By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their regular weekly business meeting at the Courthouse Monday morning, April 24th. All Commissioners were present.
David Dohe, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, was present to report on the recent Fire Chiefs meeting. This morphed into a discussion regarding burning during this state of extended drought. Most of the state, particularly west of U.S. Highway 81, has experienced very little rainfall for a number of months. The land could be characterized as a "tinderbox."
The Commissioners urged Mitchell Country residents to follow the established procedure if they feel they have a need to do any outside burning. Citizens should call the Mitchell County Dispatch to check on the status of open outside burning. If permission is granted, they may proceed with their burning. If permission is denied, they should wait until conditions are more optimal for outside burning.
Commissioner Jim Marshall commented, "People should consider the positives and negatives of outside burning. Almost always it can be postponed for better conditions. With our dry conditions and the constant Kansas winds, if a fire gets away thousands of acres could be burned."
Dohe told the Commissioners that Lakeside School District is planning on putting three electric buses into their fleet. It is understood that electric vehicles have unique characteristics different from gas powered vehicles. These characteristics are not fully understood at this time.
Dohe also reported the Rescue Squad has acquired an auger to slide into grain bins to remove grain in case someone is trapped in a grain bin.
Emergency Medical Services Director Eric Hamel provided the Commissioners with a bid for a new desk. He reported his current desk dates back to Arlen Gates and is far too large for his office. Little space is available for other items in his office. The Commissioners agreed that they had visited his office and it indeed dominated the room. The Commissioners approved the $1,636 bid for a new desk, hutch and bookcase.
Hamel was accompanied by his assistant, Missy McGinnis. Hamel requested a five-minute executive session with the Commissioners, himself and McGinnis to discuss non-elected personnel. The five-minute session was extended for an additional five minutes. No decisions were made as a result of this closed session.
The Commissioners approved a Special Event Cereal Malt Beverage License for the Nebraska Bush Pullers to conduct a truck pull at 350 Road and Jasmine Trail on June 9th. The event will be conducted on a private farm.
A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant was approved for Doug Newquist for a 32' x 36' new building residence. The cost of the project was estimated at $78,966.
Having addressed all the items on the published agenda the meeting was adjourned.


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