Mac's Creek Vineyards sign

Mac’s Creek Winery had their Class L brewery license approved by the Dawson County Commissioners during their meeting on Friday, Feb. 15.

LEXINGTON — The Dawson County Commissioners approved Mac’s Creek Winery’s Brewery Class L liquor license during their meeting on Friday, Feb. 15. Mac’s Creek is planning on opening their brewery after the government shutdown put the official opening on hold.

Dawson County Commissioner Chairman Bill Stewart said during an interview Monday a public hearing was held during the meeting regarding Mac’s Creek’s brewery license. Barry McFarland with McFarland Family Farms spoke regarding the Class L license, he said. Mac’s Creek will begin to brew beer for their brewery after they were delayed by the government shutdown. The commissioners approved the license during the hearing.

A Class L license allows Mac’s Creek a total of 20,000 barrels maximum, produced at five satellite locations, if they choose to do so. A designated sales territory is also established.

Mac’s Creek also applied for a special liquor license for their St. Patrick’s Day event at Johnson Lake. Stewart said this was the third year Mac’s Creek had applied for a liquor license for this event. The license was approved.

Dawson County Sheriff Ken Moody presented the January crime report to the commissioners. There were 445 calls for service, 180 new inmates booked into the jail and 601 other services used. There 101 warrants issued and 55 served during the month. In total there were 1,531 calls for service during January.

Moody said revenues were down for January, this was due to the federal government not paying federal inmate boarding costs during the government shutdown. Numbers for inmates contracted at the Dawson County jail were also presented. Adams County contracted 106 inmates; Gage County, 155; Keith County, 88; Jefferson, 50; Gosper, 18; U.S. Marshal Service, 914 and Nebraska Department of Corrections, 408. This totaled 1739 inmates.

Moody also presented budget estimates for a new roof on the jail. Stewart said the current roof is original and was built with the rest of the building in 1994. It had a 15 year warranty and the county is now looking to replace it. Stewart said the commissioners are looking for a new roof with a 30 year warranty. The roof will have a thicker membrane and can be slopped slightly to keep the water from collecting on the flat roof. He said estimates were only discussed and bidding will be held in the future.

RYDE Transit Transportation Director Charles McGraw spoke to the commissioners about a local funding match for RYDE Transit. Stewart said RYDE Transit provides public transportation in county. Last year the county matched $33,475, this year McGraw asked for $34,025.

McGraw recently attended the Lexington City Council meeting where he presented the local match request for $22,000. McGraw will be attending the city council meetings in Cozad and Gothenburg and asking for $1,200 from both cities. The resolution was approved.

Dawson County Emergency Manager Brian Woldt presented the community wildfire protection plan, CWPP. The Nebraska Forest Service, NFS, is in the early stages of preparing a community wildfire protection plan for the Central Platte region of Nebraska, which includes Dawson County.

The CWPP is a tool for addressing the challenges which arise from counties who have wild-fire prone environments. The CWPP defines the risk within counties and those adjacent, measures necessary to negate those risks and plan to implement those measures, according to information from the National Forest Service.

After large wildfires scourged the state in 2012, the state legislature passed the Wildfire Control Act of 2013. The act provided funding for single-engine air tanker bases, cost share for hazardous fuels reduction and expansion of programs to provide volunteer fire districts with more fire suppression equipment, according to a NFS information.

After the act was implemented it was found there were few CWPPs across the state. Originally there were five CWPP areas, the Loess Canyons region encompassing most of Dawson County. The NFS is proposing nine new CWPP which will ensure complete coverage of the state.

The new Central Sandhills CWPP will fill in the rest of northeastern Dawson County which is not covered by the Loess Canyon’s area. The new Central Sandhills CWPP will be divided into three sub areas in Dawson County which include, Sumner, Eddyville and Oconto. These are not just regulated to the towns, but areas around them.

The NFS has said past wildfires have proposed challenges throughout Nebraska and implementing these is a way to increase preparedness and reduce the risk of wildfires. It will help increase firefighter safety and establishes collaborative relationships between various entities before a fire occurs.

Counties will not be asked for a monetary contribution, the NFS will be covering the costs associated with preparing a CWPP.

To implement the CWPP, a steering committee will be put together to guide the process and to consider local issues. After gathering information a draft plan will be prepared and presented to the counties, incorporate changes which will be made and finalize the plan. The process will take about a year.

The commissioners appointed Commissioner Dennis Rickertsen to the CWPP committee. Stewart said the Central Sandhills CWPP lies in District Three of Dawson County, which Rickertsen represents.

The commissioners approved the establishment of a petty cash fund for the county, said Stewart. The dollar limit on the account is $250. Stewart said this was something they needed to approve as it had never been established before. The account will be used for making payments for subsidiary general operational expenditures and purchases, according to the resolution the commissioners signed.

Roxanne Denny-Mickey with Two Rivers Public Health appeared regarding LifesSmiles Dental Health. Stewart said Denny-Mickey presented a report about department’s dental program. Steward said she talked about the importance of fixing one’s teeth at a younger age, as the cost becomes greater the older the individual gets.

Jim Daubert with 1st Concord spoke about cash-in-lieu. Stewart said this program concerns employees of the county who are 65 years or older and getting them on to Medicare and taking them off the county insurance plan. Stewart said this would provide a savings to the county’s insurance program. No action was taken at the time of the meeting, but Stewart said the matter would be on the agenda in the future.

Official receipts were approved by the commissioners. This included, County Clerk, $2,846.67; Register of Deeds, $12,905.83; Clerk of the District Court, $16,995.00; Surveyor, $1,312.50.

Treasurer’s receipts totaled $2,348,747.52 and were approved.

Homestead Bank of Cozad recalled $70,000 and replaced $80,000 of collateral which was approved.

Total claims came to $332,162.79 which was approved without any trouble, Stewart said.

Commissioner Dennis Rickertsen was absent from the regular meeting and board of equalization meeting.

During the board of equalization meeting the commissioners approved a request for vehicle tax exemption from the Center for Independent Living for a 2007 Ford Tarsus SE.

Tax corrections were presented by County Assessor John Moore. Corrections were approved for properities owned by Whilelee LLC, Hi-Gain Feedlot Inc., CDA to City of Lexington, Charles J. Royce, Julie A. Stall, etal, 4-S LLC and Gengenbach Acres.

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