Dispatch equipment, Q-125 building celebration on meeting agenda


Considerable time was spent during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners on a request to share costs associated with dispatch radio equipment.

Wayne Police Chief Marlen Chinn talked with the commissioners on the fact that the city of Wayne is in the process of moving City Hall from its current location to the former Ameritas building on Main Street.

Chief Chinn explained what has already happened in the process and the challenges with moving the 9-1-1 Communications center.

He said some of the equipment currently being used, which is nearly 20 years old, was purchased with grant funds and will be expensive to replace.

The county uses the 9-1-1 dispatch services of the city and the villages of Winside and Carroll are also served by the city's Communications Center.

"We've got to have the equipment and we have to move through this," said Commissioner Chair Terry Sievers.

He added that the city and the county have a history of working well together.

While no definite numbers are available on the cost of the equipment and no specific percentage of the cost of the project the county is willing to commit to, Commissioner Sievers said, "we will be supportive and we have to work together."

Commissioners will discuss possible contributions as they work toward the coming fiscal year's budget.

Commissioners received an update from the committee planning the courthouse's Q125 celebration.

The Wayne County Courthouse, known as the "Castle in the Cornfield" was officially completed on Dec. 28, 1899 and a number of events are being planned in observance of this event.

Dawn Nelson, representing the committee working of celebration, spoke to the commissioners on a request to purchase American flags to be placed on the outside of the building and smaller flags to be placed along the sidewalks leading to the courthouse.

In addition, the group plans to have a float in the Chicken Show Parade and encourage the commissioners to be part of the parade.

Preliminary designs for a t-shirt commemorating the event, the work of Emma Krysl, 4-H Extension Assistant, was shared with the commissioners and plans made for moving forward with the shirts.

Several other ideas for the celebration were discussed and the plans for the actual anniversary date, Dec. 28, 2024.

Wayne County Emergency Manager Nic Kemnitz updated the commissioners on his part in an emergency drill training being conducted at Mount Marty University. 

Kemnitz told the commissioners he would be serving as an evaluator for the training and offer suggestions to those involved.

In addition to the training, Kemnitz spoke briefly on the Emergency Management's response of storms that passed through northeast Nebraska early Tuesday morning. He said there was tree damage and walls blown over in several places in Winside and reports of storm damage in Carroll.

He noted that a drone from Stanton county would be used to fly over the area to assess the damage.

County Treasurer Lisa Lindsay updated the commissioners on several items, including "good collections" on the first half of property taxes which became delinquent on May 1; the status of interest income being earned by the county and new Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations that require more enforcement.

Lindsay praised her staff for the work they are doing and noted they have received a number of compliments from county residents.

She also talked about security updates for her office and the need for having a locked door on her private office, noting that not all activity that takes place in the office is public information.

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, June 4 at 9 a.m. at the courthouse.