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By Sandy Schroth

Supervisors hire human resource firm


April 30, 2020

The Holt County supervisors approved hiring a human resource firm when they met at the courthouse in O’Neill on April 16.

With all seven supervisors in attendance at the meeting, the leaders voted 5-2 to contract with Zelle Human Resources of Lincoln to provide consulting services for an initial six-month term, after holding a phone conference with Zelle representative Chad Thies. Supervisors Bob Snyder and Don Butterfield voted nay.

According to Thies, the firm would update the county’s employee handbook, making sure it is relevant and makes sense to employees and is compliant with state and federal law, and would handle issues that come up with employee job performance, as well as termination procedures when the issues can’t be resolved.

“Our job for you in the employee relations spot is to take the pressure off you, take the compliance off you, and to stay out in front of things for you. Generally, what happens in things like that is everything channels through us. We take documentation to the table,” Thies said during a March phone conference. “We don’t make any decisions; we just recommend things to you guys and then we act on the recommendations that you say are okay.”

All seven supervisors voted to enter a contract with Jackson’s Heavy Equipment Training, for on-site motorgrader operator training, from May 4-8.

The county leaders also approved the purchase of equipment, a new Western Star dump truck from Freightliner Truck Center in Norfolk, for $202,516, on a 6-0 vote, with Butterfield abstaining; and a skid-steer-mount power broom for $6,900 from NMC Cat in Norfolk, on a unanimous vote.

A June 2019 road-use agreement with Transportation Partners & Logistics was amended by resolution. The resolution was adopted by unanimous vote after receiving input from Holt County attorney Brent Kelley and TPL manager Shelton Reynolds (via phone). Changes include removal of TPL’s use of a portion of 871 Road, from the company’s Gate B, east to the intersection of 495 Avenue, and the addition of approximately 1,200 feet of Old Highway 108, from the intersection with Highway 20, east to the intersection with the gravel road south of the city landfill. In addition, TPL agreed to provide signage at the intersection on 108 and on 494 Avenue, directing vehicles transporting wind turbines and components to use the gravel road.

With supervisor Steve Boshart presiding temporarily over the meeting due to chairman Bill Tielke’s declared conflict of interest, Kelley and Boshart updated the board members on negotiations with TC Energy on a potential road-haul agreement. TCE’s Robert Latimer and attorney Ronald Comes of Omaha participated by speaker phone.

According to Kelley, negotiations to blend an agreement drafted by Omaha attorney David Domina and one proposed by TCE continue.

“I would say there is a strong possibility that TransCanada will ask the board for a vote on Thursday,” Kelley said.

The agreement is on the agenda for the April 30 meeting.

A Class C (beer, wine and distilled spirits – on and off sale) license application submitted by Gene and Teal Timperley for SpringLake Angus Center, an event center near Lynch, was given unanimous approval after a public hearing drew no comment.

While convened as a board of equalization the supervisors approved two tax corrections submitted by county assessor Tim Wallinger, as well as tax refunds recommended by treasurer Connie Krotter, of $58.16 (2018) and $55.12 (2017) to Robert and Joyce Beelaert of Page;

In other business, the supervisors:

~Heard weed superintendent Bill Babutzke’s quarterly report via phone conference;

~Acknowledged receipt of 2019 Nebraska Extension’s annual report;

~Heard county treasurer monthly report from Krotter;

~Approved Holt County Visitor Committee Improvement Fund claim by O'Neill Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $908.37;

~Approved a $235.51 refund to Melodie Funk, trustee, Pierson Family Revocable Trust, for overpayment of inheritance tax;

~Approved right-of-way permit for Anson Electric to install electrical cable for well conversion in Iowa Township, northeast of Page.

~Approved Page North culvert project change order; and

~Set bid date for Page North, Emmet and Stuart overlay projects for 11 a.m., May 18.


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