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Board OKs uniforms

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Butler County Courthouse

Pictured is the Butler County Courthouse in David City.

Butler County dispatchers will have their uniforms paid for by the county.

The Butler County Board of Supervisors approved at its Aug. 1 meeting to purchase two shirts for dispatchers and the setup of a uniform allowance.

Board Chairman and District 7 Supervisor Anthony Whitmore said he believed the dispatchers’ first set of shirts should be paid for and a yearly allowance of $100 be established going forward. Employees in the sheriff’s office get their first set paid for, supervisors noted. The dispatchers would wear the uniform shirts but have their own jeans.

The question of why dispatchers need to wear uniforms while other county offices don’t was raised.

“That type of environment I think that they should have something showing that they work in that area, with dispatch or detention or whatever,” District 5 Supervisor Jan Sypal said. “I think that's important for people to understand that and I think that they need to look professional, like they all kind of mold together in that office. Everybody else is in the office; the officers, the detention, the jailers -- all of those types of people wear uniforms. We should keep that same.”

Whitmore added that the county has paid for shirts for dispatchers previously.

In other business, the board heard an update on the 30/64 connector project.

Previously, efforts had been made to possibly establish a roadway connecting U.S. Highway 30 and Nebraska Highway 64. Although the results of a traffic study last year showed such a connector would be beneficial, the original project committee was disbanded.

Since then, the Platte County Board of Supervisors formed its own committee to investigate the project further.

Columbus man Dennis Hirschbrunner of D.C. Hirschbrunner Consulting provided a project update to the Butler County Board. His firm was hired by Platte County to drive the project forward, and they have been working with Loup Power District and Nebraska Public Power District to do a cost-benefit analysis and study, as well as a schedule to determine if the project is feasible.

“NPPD is doing a survey right now of basically the industrial community and in the Columbus area,” Hirschbrunner said. “Two things, find out what the impact of the 2019 flood was to them in dollars and cents, we’ll determine the impact of not having the workforce by being able to get the raw product in and get the finished product. Then we'll also look at potential development along the seven, eight mile corridor there.”

If such a connector does get built, he added, there’s an opportunity for development.

Hirschbrunner said the only cost information they have is a study completed two years ago by two senior civil engineering classes from the University of Nebraska, which was done as part of their curriculum.

“After reviewing it, it's pretty good,” Hirschbrunner said. “Except that we don't believe that we need a viaduct at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing, we can leave that at grade. That'll take out a chunk of money and their cost was $60 million. And we think we can get it down below $30 million.”

A bridge would be a key part of the project, he noted. There’s concern over if a bridge can be built, he said, but in the discussions he’s had, the bridge would not only be the width of the floodway but wider to take the “flooding risk of the approaches out of the equation as well.”

“We're going to keep this moving and we're going to look at several different funding options,” Hirschbrunner said. “There may be there may be an opportunity to do it on a public/private partnership. And again, like I said, the key is the bridge and we'll try and design the bridge and keep the cost set at a reasonable level.”

It was asked if Bellwood and David City were included in the study, to which Hirschbrunner responded that feedback can be given to NPPD.

The Butler County Board of Supervisors also:

  • Heard an update about the next fiscal year's budget, $300,000 will need to be cut from the budget mainly due to wage increases and other expenses. So far $130,000 has been cut.
  • Held a moment of silence for Michelle Cole, an employee in the Butler County Attorney’s Office who recently passed away.
  • Heard an update from Whitmore about Zuercher. The county previously approved going live with software from case management system Zuercher Technologies. The county was then told it needed to pay $15,000 for training; Whitmore said Aug. 1 that they got that quote down to about $11,000.
  • Went into executive session to discuss a formal complaint filed against the sheriff’s office.

Hannah Schrodt is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach her via email at


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