Board of Commissioners Meeting

Friday, March 22, 2024

Event Date(s)



Regular meeting of the board of commissioners.


The Banner County Board of Commissioners will consider, take necessary action, and may go into executive session (pursuant to Section 84-1410 of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska), when applicable. Any agenda item may be moved at any time at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Board. Public hearings will be called at the times noted.

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Nebraska Open Meetings Act: A copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act is posted in the back of this courtroom by the entrance.
  4. Prayer
  5. Pledge of Allegiance
  6. Consent Agenda Items:
    • Approval of Agenda
    • Adopt Minutes - February 20, 2024 meeting
    • Correspondence
      • National Opioid Settlements
      • Vistabeam
    • Claims
  7. Public Comments: The Banner County Board of Commissioners will receive public comments on items discussed at this meeting, or suggestions for items of discussion at a future Banner County Board of Commissioners meeting. The Board will not act and/or respond on comments presented this date. Please keep comments to three minutes.
  8. Reports:
    • Highway/Weed Department - Pat Parsons and Tim Grubbs
    • Sheriff - Zane Hopkins
    • County Attorney - Mark Kovarik
    • Treasurer - Kathy Natale
    • Clerk - Katie West
    • Assessor - Kacy Krakow
    • Surveyor - Carl Gilbert
    • Commissioners -
      • Don Lease
      • Robin Darnall
      • Laif Anderson
  9. Items of Business Before the Board:
    • Weed Department Trailer - Commissioners
    • Weed Department Salary - Tim Grubbs
    • Hiring Weed Department Employee - Tim Grubbs
    • Janitorial Wages - Commissioners
    • Void Check - Katie West
    • Election Certification - Katie West
  10. Adjournment

Next Regular Banner County Board of Commissioner Meeting

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

4:45 p.m.

The Chairperson of the Board may call agenda items out of order, however, public hearings as noted will be called at the times noted. The Banner County Board of Commissioners may discuss, consider, and take necessary action on agenda items listed. The Banner County Board of Commissioners reserves the right to convene in Executive Session pursuant to Section 84-1410 of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska.

Additions may not be made to this agenda less than 24 hours before the beginning of the scheduled meeting unless added as an '‘emergency item'‘. Emergency agenda items, as required by State Law, may be considered by the Banner County Board of Commissioners. An emergency is " a sudden unforeseen happening or event which calls for immediate action and remedy.'‘

The agenda shall be kept continually current and is available for public inspection at the Banner County Clerk's office during regular business hours.


The Banner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of the Banner County Courthouse.

Notice of the meeting was published in the Western Nebraska Observer. A copy of proof of publication is on file in the office of the Banner County Clerk. Meeting notices posted in Harrisburg, Nebraska at: Post Office, Banner County School, and the Banner County Courthouse.

The agenda for the meeting was kept current and was available during the regular business hours at the office of the Banner County Clerk.  A copy was emailed to each board member on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

  1. Chairperson Darnall called meeting called to order at 8:46 a.m.
  2. Clerk West took roll call, showing all Board members present.
  3. Chairperson Darnall announced a copy of the Nebraska Open Meetings Act is posted in the back of the courtroom by the entrance.
  4. Lease led prayer.
  5. Pledge of Allegiance was said.
  6. Consent Agenda:
    • Approval of Agenda: Motion by Lease to approve agenda. Second by Anderson. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Adopt February 20,2024 Minutes: Motion by Lease to adopt February 20,2024 minutes. Second by Anderson. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall no; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Correspondence:
      • National Opiod Settlement: Anderson mentioned some counties give Behavioral Health Region funds back to their respective Behavioral Health Region. Anderson commented Banner County can do that, or if someone had other suggestions. Natale asked if it could be used for a program for Banner County kids? Sheriff Hopkins will talk with Brandy Bruntz on qualifications for opioid education for Banner County students.
      • Vistabeam: West stated this bill was residential and not business, bill will increase approximately $20.00/month. Natale reported that OCIO continues to reach out regarding a secondary line. Lease stated he has prepared a complaint to the Public Service Commission. Discussion on the State systems and internet.
    • Claims: Moved to after Election Certification.
  7. Public Comments: None
  8. Reports:
    • Road Department: Highway Superintendent Parsons reported the roads have been getting bladed, equipment has been repaired, bathroom is being worked on, and sewer project is done.
    • Weed Department: Weed Superintendent Grubbs reported he will be gone for a training March 25-28, 2024. Grubbs purchased a four-wheeler for the County from Sandberg Implement for $8,500.00.
    • Sheriff: Sheriff Hopkins reported February was a busy month. Sheriff Hopkins and Deputy Luft made 120 contacts, resulting in 129 citations. Sheriff Hopkins was contacted by the State Auditors office inquiring about increase in traffic citations from last year. Sheriff Hopkins is doing team building in his office. Sheriff Hopkins attended a informative drug training, and other trainings this month. Sheriff Hopkins reported his office did get involved in the recent police pursuit through Banner County. Notifications were done correctly, and all was done according to policies and procedures. Downside to this was the performance of the pickup Deputy Luft was responding in. Sheriff Hopkins stated they are starting some online training. Sheriff Hopkins and Deputy Luft will be attending NIRMA (Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association) meeting in Kearney.
    • County Attorney: Kovarik stated he received an email from the State Auditors Office as well, there were 442 citations in 2023, compared to 177 in 2022. Kovarik responded to the State Auditors Office that Banner County elected a new Sheriff and retained the Deputy position. Kovarik stated he has County Court tomorrow, and District Court Thursday.
    • County Treasurer: Natale stated yesterday was the delinquent tax sale, nobody attended. Natale reported one investor paid five delinquent tax items. Natale presented the Board with an investment report, showing where the County stands at the end of February 2024, from July 2023. Banner County has a total of five investments, which are currently valued at $52,102.00. Severed mineral must be delinquent for fifteen years before they can be removed. Natale reported there were approximately $60,000.00 delinquent taxes listed in the newspaper, and it is now down to approximately $17,000.00.
    • County Clerk: West stated the County received the refund from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for $10,329.92. Candidate filings for the Banner County School Board and Commissioner were due on March 1, 2024. There will be no candidates for either of these offices on the primary election ballot, which is May 14, 2024. West stated she is waiting on the grant for the computers. West reported she has emailed and called Josie Morgan from Kimball, and is waiting to hear back to schedule a meeting on the balancing.
    • County Assessor: Krakow stated she has been working on getting values set. Krakow stated she ran an initial AVU (assessed value update), resident parcels are about 75%. It will go in front of the Commission and see what they say. Approximately 30% increase on houses in Harrisburg, all other houses in Banner County approximately 10% increase. Krakow stated she does not like adjusting properties without reviewing the property. Krakow is hoping people will come into her office if they see an issue with their property. Krakow mentioned she is writing a letter to inform the public. Krakow stated ag land is good at 70%, dry land is 72%, grass was almost 72%, and CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) is 69% - all together averages about 70%.
    • County Surveyor: Carl Gilbert absent.
    • Commissioners:
      • Don Lease: Lease stated he has prepared a Public Service Commission complaint, and put on the agenda, so changes can be made, and it can be submitted. Allo requested a capital project funding from Public Service Commission. Allo would like to run fiber cable from Highway 71 and Spur 4A junction into Harrisburg. Project would take two years, once it is funded. Discussion on internet services. Lease stated he attended the Situla meeting at the Farm and Ranch Museum. Situla has hinted at using the Stegall Road to go into Scottsbluff County. Darnall stated she would like to talk to Situla and would like them to come to a meeting, so all Banner County Commissioners may ask questions. Darnall feels that solar panels will be coming to Banner County. Some residents of the County already have leases with solar energy companies. Darnall stated she would like to look at Banner County roads, and work with Situla on the roads. Darnall stated solar panels can make money for Banner County.
      • Robin Darnall: Darnall stated there is a meeting Friday, March 8, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at the Banner County School with Senator Hardin, Homeland Security, and the Lieutenant Governor. Darnall attended the NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) Chair/Vice Chair conference in Kearney last week, it was very beneficial. Darnall stated she would like to have an employee appreciation potluck at the firehall.
      • Laif Anderson: Anderson reported that Region I Behavioral Health decided to end employees working from home. They elected new Board Chairs and other roles. Office of Aging has positive things happening.
  9. Items of Business Before the Board:
    • Weed Department Trailer: Weed Superintendent Grubbs stated Banner County has a trailer, no need to purchase one. No action taken.
    • Weed Department Salary: Weed Superintendent Grubbs discussed his wages and overtime. Grubbs suggested salary wage instead of hourly for himself. Anderson stated it should be considered with Grubbs having two titles (Shop Foreman/Weed Superintendent). Anderson asked how often Grubbs would utilize overtime? Grubbs stated he does not feel there would be a lot of overtime. Grubbs would prefer salary, if he would need to do weed duties he would not have a time restraint if he were on salary, and could do the job and not require overtime. Darnall asked for a monthly report of the claims and accounts. Motion by Anderson to combine Shop Foreman/Weed Superintendent position from hourly to salary of $3,986.66/month effective March 1, 2024. Second by Lease. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Hiring Weed Employee: Grubbs stated he would like to hire a part-time employee to spray County right-of-ways. Grubbs stated he offered the position to other road employees, none were interested. Grubbs would like to start advertising this position for $17.00/hour for twenty hours/week seasonal employee from May to October. Kovarik stated the job description should be reviewed before advertising in the newspaper.
    • Janitorial wages: Darnall spoke with CindyJean Stover, and Stover agreed to remain Janitor for $23.66/hour with the addition of the cost of living raise of 2.4%. Discussion of variance in wages. Motion by Anderson to hire CindyJean Stover at $24.23/hour, capped at twenty - three hours/month. Second by Lease. Roll call vote: Lease no; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Void Checks: West presented two checks to void. Check #02402104 to NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) for $150.00 - duplicate check, and check #02402119 to Midwest Connect for $262.00 - wrong address. Motion by Lease to void check #02402104 to NACO for $150.00 and check #02402119 to Midwest Connect for $262.00. Second by Anderson. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Election Certification: West stated needing Chairperson signature for the election certification. Motion by Lease to authorize Chairperson to sign election certification. Second by Anderson. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
    • Claims: Motion by Anderson to approve claims. Second by Lease. Roll call vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.
      • General: Aptive $10,873.60 - health insurance; Aflac $364.51 - employee benefits; Argus Dental $218.84 - dental insurance; Banner Capital Bank $4,131.70 - health savings accounts; Colonial Life $205.06 - life insurance; Vision Service Plan $209.02; Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek $980.00 - county court costs; Eakes $1,152.99 - phone installation and office supplies; Fairfield Inn $214.00 - lodging; Fritz Septic $275.00 - shop septic; Gering Valley Plumbing & Heating $9,900.00 - shop septic repair; Hometown Leasing $138.64 - copier; Ideal Linen $98.88 - janitorial supplies; Menards $146.87 - shop septic repair; Midwest Connect $262.00 - postage ink; MIPS (Multi-County Information and Programming Services) $1,628.66 - data processing; Nebraska County Assessor Association $75.00 - dues; Nebraska.Gov $87 - district court; US Bank $503.83 - office supplies; Zultys $637.00 - telephones; Sandberg Implement $8,500.00 - four - wheeler.
      • Sheriff: Scottsbluff Screen Printing $108.00 - uniforms; US Bank $245.77 - office supplies; Jone Automotive $978.44 - law equipment; Zane Hopkins $50.00 - office equipment; Comfort Inn $89.50 - lodging; Comfort Inn $111.10 - lodging; A T & T $182.90 - cell phones.
      • Road: Aptive $4,731.68 - health insurance; First Concord $329.00 - health retirement account; Vision Service Plan $115.01 - vision insurance; Colonial Life $84.85 - dental insurance; Banner Capital Bank $180.25 - dues; Scottsbluff Screen Printing $523.00 - decals; Peetz Coop $981.84 - propane; Natural Resources District $33.72 - water; Kimball Auto Parts $1,702.04 - shop supplies, tools, and parts; Frank Parts $23.43 - repair parts; Contractor Materials $427.40 - shop supplies.
  10. Adjournment: Motion by Lease to adjourn at 11:22 a.m. Second by Anderson. Roll cal vote: Lease yes; Darnall yes; Anderson yes. Motion carried.

The next regular meeting will be held March 19, 2024 at 4:45 p.m. or at the call of the Clerk. An agenda of the matters to be considered at such date and time is kept continually current and is available for public inspection during normal business hours at the office of the Banner County Clerk in the Courthouse in Harrisburg, Nebraska.