from the SWA.
    “We’ve got to clean the mess up. We’ve got to stop this who owes who what and get out,” Weiss said.
Hughes stops by for a visit
    Nebraska Senator Dan Hughes checked in with the commissioners early in the meeting.
    As Hughes prepares for the upcoming January session, he said the biggest challenge facing the Nebraska Legislature will be keeping property taxes down.
    Hughes expects actual revenue numbers compared to the projected amount will be another hot topic.
    Hughes said many members of the forecasting board come from an urban background where they see growth and building going on. As a result, projected revenues are often skewed away from ag.
    “I don’t see ag getting better for several years. We have an ag surplus to chew through,” Hughes said. “It’s up to the bankers at this point.”
    When asked about projected budget cuts, Hughes pointed out Governor Pete Rickett’s administration did an across the board cut.
    Three of the biggest “cuts,” Hughes said, went to the Department of Health and Human Services, Universtiy of Nebraska and K-12 education. The trio didn’t see budget cuts, but didn’t see typical budget increases.

Budget hearing
    No members of the public were present for the public hearing for the county’s budget and accompanying resolutions.
    The total asking is the same as last year, $2,855,190. The property tax rate decreased from 0.182838 to 0.182143.

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