Local News

Commissioners set hearing for road closure; upgrade emergency manager

Thayer County Commissioners responded to a petition filed by Tracy Elting requesting section 13-3-4 and section 18-3-3 (Road 5500) be closed by scheduling a hearing Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. The petition was studied during their regular meeting July 13.

On Aug. 10, the request, along with reasons for the request, will be presented to the public. The commissioners may or may not take action on the request.

Following the study, the commissioners then toured the law enforcement center and received updates from dispatch supervisor Kay Eickman. Capacity for the local jail is for eight prisoners; there are four being housed right now, Eickman explained. The local office also serves as the 911 emergency control center.

After returning from the tour, the commissioners received a request from Thayer County Emergency Manager Bill McPherson to extend his hours to a full-time position. Right now the manager works approximately 30 hours per week. The job would move to 40 hours per week including a county employee benefits package as well as vacation and sick leave.

McPherson said the county also receives an emergency management performance grant through federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security that pays for half the expense.

The county leaders agreed to McPherson’s terms and okayed the contract for a full-time emergency manager with an annual salary of $33,280; half of which will be paid by the grant. The raise represents an approximate $7,280 increase in costs to the county. McPherson’s status change begins next month.

In other emergency management business, Public Health Solutions in conjunction with local emergency managements is launching a local emergency registry. Those with a disability or special health problems in Gage, Fillmore, Jefferson, Saline and Thayer counties are urged to register with S.N.A.P.

S.N.A.P. is a voluntary disaster registry that provides search and rescue workers with vital information to better assist individuals following a disaster. Registry involves completing an enrollment form and release which are available from county emergency managers or the five-county district health department, Public Health Solutions.

By enrolling in the registry, emergency responders will  have advance information about special needs or circumstances should an emergency situation arise.

To register for S.N.A.P., or for more information, contact Public Health Solutions at 402-826-6699 or Thayer County Emergency Manager Bill McPherson at 402-879-5553.

The commissioners will next meet Wednesday, July 27.

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