County Shop Location Debated

County shop land search narrowed down. Cass County Commissioners Duane Murdoch of Nehawka and Dan Henry of Louisville, the members of a special roads shop committee, are continuing their work on land acquisition. They say the negotiations are in the important and delicate final stages.

The Cassgram reports a new maintenance shop location was on the one year roads plan presented last winter. In June, Roads Department Superintendent Lenny Thorne presented his “Option A and Option B” ideas. He foresees the new location with an area large enough to serve as the main construction hub for county road operations with all culverts stored there and some personnel moved around accordingly.

Option A is somewhere within two miles of the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 50.

Because of the poor condition of the old shop location west of Plattsmouth, the two mechanics were moved temporarily to the Manley shop in March of 2012. Thorne said the parts availability and commutes are working out well there.

Option B is the current roads office/recycle center location on 12th Street west of Mynard. That site needs a considerable amount of fill dirt to accommodate the larger property plan.

Cass County Board of Commissioners’ action at the last two meetings pertained to land for a road shop in an Option A location.

On September 17th, commissioners approved a purchase option agreement with the intent the land was to be bought and then used as trade if a deal on other land preferred for a new shop location is finalized. The option was for 90 days at no cost to the county.

The owner of the preferred land is not interested in selling the property outright but is willing to trade for other ground, explained Henry. The county attorney’s office and a title insurance company are working out the trade details.

At this week’s meeting, commissioners approved a motion for the county board chairwoman to sign a purchase option agreement with the owner of the preferred site if final details are settled. All commissioners will first have a chance to review the final deal and “the paperwork on the exchange can then begin,” said Henry.

The land that the county would buy first and then exchange is 78.5 acres, but a portion of that is waste ground, said Murdoch.

The site preferred as the county shop is 34 acres. Henry said about 15 acres are needed for the roads department now but there will likely be future county uses for the rest of the property, especially considering its central county location. “We’re thinking that 50 years from now county leaders will look back and say this was a very forward-thinking purchase,” said Henry.

With negotiations still underway, the release of information is limited but Murdoch and Henry say full disclosure will be made when the deals are signed.

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