'New and improved' Demo Derby at County Fair
Supervisors hear plans for 2014 Fair
The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors received 2013 reports and 2014 funding requests from several groups at Tuesday's weekly meeting.
In 2013, the Cherokee County Fair Board built a new lower show arena after the previous building was destroyed by fire, and also opened the new Exhibition Hall. County Fair Board representative Cody Newgard reported at Tuesday's meeting that the Board, in response to the disappointing Demolition Derby Show at the 2013 Fair, has contracted with a new promoter this year, the highly-respected Sam Williams from Ultimate Derby, and they have high hopes for a much better show this year, with new incentives for drivers.
Newgard said that the 2014 Cherokee County Fair will open on July 17th and run through the 20th, and this year's theme will be "Ticket to Success." Casey Muessigmann, a country music artist from Spencer who was a contestant on 'The Voice' a couple of years ago, will provide musical entertainment at the Fair on Thursday evening, and the Nebraska Power Pullers will be Friday evening's main attraction. The Demolition Derby will be held on Saturday night, July 20th.
Newgard said that the Fair Board unfortunately has not been able to line up a carnival for this year's Fair yet, stating that the estimated cost of $20,000 is prohibitive. The Board only has a total entertainment budget of $40,000, and they also have an outstanding loan of approximately $88,500 for land purchases they have made. The Fair Board has requested $25,000 in County funding this year.
Mark Buschkamp, Director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation, presented the CAEDC's FY13 Annual Report, outlining the many activities of CAEDC in FY 2013, including, among others, the establishment of a new housing development in the Doherty Addition of Cherokee, with five new homes in some stage of construction and 37 additional lots available; the start-up of 12 new businesses in Cherokee County; Business improvements/expansions at Hy-Vee Gifts and Floral and Holzhauer Motors; new owners or managers at five existing Cherokee businesses; and new locations for five Cherokee businesses.
Also, community improvement projects, including the completion of the Spring Lake Yacht Club building, the installation of the electronic message board on North 2nd Street and the expansion of the ER/admitting areas at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center.
Buschkamp and CAEDC Board member Mark Hecox both thanked the county for its ongoing support and stated that the agency's accomplishments would not have been possible without that support.
County Treasurer Hedgie Brandt submitted her semi-annual report, and it was approved by the Supervisors.
County Engineer Dave Shanahan submitted a contract for Farm-to-Market Project #FM-CO18(68)-55-18 for signature by Board Chairman Mark Leeds. The project was approved by Supervisors at last week's meeting.
In other business, Supervisors approved a motion to rescind a previous vote and add the appropriate Affordable Health Care Act fees to the insurance premium payments for both union-represented and non-union represented county employees.
Don Faber from Three Rivers Benefit Corporation and Rick Angell, Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield agent of Cherokee, were present at Tuesday's meeting to discuss county employees' health care benefits.
In other business, the Supervisors approved final payouts for two Secondary Roads employees who retired from county employment on December 31, 2013. Charles Erickson, who was employed by the county for 29 years, will receive a final payout of $7,203.60, and Charles Baumann, who was employed by the county for 34 years, will receive a final payout of $4.348.58.
County Auditor Kris Glienke has received requested proposals for a county audit from two firms - Huntzelman, Putzier and Co., PLC of Storm Lake, and Williams and Company of LeMars. An RFP from the State Auditor was also received three days after the stated deadline. No selection was made at Tuesday's meeting because the Supervisors haven't had time to look into the proposals. The supervisors will review the RFPS, discuss them as a group, and make a decision at the next Board meeting.