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Bond issue approved for county’s road fix-up
July 10, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Scotts Bluff County Commissioners took the next step in getting four miles of the heavily trafficked Sugar Factor Road repaved.

After calling for bids and receiving proposals from three firms, the board voted to have Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) serve as the underwriter for $1.9 million in bonds to resurface the four-mile stretch of road from 27th Street north to Lake Minatare Road. RBC, with offices in Denver, is also the bond underwriter on the county detention center and Gering’s new Lincoln Elementary School.

Jerry Crable, the county’s management accountant, said the $133,000 the county receives each year from the state for road improvements should cover the bond payment, which will be paid out over the next 20 years. The coupon rate on the bonds is just over three percent.

Bob Bennett, the county’s road and bridge superintendent, said it will probably be this fall before the bonds will be available for purchase.

Commissioners have spent the last several months considering how to finance needed repairs to Sugar Factory Road. It’s used extensively during harvest season by producers bringing in their product. The road is also a major access point to Lake Minatare.

n In other action, commissioners heard a complaint over road maintenance from Minatare farmer Mike Zeiler. He said that over the last three years, county graders have blocked access to his fields, destroyed erosion banks, damaged culverts and intentionally run over mailboxes. He claimed the dispute had become “personal.”

But Commissioner Ken Meyer said he has received numerous calls from Zeiler that were verbally abusive about county road crews. He added that some of Zeiler’s social media posts have been little more than hearsay.

Board Vice Chairman Mike Marker ended the discussion after about 30 minutes and said the board would take note of Zeiler’s issues and do their best to address them.
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