County receives list of safety violations

Commissioners vow to make fixes right away.

LEXINGTON—When Dan Schomer of EMC Insurance plopped a thick report book in front of each member of the Dawson County board last week, commissioners’ eyes got big.

The inch-thick booklet provides details for a long list of safety infractions—complete with photos—that Schomer found throughout county-owned buildings when he toured them on March 17.

“The easy ones you can take care of right away,” Schomer said of such things as electrical cords across walk areas or missing exit signs. “Some others may take additional scheduling and planning.”

Schomer’s safety audit was done not only for insurance purposes but also to give the county a starting point for forming a safety committee of volunteers from across the county’s offices.

“This identifies infractions,” Schomer said of the report, “and it also give you a little more detail than you might get from the fire marshal or OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) or ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) officials.”

Should OSHA inspect the buildings and find such safety violations, Schomer said the county could face large fines.

Brian Woldt, coordinator for the county’s buildings, said some of the items listed in Schomer’s report have already been addressed.

“In my 12 years on the board, I’m not sure anything like this has ever been done,” said board chairman Bill Stewart of Lexington. “I think we can get right on this.”

A representative from each county office has been asked to serve on a safety committee which will have regular meetings to address any issues.

In other action, commissioners accepted a bid for a 10-mile resurfacing project on the old highway from Lexington to Overton, also known as the 13th Street project.

The county asked for bids on both an in-place recycling process and new 3-inch overlay.

The low bid commissioners accepted came from Paulsen, Inc. of Cozad for new overlay at a cost of $1,655,182.

Commissioners said they were surprised the new overlay bids were cheaper than recycling.

Other bidders for the new overlay were Werner Construction of Hastings—$1,791,381; Vontz Construction of Hastings—$2,091,078; and Western Engineering of North Platte—$2,220,283.

The lowest recycle process bid was $1,666,039 by Werner.

Work will begin in late July with completion set for September.

In other business, county commissioners:

Receive the entire issue of the Gothenburg Times on-line in PDF format each Wednesday for only $25 per year. Call 308-537-3636 to subscribe.