JL Marina nuisance once again topic of discussion at commissioner’s meeting

Lakeview Acres residents returned to the Dawson County commissioners asking if the county could do anything regarding the JL Marina property, they say even more abandoned boats have shown up on the grounds.

LEXINGTON — Lakeview Acres association president Stephen Orcutt asked the commissioners if the county had come up with a plan to handle the abandoned vehicles, aging boats and jet skis at the former JL Marine site.

Orcutt had spoken during the citizen’s comments, he had appeared before the previous meeting asking for the county’s assistance to help clean up the area. He said there were new junk boats at the JL Marine property this week.

After trying to handle this for the last four years, Orcutt said the association has exhausted all of their options. The property owned by Larry Doubet was grandfathered in when the area was zoned, said Dawson County Zoning Administrator Pam Holbrook.

The county does not have a nuisance clause in their comprehensive plan and the homeowner’s association at Lakeview Acres has far stricter regulations.

Deputy County Attorney Jared Dean said the county bringing an eye sore nuisance is hard to do and passing it is even more difficult. He said there is a fine line of how much the county can reach onto a person’s private property and tell them what to do.

Dean advised the Lakeview Acres association bringing a civil suit against Doubet in the matter, saying this was more effective than what the county could do in this instance.

Another returning Johnson Lake matter was that of a right away easement for County Road 750 at Pelican by Road. Robert Commins had also appeared at the last commissioners meeting asking for a concrete square poured at the area to encourage people coming from Gosper County to enter the trail at this point.

After reviewing the easement, Commissioner Butch Hagan thought this action would impede drainage in the area. Commissioner Dean Kugler also noted this could lead to water over the road and create a hazard, he advised against any extension. Highway Superintendent Mark Christiansen said he had a similar opinion as the commissioners.

The commissioners voted to deny the easement, citing drainage as a major concern.

The Dawson County Historical Museum, Robert Henri Museum and Gothenburg Historical Museum were represented by Crystal Werger, Peter Osborne and Ann Anderson, respectively. The museums requested $90,000 in county funding for the 2019-2020 budget to be split between the locations.

Werger gave an update about the DCHM and said there had been major work done to the Kirkpatrick Memorial Park Lake by the city. She thanked the commissioners for their assistance and said the inside of the museum was under renovation. Their next big task is installing heating and cooling in the old part of the museum to help preserve the artifacts stored in the area.

Anderson said the Gothenburg Historical Society is run completely by volunteer assistance, over the past year they have logged around 24,000 hours of volunteer work. She said the funds available from the lodging tax helped with renovations and improvements made to the location.

Osborne said the Henri Museum is in the middle of a gallery redesign and has received a major contribution, a 1925 patenting of Henri’s and around 30 of his sketches. Osborne said the museum is shifting their focus from the Henri house and the family’s importance in the city of Cozad, to Robert Henri’s international fame as an artist and the fact the location features the largest amount of his work anywhere in the world.

The commissioners took the budget request under advisement.

Veteran’s Service Officer Steve Zerr appeared before the commissioners concerting a Veteran’s Service officer appointment recommendation.

According to information from the Veteran’s Service office, the committee has a position open due to the commissioners not reappointing Richard Helvey. His term of five years was completed in June, Helvey has been on the committee for the last 19 years.

The committee conducted interviews and chose Tony Hansen, an Army veteran who served from 1986 to 1991 and is also Persian Gulf veteran, to replace Helvey. The commissioners approved Hansen’s appointment to the committee.

Dawson County Sheriff Ken Moody presented the monthly crime report. The average jail population for July was at 104. Deputy Shane Tilson said Friday morning there were 115 inmates in the jail.

The Sheriff’s office also received a high amount of calls for service, which Moody attributed to the summer period always being more active. Replacement of the jail’s roof will start in September, he said.

The commissioners appointed Yvonne Rickertsen to represent Dawson County at the Nebraska Cooperative Government (Lottery) annual meeting.

The Dawson County Annex Building suffered from water leaking after the recent heavy rains. The age of the roof is also a concern, said Brandon Kjar who oversees the county’s facility maintenance. The roof was installed in 1992.

The leaking is due to the membrane shrinking and pulling away from the exterior. Around 30 ceiling tiles have to be removed, Kjar said. Dawson County Emergency Manager Brian Woldt said with all of the rain, something had to give on the roof, in this case, the membrane.

The commissioners approved a $2,845.00 proposal from Weathercraft Companies for an emergency repair of the building’s roof.

Chairman Bill Stewart advised everyone in attendance this meeting would be the last with Deputy County Attorney Jared Dean. Dean has taken a position in Omaha and would be starting soon.

The commissioners, Sheriff Moody and several others thanked Dean for the work he had done for the county and wished him luck in the future. The county is currently looking for a new Deputy Attorney.

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