County Commissioners take action on 202 protests, discuss roads

This picture of a Box Butte County Road shows how a road may look dry but it can be wet below the surface. Although the dryer weather is helping to dry the roads out, the shoulders and parts of the road itself may still be soft. These conditions can be hazardous, please use caution when driving the county roads. 

The Box Butte County Commissioners opened Board of Equalization with County Assessor Michelle Robinson following their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 22. The Board and Robinson had heard all 202 tax protests for the 2019 year and had carefully gone over all each property.

Changes to properties for 2019 in Box Butte County were Alliance commercial properties were reappraised, Alliance mobile homes were valued with a new cost index, Rural Residential 2 homes and buildings received a 6% increase due to sales, Hemingford residential received a 31% increase to

house and buildings due to sales, Rainbow Acres subdivision lots were revalued, agricultural land was adjusted by decreasing dry land 28% in Market Areas 2 & 3, irrigated land decreased 1% in Market Area 1, and feedlots and tower sites land only were revalued.

Out of the 202 protests filed the Board voted to lower 119 and raise one. 82 of the protests saw no change.

“The Board spent a great deal of time studying and comparing the properties protested and made changes as needed,” said County Clerk Judy Messersmith. “Notices will go out on or before August 2.”

The Board examined and discussed each property tax protest from 12:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Monday and then from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23.

During the regular meeting the Board heard from County Highway Superintendent Barb Keegan and road department employee John Maser.

“I thought I would bring a member of the road department to give you an update as to the conditions of the road and what they have been working on through FEMA, what a nightmare it is,” Keegan said.

“I think we’ve got a little bit of a handle on the FEMA projects, they have been a choir,” Maser said. “The biggest problem is they are not drying up. We dump rock and we dump rock and by the time you go back over it its pumping water.

The problem was every time we had something fixed and it rained, the water took the same spot out and followed the same path: so numerous roads were repaired multiple times in the same spot.

We’re thinking a year minimum to get everything straightened out,” Keegan said. “They have said it would take four years to get this all fixed and I’m thinking it will take a good chunk of that.

Chairman Doug Hashman stated his concern for the condition of the roads with harvest coming up.

“It looks like there’s another two feet of road out there in spots but man it’s soft and it can suck you in,” Hashman said.  

Both Hashman and Keegan noted that in spots the road and fields may look dry but they are still wet underneath. Please use caution when traveling the county roads.

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